Kicking Ass in a Corset
Jane Austen’s 6 Principles for Living and Leading from the Inside Out
by Andrea Kayne
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 15 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 15 Sep 2021
University of Iowa Press, University Of Iowa Press
What can organizational leaders in business, education, government, and most any enterprise learn from an unemployed, unmarried woman who lived in patriarchal, misogynistic rural England more than 200 years ago? As it turns out, a great deal. In identifying the core virtues of Austen’s heroines—confidence, pragmatism, diligence, integrity, playfulness, and humility—Andrea Kayne uncovers the six principles of internally referenced leadership that, taken together, instruct women how to tap into a deep well-spring of personal agency and an internal locus of control no matter what is going on around them. Utilizing practical exercises, real-life case studies, and literary and leadership scholarship, Kicking Ass in a Corset maps out effective leadership that teaches readers of any age or profession how to tune out the external noise and listen to themselves so that they can truly live and lead from the inside out.
A Note From the Publisher
“What an utterly clever use of Jane Austen’s brilliance to inspire women to realize the truth that no matter what chaos may be unfolding in their external world, true leadership, whether of the self or others, relies upon internal qualities of the human spirit. Pure gold.”—Caroline Myss, bestselling author of Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing
“By combining her significant expertise in organizational leadership with insight-filled love for the novels of Jane Austen, Andrea Kayne delivers a fresh take on both. Kayne uses Austen’s six heroines as models for today’s women leaders, as she cleverly weaves together literary criticism, memoir, and leadership advice. Kicking Ass in a Corset—which also features provocative questions and helpful exercises designed to move you forward—is an engaging, readable book that is sure to inspire.”—Devoney Looser, author of Publishers Weekly Best Summer Book, The Making of Jane Austen
“Jane Austen knew, so why do so many modern women fail to see their own power? Kicking Ass in a Corset is a fresh and brilliant playbook for internally referenced leadership inspired by Jane Austen’s heroines. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an Austen fan or not. This is the best empowerment book for women today!”—Laura Berman, NY Times bestselling author, Empowerment Relationship Expert, TV host, OWN Network
“Kicking Ass in a Corset is a practical and insightful guide to finding one’s resolve and agency under great constraint and in trying times. This book is a road map for women leaders who want to tap into their own reserve of power to lead consciously, skillfully, and fearlessly. As someone who believes in the power of cultivating our leadership skills in all areas of life, Kayne’s work is a necessary and supportive addition to my bookshelf.”—Angella M. Nazarian, author, Pioneers of the Possible: Celebrating Visionary Women of the World and co-Founder of Visionary Women
Average rating from 8 members
Andrea Kayne’s Kicking Ass in a Corset uses the work of Jane Austen to identify six qualities that can help organizational leaders survive, thrive and make change today. What could be a cute but silly concept in other hands achieves genuine depth and impact here thanks to Kayne’s expertise in gender and leadership issues as well as her understanding of Austen’s emotional and social landscapes. While the novels of "The Great Jane" yield the book’s framework, detailed discussions of contemporary leaders, institutions and strategies make it both timely and useful.
As a stay at home mother, and not particularly a leader, I was at first concerned that this book wouldn't be a good fit for me! However, there was a lot to glean from this creative book which matches principles of leadership to Jane Austen heroines. An accessible read, it was fun to analyze the leading ladies of the Austen novels, and glean life lessons and applications from them. If this book doesn't inspire you to look inside and seek growth, I dont know what will.
Thank you to Netgalley for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!
Books on leadership are rarely enjoyable to read, let alone easy to get through and understand. Kicking Ass in a Corset is a brilliant introduction into how women can become leaders without having to push away our femininity or become hardened while making our own way to the top, whilst referencing, of all things, some of Jane Austen's heroines.
Although this leadership manual in heavy on terminology, Andrea Kayne creates an easy awareness on the self, your values & beliefs, and those of others to encourage and internalise what can be, coupled by exercises that challenge what you've read and how you think.
This book was awesome as a whole. I am not a non-fiction reader and I'm not ashamed of that. I prefer to be diverted by stories than read about things I deal with on a daily basis. This book is an exception.
Because I'm so inclined to read fiction, I thought, "Here's a book that can put these concepts in a frame I can follow without dying of boredom!" I was right. Now, I don't agree with everything the author throws in there, but I would highly recommend this book to any female in leadership that loves some Jane Austen.
The author takes you through the plots of the six most popular Jane Austen stories and explains how each brings some new (and needed) skill or way of thinking to the table. It's pretty brilliant. I found myself highly motivated to be the best leader I could be, regardless of what's happening around me.
Now, I'm sure people who read a ton of business and leadership book will find tons of fault with this. That's cool. This one's not really for you guys.