Strategies for Being Visible:14 Profile-Raising Ideas for Emerging Female Leaders

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

Great book for women in early to middle career. Lots of practical, actionable tips. Well worth reading.
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I received an ebook from Netgalley in return for my honest review. I chose this book because I felt that I needed an update on how to be a female leader, especially in light of recent attention paid the gender pay gap and the MeToo movement. The areas I have previously worked in, both in business and my scientific field in academia, are dominated by middle aged men. So how does a diminutive, softly spoken woman in her 30s get her voice heard?

I didn’t read this book so much as study it! It is packed with ideas, tips, examples and practical exercises. The style of writing is accessible and the strategies are laid out logically. This book seems geared towards a young woman in her first professional role at a larger corporation. The strategies however, are applicable to any stage of one’s career and might be particularly useful after a career break. They can also be applied to a non-corporate or smaller business setting, it just takes a little thought.

Ritchie starts with the key stones to build the foundation of a successful career. This involves working out what you want from your career and planning how to achieve it. A great tip is keeping a journal of challenges, achievements and impacts at work. This help you track your progress and as a bonus you’ll have an up-to-date list for performance reviews and new applications. It then goes through strategies which will open you up to development opportunities and teaches you how to spot them. The strategies then progress this further by showing you how to become more memorable, how to develop and leverage your network, and how to become influential on a topic or area. What sets this advice apart from other career books for women, is the peppering of real-life examples. There are stories from senior women in business describing the challenges they faced and how they went about overcoming them. As well as making the advice more realistic, the real-life examples also help the reader to apply the advice to their own context.  

The “Speaking Authoritatively” strategy resounded hugely with me. It’s about stating your opinions as fact and getting rid of phrases like “I think” or “I believe”. Personally, I’m even worse, I’ll offer my boss a solid solution and preface it with “Maybe we could consider trying…” and then back it up with reasons for why it will work. Most men don’t speak like that, they have more natural authority and have confidence in their opinions. I have a PhD so that should make me feel confident in my abilities, but as women we’re conditioned to be softer and less ‘pushy’ in our approach. Unfortunately, this is the opposite of what’s needed to succeed, that’s not to say that women need to be ‘in your face’, simply that women need to empower themselves before they can lead others. 

Similarly, the 12th strategy on “Making Meetings Work for You” was a real eye opener for me. I used to be on a few committees (dominated by middle aged men). When I contributed, I was often immediately talked over. I let it slide because on the face of it perhaps the person speaking has more experience, so feels their opinion is more important. Deep down though, I knew everyone on the committee should be treated with the same respect. It made me sad and feel that my contribution wasn’t worthwhile, so I spoke less. These were nice guys so it didn’t occur to me that their behaviour stemmed from a misogynistic attitude. One time, an academic question came up (I was the only academic on this industry panel) so I began to speak and express factual information. A man started talking over me, he was sharing his opinion as he had no academic experience. This made me angry because there was no way anyone else could speak with more authority on that point than me, yet still I was being talked over. The meeting chair stopped the man speaking and reverted to me. But what if that hadn’t happened? Ritchie says that if you’re talked over, you should continue to speak but in a louder voice (don’t shout), lean towards and make eye contact with the chair. Similarly, if someone takes your idea, respond with “I’m glad you think my idea is a good one.” Do it with humour and you won’t be perceived as aggressive.  

I can honestly recommend this book to any woman, in any industry or sector, and at any stage of her career. Early stage career women will get the most benefit, but no one does everything perfectly all of the time, so more seasoned professionals will find useful tips too. And if I ever get out of this sick bed and back to my committee meetings, no one is ever going to talk over me again.
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Great actionable strategies for getting noticed and putting yourself out there at work. Even though I work in a public library (so, not a traditional business setting) I found many new things I can do to start moving my career in the right direction.
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I received a copy of this book from NetGalley to review and I will recommend it. It was easy to read and provides an actionable plan with realistic goals to get noticed at work. I like how the strategies were specific and not vague and backed up by others that have actually followed through with the plan. It was simple and easy to get through.
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Honest and in-depth advice for reaching your full potential.  This advice is presented in easy to follow language that can be broken up and applied in pieces at a time.
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Good, solid book. It's not revolutionary, in the way Lean In was, but a good reminder for women to push themselves in business. It's good to read material geared specifically to women.
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I really liked this book and found it very helpful! It was a quick read but packed powerful messages inside. I loved how Ritchie broke the 14 strategies down, touching on each in ways that made sense and didn't overwhelm. It made it easier to digest. I enjoyed the quotes and thoughts from ladies in business and appreciated how she mixed a good bit of those in. Again, a super quick read but packs a powerful punch! As someone in my late 20s looking to move up the ladder, I needed to "hear" a lot of these things and took a lot of them to heart. I'll be recommending this to a lot of friends!
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I suppose that a part of me is quite sad that more than forty years after legislation was supposed to remove gender discrimination in the work place that there is still a need for a book that aims to address the inequalities between men and women at work.

If proof was needed the issue has been highlighted today by the news that the UK Government research has identified that one in nine women say they were fired, made redundant or felt forced out of a job when they returned to work after maternity or adoption leave.

Over the years many books have been published that aim to provide a route to success for female workers and in some ways, you could argue that Strategy for Being Visible covers much of that well-trodden ground. But that would be a far too simplistic summarisation of Susie Ritchie’s well-thought-out manual.

Although aimed at female workers a reader of any gender would find value in reading Strategies for Being Visible.

The reasons for this are that Ritchie hasn’t over worked her suggestions limiting her proposed strategies, to just fourteen, so there is space for her to explore them in some detail.

Having a strategy is just a starting point, to make a strategy work you have to understand why it is likely to work, which is the main take away from reading this book. Ritchie provides loads of explanation of the reasons why her proposed strategies will work and, in the process, also provides, for this male reader at least, some enlightenment about why past strategies have not worked.
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I received a free ARC copy from NetGalley for this review. 

I really enjoyed this book. My Kindle version is covered in highlights and notes. There were so many good ideas, both general and specific. Ritchie gave lots of examples of real women who did the things she was talking about. She was up-to-date on social media which can be unusual in books, and her tips seemed solid. 

I read some of the portions aloud to my more senior family members who have worked in business for years and we discussed the ideas. I didn't come across any that seemed stupid or like they wouldn't work for anyone (of course not all of them will work for everyone). 

I especially liked the "Try This" sections at the end of every chapter that summed the chapter up into an actionable step (or steps). The sections often built on each other which made it feel more like a plan than a series of unconnected tips. 

Overall, definitely recommend for people getting into their careers and those in careers wishing to make big moves.
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Strategies for Being Visible doesn't give particularly new advice, it does provide reasons why these strategies help our careers. Each chapter also provides guidelines for how to perform each step. I liked the book because it seems to have spoken to the heart of the issue-- some career women are far more modest than men, regardless of whether they're actually more qualified. The strategies not only help us speak up, but also allay our fears that voicing our opinions would be out of place. Although it's not explicitly stated in the book, the thread seems to be "if they can do it, why can't/shouldn't we." Ritchie also touches on some of the systematic biases that put the glass ceiling in place. We can't change people's biases overnight, be we can chip away at them bit by bit. For the most part, Strategies for Being Visible seems to focus specifically on cisgender (i.e. assigned female at birth and identifying as such), but trans and queer women will also find some gems in here. I took away one star because this book is full of the "same old advice" but I still highly recommend it to any woman-- just starting or otherwise-- who feels they would like to make more progress (money, responsibility, respect, etc) in their careers. 
***
I'd like to thank both NetGalley and John Hunt Publishing Ltd for providing the advanced reader copy.
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Just finished reading the book "Strategies for Being Visible" by Susan Ritchie and found it a very good and useful tool for both female and male, inside the corporate environment and also in community/country networking. This is a very good 14 strategies to incorporate for making oneself visible with what this person does and contributes to a company, community, city or country. I strongly believe that in the age of globalization and digital business these strategies can be wisely used for making the actions noticeable by other people. Many thanks to Susan for putting together the experience of practical tips in connecting to people and networking. I have found very useful the examples of other people as they can be also replicated. This book can be used as a handbook for anyone looking to progress and get noticed for both professional and personal fields.
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This slim volume is straight to the point with the 14  strategic ideas for emerging female leaders.   The examples and quotes are primarily from the United Kingdom which is rather refreshing, 

If you are a reader of business  & investing books,  then you will not find these suggestions as groundbreaking. 
Also, the author misattributes a 2015 New York Times article to a Cheryl Sandberg and Adam Sadler but was actually co-written by Sheryl Sandberg (author of Lean In)  and Adam Grant (author of Originals,  Give and Take) which was rather disappointing

However,  this book will serve as an occasional reference point for tracking one's career.  I also liked the fact that the author included a reading list at the end of the book.  I would suggest that the author includes a cheat sheet as an added bonus at the end of the book
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There's this saying that "it seems simple until you do it," and that's what these fourteen tips shared here are.
I was interested in reading this book because I'm in my mid-career and had to change professions to better pursue my passion and the author provides practical tips to help boost and maintain confidence and most of all increase focus and attainment of set goals. I love this book because it seems simple enough, yet these are most of the things we overlook especially as women in our careers. I noticed that I do not make use of my networks and I've mapped out a better way to go about it.
Thank you Netgalley for the eARC.
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I have'n't finished the book yet (am on page 64), but I dare say that it is an excellent book. The author gave insights on common things we do and say but we don't realise its impact on our careers.

Another reason I am giving this feedback early on is that i noticed minor typo errors on page 40ish and page 64.

Thanks again for letting me read your book. Now, am back to enjoy the rest of it.
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