Who Says It's a Man's World: The Girls' Guide to Corporate Domination

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Overview

The Atlantic magazine has called it the “end of men.” For the first time in U.S. history, women form the majority of the workforce, filling more managerial positions than their male counterparts. Today’s women are primed to take over the corporate world—if they don’t stumble on the way up.

Packed with insights from extraordinary women who have climbed the corporate ladder—including McDonald’s president Jan Fields, JetBlue cofounder Ann Rhoades, and fashion pioneer Liz Lange—Who ...

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Who Say's It's a Man's World: The Girl's Guide to Corporate Domination

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Overview

The Atlantic magazine has called it the “end of men.” For the first time in U.S. history, women form the majority of the workforce, filling more managerial positions than their male counterparts. Today’s women are primed to take over the corporate world—if they don’t stumble on the way up.

Packed with insights from extraordinary women who have climbed the corporate ladder—including McDonald’s president Jan Fields, JetBlue cofounder Ann Rhoades, and fashion pioneer Liz Lange—Who Says It’s a Man’s World helps women navigate the rocky path from cubicle to executive suite. This ultra-practical guide offers an ideal “Success Profile” along with the measurable action steps needed to excel in each of five reputation-enhancing areas: personal development, social skills, effectiveness, team building, and leadership.

Complete with the latest research on women in the workplace and an eye-opening “promotability” assessment, Who Says It’s a Man’s World provides readers with everything they need to build their own fast-track career plan.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Thanks to business journalist Bennington, women now have an energetic, strong-minded guide to dodging the worst pitfalls of a corporate career. A survey of more than 700 female executives found, to the author’s horror, that more of them preferred a male boss to working for a woman. Meanwhile, only 4% of Fortune 500 CEOs are female, and from personal experience Bennington doesn’t believe that women can improve this discouraging statistic by collectively emulating Hollywood’s “take-no-prisoners alpha femme” archetype. In a no-nonsense tone, she describes the corporate world’s challenges and opportunities, observing that jumps in position and salary happen not at review time but when you take the bull by the horns. Topics discussed include avoiding chronic (and unproductive) busyness, conquering stress and anxiety, and moving from self-awareness to leadership, as well as setting appropriately ambitious goals with a “VIG” (virtues, intentions, and goals) list. “You must be a magnificent woman first,” she points out sagely, “to have a magnificent career.” Bennington’s realistic, straightforward advice, bolstered with “Woman 2 Woman” narratives from executives like Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook, will prove invaluable to readers. The front illustration of a stiletto heel and the “girl’s guide” wording are unfortunate, but, hey, at least the cover’s not pink. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

"As an educator, I appreciate the practitioner approach, witty, mildly caustic, and affable, with an educator’s heart in her latest offering." --The Voice of Job Seekers

"Emily Bennington's Who Says It's A Man's World? is a great, easy-to-understand guide to navigating the office." --Chicago Now

"I had one of the most enjoyable and enlightening plane rides in a really long time…and it had everything to do with reading Emily Bennington’s latest book..." --PeopleResults

"What I like most about Bennington’s book is the focus on self first… Business is a game about people—like everything else in life—it all starts with you.” --Washington Post

“…great deal of useful (and often refreshingly blunt) advice that specifically relates to how women can help themselves achieve the corporate success that has either eluded or been denied them.” --Accounting Today

"Who Says It's a Man's World is the perfect guide for the current and aspiring professional women." --Kick Ass Book Reviews

"This is an uplifting book, packed with stories and anecdotes from women in business along with lots of practical advice." --A Girl's Guide to Project Management

Like every wildly successful advice book, this one approaches a badly bruised and beaten topic with a fresh perspective.” --ProfessionGal

"It may be serendipitous that Who Says It's a Man's World appeared the same time as Lean In….But Emily Bennington’s book is more fun to read.” --Blue Heron Journal

"This book is the tool you have been waiting for to set your career on the right path!" --Portland Book Review

“...provides a real hands on workbook for women to take charge of their own careers to increase the likelihood of reaching a C-level position” --Blog Business World

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814431870
  • Publisher: AMACOM Books
  • Publication date: 1/10/2013
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,478,103
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

EMILY BENNINGTON is a frequent speaker on the topic of career success and has been featured on Fox Business, CNN, and ABC, and quoted in publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and Washington Post Express. She is a contributing writer for Monster.com, a featured blogger for The Huffington Post, Forbes Woman, and US News and World Report, and coauthor of Effective Immediately.

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Read an Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Ding, Dong! The Bitch Is Dead

A FEW YEARS ago I worked for a corporate public accounting

firm that hired a whip-smart new grad named Asha.

While our firm was among the 15th largest in the country,

many top recruits heard the siren call of even bigger companies

and Asha—being a star student—had her choice of any of them.

I knew she had recently wrapped up an internship with a particular

big firm-that-shall-remain-nameless and received an

employment offer, too. So, over a cold beer at a baseball game

we sponsored (ah, corporate life) I asked her why she chose us.

“The people.”

She answered without hesitation—and I knew what she

meant. While still being very corporate—right down to the boring

gray walls and penalty fines for missing timesheet deadlines—

our firm did make gallant efforts to marry high profits

with the hospitality of its Southern roots.

For Asha, the culture-first approach to choosing her employer

stemmed from a negative experience she had while interning for

the firm-that-shall-remain-nameless. She spoke indignantly

about how the company actively encouraged interns to compete

with each other by announcing, for example, that only a fraction

of those who survived the “three-month job interview” would be

brought on full-time. Naturally, this caused the workplace

equivalent of bum-rushing lifeboats on the Titanic. In one incident,

an intern received a last-minute invitation to a reception

where firm partners and clients would be in attendance. Sensing

a huge opportunity (a.k.a. fish-in-a-barrel networking), the

intern kept the event a secret from everyone else and went solo.

If that story makes you go “Whoa! What a dick!” you’re in the

right place.

Because, given the title of this book, Who Says It’s a Man’s

World, you may think this is another go get ‘em tigress guide for

women in pencil skirts who would do the same thing while

simultaneously ripping a box of copy paper in half with their

bare teeth. In fact, maybe you even semi-expect me to say that

nice equals weak, emoticons are for losers, and a “survival of the

fittest” attitude is the way to get ahead.

Well . . . sorry.

This stereotype of the take-no-prisoners alpha-femme—

while promoted gleefully and relentlessly in the media—

makes for great entertainment, but it is deadly to your career

in practice. I learned this firsthand at the entry level when I

modeled behaviors I thought were “corporate”—only to fall

flat on my face. (Think Devil Wears Prada ice queen except,

sadly, without the Prada.) I remember walking out of my firstever

performance review—crushed—when my boss at the time

(and future Effective Immediately coauthor) Skip Lineberg told

me that I had potential, but virtually no respect from the team.

Ouuuuuuuch.

Of course, being a total doormat isn’t all that effective either,

so the million-dollar question is:

“What does it take for women to win at the highest

levels of business?”

Judging by the minuscule number of women who have actually

reached such levels, it sometimes feels like the answer is

tucked away—Da Vinci Code–style—in a locked box under

three feet of marble in an undisclosed location. Women make

up half of the workforce and yet, the higher you go up the ladder,

the more that number seems to drop . . . and drop. (Forbes

once called this disparity the “biggest disappearing act on earth.”)

In fact, as I write, women account for just 4 percent of Fortune

500 CEOs, 6 percent of top earners, and 16 percent of board

directors and corporate officers. This is a shame for women and

the bottom line, because when ladies are at the table there’s no

denying it’s good for business. That’s not just ra-ra-girl-power

talk, by the way. Countless studies have confirmed it, including

a five-year analysis of 524 public companies by the research firm

Catalyst, which found that organ izations with the most women

board members outperformed those with the least number of

women holding board seats by 16 percent.

Still, after sifting through mountains of data on the business

case for gender balance, I wanted to put my own ear to the

ground to find out what, specifically, is holding us back and

what is propelling us forward. As such, I’ve spent the last few

years surveying more than 700 executive women, interviewing

scores of super-achievers for Forbes, presenting at numerous

women’s leadership events, and coaching countless professionals.

This was obviously a complex undertaking, so it may surprise

you that my conclusion to all this research can be boiled

down into one simple sentence.

You must be a magnificent woman first to have a

magnificent career.

I know, I know. Sounds too simple, right? Like everyone

else, you’ve probably been going about things the other way

around—that is, laser-focused on the job and what you need to

do to get ahead. That’s important, of course (and covered

here), but more than just offering advice on the what, this

journey is also about digging deep to help you figure out the

who. In other words, before you can decide what to do in your

career, it’s important to understand the kind of professional

you want to be.

As you’ll see in the Woman 2 Woman narratives, the most

successful women I’ve interviewed—McDonald’s USA

President Jan Fields and Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, among

others—all express this need for self-awareness, and by the end

of this book you’ll be clear on it, too.

You’ll know, specifically, the attitudes and behaviors you

need to kick to the curb and the ones you need to kick into gear.

You’ll also have the opportunity to identify your personal core

values and apply them to five key professional development

areas—self-awareness, social skills, personal effectiveness, team

development, and leadership.

This ain’t guesswork, people.

The origin of the personal values template is straight from

one of the most accomplished people in American history—Ben

Franklin—and the career plan template is similar to those used

within large, multinational companies and developed in consultation

with HR executives serving the Fortune 100.

As you work through this book, and in effect develop your

own career path, my hope is that you’ll truly understand that

“corporate domination” isn’t about kicking the door down as

so many of us have been (mis)led to believe. (Seriously, save

your stilettos.) It’s about melting it down one thought, one

interaction, and one person at a time. Asha was right. Business

is a game about people and—like everything else in life—it all

starts with you.

To your magnificence!

@EmilyBennington

P.S. For additional inspiration along your career journey, visit

me at www.emilybennington.com.

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Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Foreword by Ann Rhoades, Founding Executive

of JetBlue Airways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XIII

Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XV

Introduction: Ding, Dong! The Bitch Is Dead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

You Crafty Career Planner, You: How to Use This Book . . . . 6

PART ONE: CUT THE CRAP

Section 1: Self-Awareness

1 Getting Rid of the “Hob” on Your Brain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

The Three Biggest Career-Killing Hobs

and How to Handle Them . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Woman 2 Woman: Knowing Your Worth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

2 If Busy Were the Indicator of Success,

We’d All Be Billionaires . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

3 Reining in the Mommy Guilt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Sanity 101: Five Must-Have Tradeoffs

for Working Moms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Woman 2 Woman: On Parenting vs. and Career. . . . . . . . . . 29

4 Om the Job: How to Beat Stress and Anxiety. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Keeping in Mind @ Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Action Plan: Self-Awareness Goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Section 2: Social Skills

5 Indirect, Emotions, and Tears (Oh, My!) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Why Surveyed Women Preferred Male Bosses . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Attention Crybabies! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

6 Competition (Yeah, Let’s Talk About It) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Why Do Comparisons Trip Us Up So Much?. . . . . . . . . . . . 56

The Real C-Word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

7 Seriously, Don’t Bring Sexy Back . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Woman 2 Woman: On Harassment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

How to Handle: Tricky Social Situations @ Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Action Plan: Social Skills Goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

PART TWO: CALL IN THE GOOD STUFF

Section 3: Personal Effectiveness

8 Be More to Do More: Creating Your Virtues,

Intentions, and Goals (VIG) List. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

Virtues: Your Evergreen Self . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

Intentions: Your Present Self. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

Goals: Your Future Self . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89

So . . .Now It’s Your Turn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89

9 Building VIG-ilicious Habits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93

VIG-ilicious Scorecard A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

VIG-ilicious Scorecard B. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

10 Six Ways to Earn Respect Under the Corporate

Umbrella . . . and Seven Ways to Screw It Up Royally . . . . . . 99

Small Business versus Large Organizations:

Two Different Cultures, Two Different Games . . . . . . . 100

Woman 2 Woman: Owning Your Career. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108

11 A Note to New Grads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

Must-Have Skill #1: Communication. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112

Must-Have Skill #2: Critical Thinking

and Problem Solving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113

Woman 2 Woman: Get the Job Before

You Get the Job . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114

How to Handle: Tricky Service Situations @ Work. . . . . . . . . . . . 116

Action Plan: Personal Effectiveness Goals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129

Section 4: Team Development

12 Women Were Raised to Be Nice. So What? . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134

13 The Cure for Fake Harmony: 100 Coaching

Questions for Team Leaders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138

14 Solve the Freakin Problem! (Plus: Two Really

Simple Anger Management Techniques) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149

When The Sh*t Hits the Fan—H.E.A.L. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151

Woman 2 Woman: Managing Through

Turbulent Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158

How to Handle: Tricky Team Situations @ Work. . . . . . . . . . . . . 161

Action Plan: Team Development Goals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168

PART THREE: ALIGN WITH WHAT WORKS

Section 5: Leadership

15 Having Authority Is Like Having a Gun in Your Closet:

There If You Need It, but Hopefully You Won’t Have

to Pull the Trigger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173

Leading from Where You Are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175

Meeting Other People Where They Are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177

No Like-y? No Problem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179

Influence Right Now. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180

Woman 2 Woman: Finding Your Voice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182

16 That’s Great and All, but Nobody Knows Who You Are. . . . 184

What’s Your Worth?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186

The Difference Between Mentors and Sponsors . . . . . . . . 188

Woman 2 Woman: On Networking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189

How to Handle: Tricky Leadership Situations @ Work . . . . . . . . 192

Action Plan: Leadership Goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197

Section 6: Toolbox

Tool 1: Career Plan Template. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200

Tool 2: Six-Month Check-In Template . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203

Tool 3: Personal Career Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205

Tool 4: Leadership Readiness Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208

Tool 5: 20 Things Every Career Woman Must Know . . . . . . . . . 211

Epilogue: The Glass Ceiling Is

Only There If You Think It Is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213

Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted January 18, 2013

    I bought the book when I decided it was time to take my career i

    I bought the book when I decided it was time to take my career in hand and make a change. The first pages where an eye opener on how I had been waiting for others to launch my change, and not realizing I was the only person holding me back. I am a woman in a predominantly male position and discovered the stories she obtained from others most helpful and insightful. The "emotional" side of women gives other women a foundation that can not be received or perceived by males. I've already shared sections of the book with peers. I'm working on my To Dos and have already seen a difference in my personal accomplishments. Although it appears to be focused on women, the career tools and suggestions are for any age/gender/level.

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  • Posted January 17, 2013

    I'm a bit of a career book junkie. The title made me pick it up

    I'm a bit of a career book junkie. The title made me pick it up but as I started reading...I was pleasantly surprised that the author is telling you "really" how it is. Speaking to you like a friend or mentor would.
    Fun, but such an insightful guide book. Ms. Bennington sure has put a lot of research into this book and has some incredible worksheets included to keep you on target of your goal.
    Although more geared towards women (obviously with the title)...I (a guy) was able to gain some insight for the working woman and the hurdles that they face every day. This book is a must for every woman in the workforce...whether she's just starting out or CEO of her own company.

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