From the book
Lynn, my co-author, and I are really excited about this book. A lot of
our friends and colleagues have shared work-related stories through the
years, many of them ending in riotous laughter with the inevitable "can
you believe this one?" We've all had the "horror stories" about crazy
bosses, dealing with difficult colleagues, having incredible deadlines,
and too much to do with too little time. Probably most of you have
shared similar experiences with your friends and family, maybe at
dinner, at family gatherings, or over margaritas and nachos after work!
The scenarios may be different, but the story is often the same.
In our work environments, many of us probably consider ourselves
"average" or even "well above average," but many of us can't really
identify with the really successful superwomen we read about. We may
wonder how they manage to do all the wonderful things that they do.
Well, they're probably doing many of the same things that we all do,
just on a different scale. It's all relative! But what are they
doing that we're not doing? How have they become so successful?
When you think about what you actually do in your life, you may begin to
see things differently! Many women who consider themselves average are
actually doing incredible things. They work, take care of family,
volunteer, go to school, and take care of things on the home front. They
drive their kids to sports events, work in the PTA, make Halloween
costumes, prepare meals for the family, make dazzling presentations to
their clients, prepare budgets, write reports, run departments, manage
staffs. What we really need to do is to just learn a few tricks of the
trade from those who are very successful and then follow their lead.
These strategies really do work!
Lynn and I started talking about this book quite awhile ago, when I was
starting to do research for my doctoral dissertation. I was always very
interested in what made some people, especially women, really
successful. What made them different from the rest of us? Lynn and I
looked at the project from different perspectives. She has been in
corporate America for about 12 years, while I have spent most of my
career in education, both secondary and higher ed. I often tend to see
the lofty, theoretical side of issues, and Lynn has provided a more
down-to-earth counterview. As a result, when I start looking at success
at the highest level, that anyone can become a CEO of a major
corporation if they want to, Lynn will often bring in a more realistic
approach, specifically that most people probably don't really want to be
a CEO. They want to enjoy their work, be successful on several levels,
have balance in their lives and, in some cases, simply learn how to hold
on to their jobs in times of downsizing. This combination of
perspectives has proved to be an effective mix of enthusiasm and the
belief that anyone can do anything, and the realistic tasks of building
the foundation to reach your goal. So interestingly enough, despite
being identical twins, even Lynn and I have very different views of what
success really means.
We have had different roles in the project. Lynn has done a good deal of
the background research, has done a number of the interviews --
especially in the international arena (her specialty) -- and has
contributed to much of the discussion which generated various directions
in the work. I have done much of the actual writing and many of the
interviews, and will serve as the narrator in the book.