9 Must-Read Books for Women Leaders
During this crisis, I am heartened by all the good that is happening. Many of us are still extraordinarily busy, working, managing kids at home and the myriad of other necessities. However, if you find time for reading (maybe a way to inspire and motivate ourselves), we wanted to share this list of 9 “Must-Read” books for women leaders as compiled by Catalyst, a global nonprofit dedicated to building workplaces that work for women.
List of 9 “Must-Read” Books for Women Leaders
In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney
Over 100 exceptional and influential women describe how they embraced their creative spirit, overcame adversity, and sparked a global movement of entrepreneurship. Media titans and ceramicists, hoteliers and tattoo artists, comedians, and architects—taken together, these profiles paint a beautiful picture of what happens when we pursue our passions and dreams.
Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. By Brené Brown
Leadership is not about titles or the corner office. It’s about the willingness to step up, put yourself out there, and lean into courage. The world is desperate for braver leaders. It’s time for all of us to step up. The ultimate playbook for developing brave leaders and courageous cultures. Daring leadership is a collection of four skill sets that are 100% teachable. It’s learning and practice that requires brave work, tough conversations, and showing up with our whole hearts.
Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less by Tiffany Dufu
Once the poster girl for doing it all, after she had her first child, Tiffany Dufu struggled to accomplish everything she thought she needed to in order to succeed. Like so many driven and talented women who have been brought up to believe that to have it all, they must do it all, Dufu began to feel that achieving her career and personal goals was an impossibility. Eventually, she discovered the solution: letting go. In Drop the Ball, Dufu recounts how she learned to reevaluate expectations, shrink her to-do list, and meaningfully engage the assistance of others―freeing the space she needed to flourish at work and to develop deeper, more meaningful relationships at home.
Expect to Win: Proven Strategies for Success from a Wall Street Vet by Carla A Harris
While climbing the corporate ladder, Carla Harris sought career advice from her mentors and superiors but found some of the counsel too nonspecific. As Carla’s career advanced, she discovered the key survival tools to business success and vowed that when she reached senior management and people came to her for advice she would provide them with specific, play-by-play answers about what they needed to do to fulfill their career potential.
The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table by Minda Harts
Drawing on knowledge gained from her past career as a fundraising consultant to top colleges across the country, Harts now brings her powerhouse entrepreneurial experience as CEO of The Memo to the page. With wit and candor, she acknowledges “ugly truths” that keep women of color from having a seat at the table in corporate America. Providing straight talk on how to navigate networking, office politics, and money, while showing how to make real change to the system, The Memo offers support and long-overdue advice on how women of color can succeed in their careers.
Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington
In a commencement address Arianna gave at Smith College in the spring of 2013, she likened our drive for money and power to two legs of a three-legged stool. They may hold us up temporarily, but sooner or later we’re going to topple over. We need a third leg–a third metric for defining success–to truly thrive. That third metric, she writes in Thrive, includes our well-being, our ability to draw on our intuition and inner wisdom, our sense of wonder, and our capacity for compassion and giving.
The Likeability Trap: How to Break Free and Succeed as You Are by Alicia Menendez
Consider that even competent women must appear likable to successfully negotiate a salary, ask for a promotion, or take credit for a job well done—and that studies show these actions usually make them less likable. And this minefield is doubly loaded when likeability intersects with race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and parental status. Inspiring, thoughtful and often funny, The Likeability Trap proposes surprising, practical solutions for confronting the cultural patterns holding us back encourages us to value unique talents and styles instead of muting them, and to remember that while likeability is part of the game, it will not break you.
Leapfrog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs by Nathalie Molina Niño
Refreshingly frank and witty, author Nathalie Molina Niño is a serial tech entrepreneur, the founder and CEO of BRAVA Investments, and a proud daughter of Latinx immigrants. While teaching budding entrepreneurs at Barnard College at Columbia University and searching the globe for investment-worthy startups, she has met or advised thousands of entrepreneurs who’ve gone from zero to scalable business. Here she shares their best secrets in the form of fifty “leapfrogs”–clever loopholes and shortcuts to outsmart, jump over, or straight up annihilate the seemingly intractable hurdles facing entrepreneurs who don’t have family money, cultural capital, or connections.
More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say) by Elaine Welteroth
In this riveting and timely memoir, Elaine unpacks lessons on race, identity, and success through her own journey, from navigating her way as the child of interracial marriage to finding herself on the frontlines of a modern movement for the next generation of change-makers. Welteroth moves beyond the headlines and highlight reels to share the profound lessons and struggles of being a barrier-breaker across so many intersections. As a young boss and often the only Black woman in the room, she’s had enough of the world telling her—and all women—they’re not enough. As she learns to rely on herself by looking both inward and upward, we’re ultimately reminded that we’re more than enough.
I loved Catalyst’s unconscious bias movement during the month of March. I would assume that any of these authors has been a victim many times over. But yet here they are putting down the written word. As our world struggles through these months, what a time to bring down the walls of inequality and mistreatment. I always like to say, “we are one.”
If the concepts found within these books spark a desire to make an impactful change in your leadership strategy, contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.