Mom-in-Chief : How Wisdom from the Workplace Can Save Your Family from Chaos


In this book popular Working Mother magazine columnist and executive consultant Jamie Woolf shows how the skills that working mothers learn at the office, such as leadership and team building, can work at home with their children and families. With the wisdom and rye humor of a working mom "who's been there and done that," Woolf shows how any woman can fulfill her parenting potential and navigate the daily challenges on the home front with skill and grace.

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In this book popular Working Mother magazine columnist and executive consultant Jamie Woolf shows how the skills that working mothers learn at the office, such as leadership and team building, can work at home with their children and families. With the wisdom and rye humor of a working mom "who's been there and done that," Woolf shows how any woman can fulfill her parenting potential and navigate the daily challenges on the home front with skill and grace.

Mom-in-Chief is filled with real-life stories, in-the-trenches strategies, and interactive assessment tools that clearly show how proven workplace techniques can increase your family's bottom line for happiness. Drawing from her two decades of experience, Jamie Woolf offers her "best practices" that will help you improve your communication, create a healthy family culture, discover your parent leadership style, manage crises, and thrive during your child's adolescence.

Mom-in-Chief offers practical solutions to common leadership dilemmas, including

  • When to step in and when to step back
  • Why working with your spouse or partner is crucial to executive function and team happiness
  • How to maximize the learning opportunities that come from mistakes
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Mom-in-Chief is the best book I’ve read for the working woman who has it all together at the office but completely loses her cool when she comes home to find the baby in the kitty litter, and the husband watching Celebrity Golf. Her tips and strategies are brilliant, her stories inspiring, and her book very smart, funny and useful." —Michele Borba, author of No More Misbehavin’ and Building Moral Intelligence

"Jamie Woolf, 20 year veteran in leadership training, has taken her corporate coaching skills into the kitchen and finally taught us that it’s not about child development, it’s about mom development. Not a bunch of theories, just clear cut leadership skills that you take out of your tool box when needed - bedside reading for every conscientious mother – or father."—Alexia Nye Jackson, Founder and CEO of MOTHER: THE JOB

"I was VERY impressed by the whole premise of Mom-in-Chief. That's a good sign, since I am the least corporate person on the planet and all leadership jargon gives me the hives. But Jamie Woolf makes it sound reasonable, rational and very helpful. I feel like I'll be a better mom already." —Regan McMahon, author, Revolution in the Bleachers: How Parents Can Take Back Family Life in a World Gone Crazy Over Youth Sports

"Jamie Woolf understands how workplace skills like leadership and team building can help families flourish. But she also has a deep understanding of the differences between how women and men operate both in the office and at home. That’s why her book is original and exceptionally valuable to all mothers who work. Her specific tips and techniques are useful, insightful, and useful to all of us." —Michael Gurian, author, The Wonder of Boys, The Wonder of Girls, The Minds of Boys, and Leadership and the Sexes: Using Gender Science to Create Success in Business

"Jamie Woolf utterly dispels the notion that motherhood is a leadership detour. Instead, she makes a strong and compelling case that good parenting not only requires real leadership skills, but strengthens them. The more women come to believe that the skills they learn before their children are born will make them better parents — and the leadership skills they hone as parents will make them better at everything else — the more forcefully they will demand more flexible workplaces and take their place there as leaders and decision-makers."—Dee Dee Myers, author, Why Women Should Rule the World; former White House press secretary

"Mom-in Chief is lively, readable, and right on with great advice for working mothers. Finally, an author makes a real connection between the workplace and the home that resonates and illuminates. Jamie Woolf writes with authority, compassion, and common sense. As a mom trying to juggle a family, a job, and a life, I saw myself on every page of this book. Sometimes, I was the "do", sometimes I was the "don't!" But now I have Woolf's real life examples and principles to use a guide in my everyday parenting. I am going to put "Mom-in-Chief" on my business card. —Lian Dolan, author, Satellite Sisters' Uncommon Senses; co-founder of Satellite Sisters

"I love that parents can translate their leadership skills to parenting WITHOUT making their homes look more like their workplaces. Mom-in-Chief clearly shows parents that they already have the skills they need to parent in a way that is more fun, more effective, and more rewarding. Say good-bye to exhausting end-of-the-day meltdowns and frustrating battles with food and homework: being a mom doesn't have to be so hard."—Christine Carter, Ph.D. , Executive Director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley; author of the blog Half Full: Science for Raising Happy Kids and Raising Happiness

"Being a mom means being a leader, and that is exactly what Jamie Woolf explores in her delightfully engaging, masterfully researched, and highly practical new book, Mom-In-Chief. It's chock full of real life, down-to-earth, at-home leadership stories that every mom can relate to. Woolf provides quizzes to assess leadership approaches and activities to help strengthen leadership abilities. If our society is going to develop more exemplary leaders who will guide us into the future, our moms are going to be playing a vital role in that critical endeavor. Moms, there is no better way I can think of to begin preparing yourself for that job than by reading Mom-in-Chief. And Dads, don't let the title put you off. This book is also for you." —Jim Kouzes, Award-winning and bestselling coauthor of The Leadership Challenge; The Dean’s Executive Professor of Leadership Leavey School of Business Santa Clara University

Publishers Weekly

Woolf, a columnist for Working Mother magazine, addresses the universal work/home harmony issue: how can a successful executive use her leadership skills to make her household happy, more efficient and stress-free? Bringing leadership skills to parenting might seem like a real survival strategy to an overwhelmed exec/mom, and the author draws similarities between managing a business and managing a family-including the old saws of setting goals, cultivating self-awareness, fostering a healthy culture, managing crises, navigating difficult relationships and balancing priorities. In applying the concept to a variety of family scenarios ranging from recalcitrant husbands through defiant toddlers and oppositional teens to never-ending household chores, she covers everything she believes a smart career-oriented woman needs to know to unleash her parenting potential. Using the keystones of "transformational leadership" (influenced by The Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes), it might be possible for overworked executives to "feel less like overburdened servants and more like competent, effective family leaders." All that is well and good, and reading this might help some women feel better about themselves, but in reality, a family is not a business, spouses are not executives, and children are not employees. While this may be a "mom development" book, its premise is slim and its contents stretched and repetitive. The more realistic question might be: how can parenting skills make better executives? (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Woolf, a columnist for Working Mother magazine, demonstrates how working mothers can apply their career expertise at setting clear goals and managing conflict to their parenting practices. Woolf's comprehensive guide covers everything from discovering one's leadership style and leading through crises to managing the growing pains of adolescence and balancing home/work priorities. It's a good bet that many mothers, whether they work outside or inside the home, will find her strategies, case studies, and personal experiences helpful and applicable. For most public libraries.

—Deborah Bigelow
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470381311
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/3/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Jamie Woolf reminds us that leading a family doesn't mean churning out living masterpieces or indulging children with the perfect everything. It means inspiring without pushing your own agenda, nurturing without micromanaging, encouraging without aiming to win a best-of-show competition, and expecting the best without ignoring the joy of childhood.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Carol Evans.



Leadership Strategy 1: Setting Big-Picture Goals.

Leadership Strategy 2: Discovering Your Leadership Style.

Leadership Strategy 3: Managing Conflict.

Leadership Strategy 4: Creating a Family Culture.

Leadership Strategy 5: Leading Through Crisis.

Leadership Strategy 6: Managing the Growing Pains of Adolescence.

Leadership Strategy 7: Balancing Priorities.

Conclusion: Bringing It All Home.


Recommended Reading.

About the Author.


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