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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Are We Ruled by Rules?, September 8, 2011
This review is from: Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women's Paths to Power (Hardcover)
Are We Ruled by Rules?

I feel relatively self-conscience posting a book review on a book that's clearly targeted to women. My problem is that I'm a veracious reader and read almost any book that someone sends me.

I've also become an advocate of women executives and entrepreneurs, and actively invest in them through Golden Seeds.

The book is short (about 150 pages) and divided into nine chapters.

The first chapter talks about vision. Having a clear vision allows that vision to become reality. Clarity of vision helps.

The second chapter talks about breaking your own rules and how we are all limited by the rules we set in our lives. We have to look at these rules and actively challenge them.

The third chapter talks about taking center stage or being willing to accept compliments and accolades for what's being accomplished. Essentially saying that women tend to be too modest.

Chapter four talks about proceeding until apprehended, which means we become what we say we are or fake it until you make it.

Chapter five discusses projecting personal power. The theory is that women don't project power, therefore, the do not get power.

Chapter six talks about being politically savvy. The gist of it is, not being politically savvy can hurt any success. It makes sense to pay attention to politics.

The seventh chapter is " play to win". This talks about the competitive differences between men and women and the idea that perhaps women need to play harder.

Chapter eight talks about its both-and. This points out the classic dilemma of wanting to have a successful career and at the same time balancing successful relationships and family.

Chapter nine talks about standing together and closing ranks. This is about how women can help other women in business and the corporate world.

This is a well-written book and I would recommend it to any women looking to get ahead in business.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why and how "old rules that limit women were made to be broken" by men as well as by women, November 2, 2011
This review is from: Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women's Paths to Power (Hardcover)
I commend the co-authors for providing a brilliant explanation of "how to change the patterns of thinking that block women's paths to power." With regard to the title, Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt urge their reader to realize that most of these patterns are self-imposed...but not all. If you (the reader) allow them to be blocks, if you have accepted them as your own, then you can also reject them and, better yet, help others to do so.

Throughout their lively and eloquent narrative, Flynn, Heath, and Holt juxtapose Old Rules with New Rules, carefully explaining why the latter must replace the former. For example, in Chapter Three, "Take Center Stage."

Old Rules:

1. I just take care of everyone else.
2. My needs come last.
3. It's not okay to ask for help.
4. I'm a great number two.
5. I don't belong on center stage.

If not initially but certainly over time, those who accept these Old Rules condone them and by implication affirm them. These rules are worse than self-limiting; they are self-defeating. Those who adopt them are passive, reactive, and can easily be manipulated and intimidated.

New Rules:

1. Take your goals and dreams seriously.
2. Think bigger. Aim higher.
3. Just say no.
4. Be ruthless with your calendar.
5. Take time to refuel.
6. Get famous for something.
7. Practice taking center stage.

Those who adopt these New Rules deny the "death" that Ernest Becker identified: that which occurs when a person becomes wholly preoccupied with fulfilling others' expectations and wishes. Many people play a zero sum game. The New Rules do not apply to that game. They assert that you can respect yourself and others as well as your goals and theirs, your resources and theirs, and your achievements and theirs. Everyone who plays by the New Rules will "win."

Flynn, Heath, and Holt immediately establish and then sustain a direct and personal rapport with their reader throughout the book. They provide an "Executive Summary" is provided at the conclusion of Chapters 3-8, each of which is devoted to one of the six major initiatives they urge each reader to take. They identify six "stumbling blocks" (Pages 14-16) and explain how to avoid or overcome them. They also focus on five conditions now in place that "make it much more likely for women to achieve notable success in their careers." And they share their vision, one they fervently hope this book will help to become a reality: "women in at least 30 percent of the top leadership positions in corporate America."

"At its heart, this is a book about driving change: making individual, group, and systemic change." I agree with Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt that the first great challenge is to redefine one's self in terms of what the New Rules not only offer but require. That is never easy but unless and until it occurs, other changes (in a group or throughout a system) will either not occur or prove woefully insufficient. Decades ago, Mohandas Gandhi advised, "Be the change you seek to achieve." So each of us must ask, "If not now, when? If not me, who?"
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 Rules You Can Use Today & Lots of Inspiring Examples, September 8, 2011
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This review is from: Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women's Paths to Power (Hardcover)
The authors have nailed it: Despite a generation of women in the workforce, very few of us have made it to the top of the org chart. Why? The reasons are complex of course and you hear about it frequently but rarely do you see concrete ways to reverse this situation. But the good and simple news is that Break Your Own Rules promotes 6 particular do-able, field-tested practices that women everywhere can adopt now to start succeeding in greater numbers. (Today I'm practicing "Take Center Stage" vs "Focus on Others.") The endorsements showcase why this book is so powerful and fresh. But as a reader, I'll vouch for the fact that the authors have laid out a smart blueprint that's highly-engaging and (thankfully) not at all polarizing. (The authors remind us that men and women both want/need the very best minds at the top, regardless of gender.) I give this book my highest recommendation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a must read book for women in the workforce., March 20, 2013
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This review is from: Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women's Paths to Power (Hardcover)
I love this book; I have to admit that I am reading it slowly in an effort to capture and implement all the lessons taught in this book. I believe the lessons are applicable at any stage in your career, the earlier the better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read..., September 12, 2012
I loved this book from beginning to end. It was well written and very clear in terms of what challenges women face, why and what we can do to change it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In a word, incredible, April 10, 2012
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Insightful read. Very well-written. condensed but chock full of great advice and readers walk away knowing specifically what needs to be done to move from the old to the new! I find the behaviors associated with the new rules can make a huge difference in how others see you in the most positive light. I highly recommend it. Trinice Moses, Mt. Holly, NJ
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars such a good read!, November 22, 2011
This review is from: Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women's Paths to Power (Hardcover)
it's shocking to beleive that after so much progress that has been made, and after all the social movements that have been undergone, and all the cries for liberty around the world statistics like these can exist in the U.S. of all places. brilliant read.
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Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women's Paths to Power
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