Women Mean Business
Over 500 Insights from Extraordinary Leaders to Spark Your Success
by Edie Fraser; Robyn Freedman Spizman; Andi Simon
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Pub Date 26 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 26 Sep 2023
Business needs women, and women mean business. This book provides over 500 insights from women you may not have in your own life when you need support. The voices of mentorship fill these pages to help you achieve your personal goals at every stage of your career. This book will help uplift and accelerate your career.
The cast of female leaders and luminaries offering support will help you go where successful women go. Discover how to build circles of influence that impact you personally and your career advancement. Where are you going? Who can help you get there? How can you achieve and embrace the best possible you? How will you mean business?
Whether you want to be a CEO; lead the C-suite; become an entrepreneur, activist, or philanthropist; or blaze a different trail, success should be obtainable for all women. These women personify the best of what we all can be and help elevate other women. They hope to inspire you to write your own story and blaze your own trail. This book encompasses everything women need to know about modern female leadership.
Written by bestselling authors and business experts Edie Fraser, Robyn Spizman, and Andrea Simon, this book includes leaders and luminaries such as:
- Sheila Johnson, Founder and CEO, Salamander Hotels and Resorts
- Margo Georgiadis, Serial CEO and Board Leader, McDonald’s and four other boards
- Lilly Ledbetter, Activist
- Kay Unger, COO, the Kay Unger Family Foundation
- Carol Tome, CEO UPS
- Aster Angagaw, Amazon Executive and former President of ServiceMaster Brands
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Average rating from 6 members
This book is a strong reminder than leaders are made through hard work and determination rather than born with those skills. It becomes easy to fall prey to imposter syndrome as a woman in the workplace, in fact studies have proven it is experienced more often by women than men, but this book provides as evidence that not only do we deserve a spot at the table, but we thrive in it.
Different backgrounds and trades mentioned throughout the book, there is someone for each reader to relate to and connect with.
I would have preferred a more interview type format, but also understand the benefit of the format chosen.
If you seek inspiration from extraordinary women, an awesome book is here for you! Written by three authors (Edie Fraser, Robyn Freedman Spizman, Andi Simon), “Women Mean Business” contains wisdom from 100 leaders.
Each of the women presented in the book is in a position of power and authority. For each one, we get “my five wisdoms” and this format allows you to get different insights, according to what’s really important for that person.
I think only choosing 5 ideas to represent your beliefs and lessons is extremely limiting, but it’s also what makes it more challenging and interesting. Limitations make you more creative, so it’s so fascinating that there were many commonalities between the way these women think.
To reiterate, all these women are in a position of power and they are strong, intelligent and successful by any of society’s standards.
I read through their responses and these are five of the most common pieces of advice they give:
1. Create a Community
51 out of a hundred women emphasised the importance of creating a community as a part of their success. Its purpose is mutual support, building true relationships, developing a network you can trust and count on, and a circle of people to be loyal to and who will always be loyal to you.
The idea that successful women need support and have managed to create it for themselves within a community is refreshing. It’s exactly what we all need to hear: you can have it all, you just need help for that. You don’t need to be alone in doing everything. You are, in fact, more likely to succeed if you can gather a community around you.
Furthermore, remember to lift as you raise. Support those around you, especially other women. That means buying from women-owned businesses and thinking of possible collaborations.
However, supporting those around you also means empowering your team, trusting them, looking out for their best interest, understanding their goals and helping achieve them. That benefits everyone, including you.
2. Be Comfortable with Risk and Discomfort
39 out of a hundred women chose to talk about taking risks as their advice for success. As we’ve seen in various studies, women seem to have a confidence gap. It is clear that once they actually become confident, once they dare to break things, try things, be bold, visible and willing to stretch themselves, they find their success.
Getting a limitless mindset, speaking up, and committing to action as opposed to overthinking is crucial. Successful women share a common trait of embracing change. They also talk openly about failures, as they view failure as a natural part of the learning process.
3. Have a Clear Purpose
31 out of a hundred women in the book spoke about having clarity about what you want as a step to success. This is intuitively obvious, yet how many of us can claim to have clear objectives and an established plan to get to them?
Having a big dream, and having the courage to talk about goals is part of creating success for ourselves. Ask for what you want and you’ll be surprised by the results.
4. Be a Lifetime Learner
29 out of a hundred successful women talked about the importance of continuous learning for their journey. What helped was having a growth mindset: recognise that “I don’t understand” and “I don’t know” are powerful words and should be used more often. One should never be afraid to ask for help.
You are on the right path if you embrace your curiosity and strive to never be the smartest person in the room.
5. Strong Work Ethic
25 out of a hundred successful women talked about the importance of a strong work ethic and discipline for their path. They emphasised never to expect your team to work harder than you. That means volunteering for tasks to broaden your experience: however small, raise your hand.
If you own a business, never let a part of it be unknown, get informed about everything.
Whatever the case, be sure to engage with perseverance and grit.
The five ideas above were so common, I think they are indeed the most powerful factors in determining if one will be successful or not by the current society’s standards.
However, these women spoke of so much more! From embracing authenticity to expecting work to merge passion and values (meaning upholding and expecting impeccable reputation), I felt so uplifted by their thoughts!
So many of them spoke about the importance of prioritising family time and seeking as well as creating diverse, inclusive workplaces that I truly think more women leaders are needed.
They genuinely strive to create a better world for everyone.
I found the book so inspiring and empowering that I have chosen to list here some of the quotes from “Women Mean Business” which most spoke to me.
I hope they brighten your day! 🥰
Don’t strive to be the best “female” executive. Strive to be the best executive.
Jillian Evanko, President and CEO of Chart Industries, Inc. (NYSE: GTLS)
You can be a great mom AND a great executive.
I am the mother of a now nine-year-old daughter. When she asks me to deliver a keynote speech, I am proud that my leadership influence is reflected in her. Yet I am even prouder when she tells people that she wants to be a mommy (and an author) when she grows up!
Jillian Evanko, President and CEO of Chart Industries, Inc. (NYSE: GTLS)
I learned a valuable lesson about fearlessness years ago. I was with childhood friends when one called me fearless, and I was struck by her assessment. We’d known each other since we were teens and shared many life moments. When I challenged her description, her response was an “aha” moment. “Yes,” she said, “but you never let those fears stop you.”
Cindy Kent, COO of Everly Health
Be your authentic self, and know that is enough.
I was told I wasn’t “executive material” in the middle of my career. I was too nice. But I knew I had something to offer, even though I didn’t fit the mold. I knew positive leadership had value. I didn’t change; instead, what’s changed is the idea of who can be a leader and what it means to lead.
Barbara Humpton, Presdent and CEO of Siemens USA
Find comfort in your discomfort.
Step into the arena, work hard and listen even harder. Make a mistake every single day because that is where growth comes from. If you aren’t making mistakes and stubbing your toe, you aren’t learning and you’re living in a zone of mediocrity. Excellence lives outside your comfort zone.
Jodie W. McLean, CEO of Edens
The Three Ds: Detours, Distractions and Disappointment
Our journeys are filled with these three Ds. When faced with an obstacle, know what you’re going up against. If it’s a distraction, ignore it. If it’s a disappointment, take your time to grieve, but not too long. Then move on. If it’s a detour, find an alternative solution. Success is about diagnosing which one of the three Ds you’re up against and taking the appropriate path to handle it.
Phyllis Newhouse, CEO and Founder of Shoulderup Techology Acquisition Corp.
Become a friend and coach to your inner critic.
We all have a voice in our head that tears us down; instills shame, doubt, or fear; and prevents us from taking bold action. That same inner critic cab also drive us to judge others. We can’t silence the voice, but we can calm it and stop letting it control our behaviours. We can pause, find compassion for ourselves and others, and act from there.
Jenifer McCollum, CEO of Linkage
Women is business, entrepreneurship and on boards is a hot topic today. The best way to lead forward is to inspire. This is what you will find on the pages if this book: the stories of success, wisdom, inspiration, motivation, risk taking, hard work and more. Many women featured in the book share their way to success and empowerment, support and direction to achieve your goals. These stories will give ideas on what we can control in lives should be our main objective, determination to fulfill your potential should be the only worry. Very interesting stories and a nice read for any gender.
“Women Mean Business” was an interesting read and I am grateful for the opportunity to read this arc. I found a lot of “nuggets” while reading and would recommend this book.
Thank you NetGalley for my digital arc in exchange for the review.
Women Mean Business is a collection of insights for any woman who wants to make her mark on the world. This book is full of advice from successful female leaders, and it provides practical tips on how to achieve your career goals. Wherever you are in your work life, this book will provide you with more wisdom and inspiration.