I'd Rather Be in Charge: A Legendary Business Leader's Roadmap for Achieving Pride, Power, and Joy at Work


Charlotte Beers is proof that women can achieve power, pride, and joy at work—despite the odds.

In the highly competitive and often cutthroat world of advertising, Charlotte became the first female ever to head two giant, multinational advertising
agencies. In serving her demanding clients, she helped build many of the most important brands around the world.
Today, ...

See more details below
Paperback (First Trade Paper Edition)
BN.com price
(Save 14%)$15.99 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (24) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $7.95   
  • Used (17) from $1.99   
I'd Rather Be in Charge: A Legendary Business Leader's Roadmap for Achieving Pride, Power, and Joy at Work

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price
(Save 34%)$15.99 List Price


Charlotte Beers is proof that women can achieve power, pride, and joy at work—despite the odds.

In the highly competitive and often cutthroat world of advertising, Charlotte became the first female ever to head two giant, multinational advertising
agencies. In serving her demanding clients, she helped build many of the most important brands around the world.
Today, Charlotte rates her current title—teacher—her most satisfying, as she travels through the United States and Europe educating women on how to ignite their own strengths, in what she calls “the era of forging ahead for women.”
Her pioneering experiences have been captured in I’d Rather Be in Charge, creating a blueprint for women as they face their own challenges and strive to achieve the positions of leadership and influence they deserve.

Told in an intimate and honest style, I’d Rather Be in Charge is part personal history, part pragmatic guide, as Charlotte describes her own  experiences, lessons from her peers such as Martha Stewart and Suze Orman, as well as stories of her students’ transformations. By chronicling both successes and mistakes, Charlotte proves that finding your own personal style of leadership is the only way to take charge, find satisfaction, and gain confidence in the ever-evolving workplace of today.
I’d Rather Be in Charge is a breakthrough book. It is a master class for women who are ready to shatter their own glass ceilings.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Charlotte is the greatest master of knowledge I have ever met. This book will help working women remove their self-imposed blocks and become as great as they are meant to be.”
—Suze Orman, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Charlotte Beers is: Captivating. Persuasive. Charming. Disarming. Eloquent. Substantive. Successful. Modest. Strategic. Capable. Determined. Convincing. Enough said. Read this book to learn how to be in charge.”
—Martha Stewart, New York Times bestselling author

"A role model and champion to all women who want to make the most of their careers, Beers offers useful guidance on how to seize opportunities, be influential, and shape events."
Publishers Weekly

“Reading I’d Rather Be in Charge, I found myself reflecting on my own way of teaching and leading. Charlotte candidly shares with us how she found her own unique path to influence in her exceptional journey in Corporate America and gives us precious advice on how to find ours. I will draw on some of her lessons in my Power and Influence class this season.” 
—Julie Battilana, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School 

“Charlotte Beers goes straight for the jugular with tales from her meteoric career in advertising. But her true gift is ultimately the ability to teach us all how to be both memorable and persuasive in our own communications. A must read that combines wit and wisdom in equal measure.”

—Ted Bell, New York Times bestselling author

Publishers Weekly
Former Ogilvy & Mather CEO and undersecretary of state Beers distills her considerable knowledge to help women lead, inspire, and influence others. She urges women to change how they view themselves at work and change the perception of those around them in order to make their potential apparent. To do this, women should understand that men work differently, and that the expectations placed on women in the workplace go beyond being able to run the show. Beers strongly advocates getting to know yourself so that taking charge is inevitable, and offers five questions to clarify your true nature. Along the way, Beers shares constructive and cautionary stories that illustrate positive, as well as negative, interactions and behavior. While she provides worthwhile advice throughout, her most valuable counsel is on the double-edged sword of communication and knowing when to take the lead. A role model and champion to all women who want to make the most of their careers, Beers offers useful guidance on how to seize opportunities, be influential, and shape events. Agent: Jan Miller, Dupree Miller Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Library Journal
At first former undersecretary of state and advertising executive Beers's leadership manual seems to tread familiar ground: women have different management strengths from men and must be aware of how prevailing gender stereotypes affect them and others and how their personality affects their work. The first half of the book covers these points and more, and suggests women assess themselves with specific questions to understand their own leadership styles. In the book's second half, Beers breaks a little new ground. Relying less on anecdotes drawn from her management seminars, she gets to the crux of the matter of business leadership—a nice touch, as she advocates the same directness in the workplace—and offers strategies for managing relationships, crafting communications, and presenting with pizzazz. There are good suggestions here, such as resisting the urge to overexplain and creating messages aimed squarely to provoke desired responses. VERDICT Despite the generic subtitle, many professional women will find a great deal of practical wisdom in Beers's experiences and suggestions.—Sarah Statz Cords, The Reader's Advisor Online
Kirkus Reviews
A celebrated advertising executive shares her insights on women and leadership. Beers looks back at her mistakes and successes as an executive and CEO for some of the world's most powerful advertising companies, as well as stories from participants in her women's leadership workshops. In the first part of the book, the author guides readers through several exercises designed to give them greater insight into the way their family history and personal qualities influence their behavior at work. Some of the exercises consist of thought questions that readers can easily answer at home. Others, including one exercise that asks readers to conduct "market research" on themselves, demand more effort and would make more sense in the context of a workshop. In the second half of the book, Beers gives readers concrete advice on navigating the work world; though it references the exercises given in the first part, it could be read on its own. The chapter on effective presentations is especially illuminating. Late in the book, Beers splits workers into three categories: doers, managers and leaders. The author's advice will be most helpful for managers who want to become leaders; there is relatively little information on beginning or resuming a career or making the leap into management. Refreshingly, Beers avoids hand wringing about the "mommy track" or work/family balance. The author assumes that readers are interested in career success and focuses solely on methods by which to achieve it. A straightforward guide showing successful women how to reach the next step in their careers.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593157265
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press
  • Publication date: 9/25/2012
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 527,047
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Texas-born Charlotte Beers has combined her business insight with an innate Southern charm to become a legend in the competitive world of advertising. Featured on the covers of Fortune and Businessweek as one of the most powerful women in America, Charlotte and her mantra of the difference between products and brands revolutionized major ad campaigns brought unprecedented success to her clients and the advertising agencies she managed.
Charlotte began her career in advertising as an account executive at J. Walter Thompson Advertising, later becoming the first female senior vice president in the firm’s history. From J. Walter Thompson, Charlotte brought her skills to Tatham-Laird & Kudner as CEO. Her success led her to her
next position as chairman/CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, a multinational advertising agency. Harvard Business School still teaches their bestselling case study on leadership entitled “Charlotte Beers at Ogilvy.”
From 2001 to 2003, Charlotte served as undersecretary of state under Colin Powell. For her service, Charlotte was awarded the distinguished service medal, the State Department’s highest honor.
Charlotte currently serves on the board of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and conducts seminars throughout the United States and Europe, teaching women the tools for transforming themselves into managers and leaders in the many industries they represent.
Charlotte resides in Charleston, South Carolina.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Part I Personal

1 Environment: It's Not About the Work" 3

Story: Internal Affairs 26

2 Messages: How You Learned to Engage 35

3 Traits: The Stranger Within 61

4 Self-Portrait: Who You Think You Are 81

Part II Public

5 Road Show: Who They Think You Are 103

Story: External Action 129

6 Relationships: Your Delivery System 135

7 Communication: I Hear You 159

8 Presentations: Informing, Asking, Confronting 177

9 In Charge: When to Take the Lead 197

10 Context: Where You Are 217

Story: Yours 237

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Legendary advertising executive Charlotte Beers focuses on the q

    Legendary advertising executive Charlotte Beers focuses on the qualities and skills women need to pursue leadership roles, but every professional – male or female – can benefit from her perspectives and strategies. She unabashedly dishes up a fascinating, no-holds-barred blend of her experiences and those of the students at her “X Factor” seminars. The result is a solid, workable strategy for tapping into your innate talents. Beers’s mission is to develop females’ leadership potential by helping them avoid being “considered womanly at the expense of being seen as leaderly.” She emphasizes succeeding by tapping into your essential self. getAbstract endorses her informed autobiography for everyone with higher aspirations on the job and in life.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 25, 2012

    Several Ah Ha Moments

    This book is very timely for me and I took away several new perspectives and concrete steps to take. One of things I'm excited about is an idea I have to organize my internal company facing resume using her catagories of Doer, Manager, Leader.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)