Break Your Own Rules by Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath & Mary Davis Holt - Book review

Break Your Own Rules

How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women's Paths to Power

By: Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, Mary Davis Holt

Published: September 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
ISBN-10: 111806254X
ISBN-13: 978-1118062548
Publisher: Jossey-Bass

"We have a dream. It is a big is a leap...and it is audacious: we want to see women make up at least 30 percent of the top leadership positions in corporate America within the next ten years", write managing partners at Flynn Heath Holt Leadership (FHHL), Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt, in their straight talking and revolutionary book Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women's Paths to Power. The authors describe the myths and misconceptions that hold women back from achieving their fullest potential as leaders in the corporate world, and share strategies for changing these false rules, and replacing them with fresh ideas for success.

Jill Flynn (photo left), Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt recognize that women have moved forward in business over the past few decades, but despite these advances, women are very underrepresented in corporate boardrooms. The authors point out that fewer than one in six top leadership positions in the Fortune 500 are held by women. At the same time, the authors demonstrate that companies with female leadership at the C-level are more profitable and have a better business model for the future. The authors identified six faulty rules that hold women back from achieving their full potential as corporate leaders. These behaviors are rooted in societal norms and cultural mores, and the authors provide alternative rules to replace these deadly misconceptions, that work for the advancement of women, and achieve greater performance for their companies.

Kathryn Heath (photo left), Mary Davis Holt, and Jill Flynn understand that women have faced and continue to encounter societal pressure to follow an archaic set of supposed rules of behavior. Instead of following society's programming of letting others move ahead, and accepting a lesser role, the authors recommend that women step forward and seize opportunities for moving their careers ever upward. The authors content correctly, that these alleged rules were not and are not carved in stone. Indeed, they are not carved in anything except some antiquated societal mores.

For the authors, it's time for women to break free of these unhealthy myths, and achieve their roles as effective corporate leaders. The authors present their new rules as follows:

* Take center stage
* Proceed until apprehended
* Project personal power
* Be politically savvy
* Play to win
* It's both and...
* Stand together and close ranks

Mary Davis Holt (photo left), Jill Flynn, and Kathryn Heath provide an empowering manifesto for women in the corporate world, that for me, represents the power of the book. The authors not only dispel the myths that have derailed women's careers, but they provide a positive set of new behaviors for women to achieve success in the corporate world. The authors bolster their call to action with real world success stories of women who made it to the top of Fortune 500 companies by doing things their way. The lessons provided by these top female executives add inspirational background to the practical advice shared by the authors.

I highly recommend the empowering and myth destroying book Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women's Paths to Power by
Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt, to any women seeking to advance their careers, and moving past the barriers presented by outdated behaviors and mores. This book will transform any woman's career path into one that leads to the very top leadership roles and to the C-level in any size or type of company.

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