More than the title, what intrigued me about this book was that it was co-written by a mother and daughter. What an amazing experience that must have been to travel the world, interviewing women leaders and creating a book with some of lessons learned from each visit.
From presidents and ambassadors, actresses to fashion designers, activists to fighter pilots, author Bonnie St. John and her daughter, Darcy Keane, set out to meet and interview women who are shaping the world. They visited these women at their workplace or in their homes asking simply what is their definition of leadership and how were they living that definition.
What I found most compelling in the book was the role that Darcy, the teenager, took in the shaping of the conversation. She had the opportunity to travel with her mother in the past so had had been in the presence of powerful people before. She was well-poised and well-prepared for the conversations that took place. And in my thinking, got more out of these conversations that perhaps her mother did.
Some notable quotes:
…A good leader is someone who can remain strong even in difficult and trying circumstances, someone who is empowering those around them; and someone who is interested in the needs of the people they work with and the larger needs of the project or the organization as they are in the own needs. Leslie Lewin, executive director, Seeds of Peace
…What matters is not that you’re going to be a leader. It’s that you’re going to change something. Wendy Kopp, CEO and founder, Teach for All
…I’m also a believer in ‘no fingerprints’ leadership. I don’t need to take the credit for everything. If I want things to come out a certain way, I need to get people there with them thinking I got them there. Amy Pascal, co-chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment
…I always tell people to dream big. I’m not afraid to dream big because that’s the only way things get done. Somebody has to think outside the box. Somebody has to be not afraid. Lt. Col. Nicole Malachowski, USAF
…In every recommendation letter anyone’s ever written about me, they always called me a natural leader. I used to think that meant I was bossy and told other people what to do….Real leadership isn’t about getting people to do things. It’s getting people to buy into what I’m talking about or what I’m trying to convey. Rishika Daryanani, high school junior