The top jobs in corporate America were once reserved for men. I was fortunate to be among the first women to break this tradition when I became CIO of one of the largest utility companies in the world. Getting there was not easy, and during my career journey, I learned many important lessons. As a result, I've strived to mentor other women seeking the same career path, to help them find their own way to success. I saw writing Dare as my chance to mentor women beyond my immediate circle.
Sometimes women don't aim for the top jobs because they haven't seen women in those positions. It is hard to be something you've never seen, and I remember how inspired I was when I first met women who had reached top leadership roles. Women are often taught early in life to ask permission before taking action, but the business world needs leaders who take initiative. Dare shows women how to take initiative in ways that inspire others to follow.
It's critically important to nurture and build strong support networks. Don't be afraid to ask for help. You need mentors who can coach you and help you keep a positive, can-do attitude. You need sponsors who will back you to other higher-level managers. You need to work with people who are positive, ethical, and have skills that you lack. Having a strong social safety net makes risk-taking much, much easier.
I found they all showed great passion to help other women. They recognize that women still face challenges in climbing the corporate ladder and in dealing with the fear of failure, especially when confronting tough or new assignments. They emphasized how important it is to take risks, embrace new experiences, and to understand what it is you really want. Their stories, as well as my own, will inspire others to do more.
Dare provides women with a realistic vision of what it takes to achieve success in their professional lives. It shares wisdom, inspiration, and most of all real-life examples from some of the best female role models in the business world.
My career journey began at the very bottom and with a degree from a wonderful, but not well-known, institution. I also spent quite a few years "stuck" in middle management. In other words, I've experienced many of the same setbacks and circumstances facing most women working today, and my advice reflects that.
“Dare… takes over where Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In falls short… The book provides practical advice on how women can ‘lean in’ even without the platform of a brand name college or network. It’s a guide for those starting at the bottom rung of the ladder, but have their eyes set on the top.”
—Ruchika Tulshyan, Forbes.com
“I have known and worked with Becky Blalock for years and always admired her energy, leadership, and ability to get things done. I am so glad that she has taken the time to share her success philosophy, and that of other remarkable women. Dare informs, entertains, and shows you the way to reach your highest potential.”
—Gail Evans, author, New York Times bestseller, Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman
“Today there are more women than ever in leadership positions in business. This journey isn’t easy, but for women who aspire to achieve corporate success, Dare is the chance to learn from some of the best.”
—Stacey D. Stewart, U.S. President, United Way Worldwide
“Dare provides an empowering roadmap for anyone who wants to break through professional and personal glass ceilings that can hold us back from long-term success. Becky's impassioned encouragement to become an intentional, lifelong learner, with coaches and mentors to support and keep us accountable, provides a practical path to the rewards of the C-suite.”
—Keith Ferrazzi, founder and chairman, Ferrazzi Greenlight, and author, New York Times bestsellers Who's Got Your Back and Never Eat Alone
“Dare sends a resounding message to women of the world: if you have the audacity to shape and improve the world around you, you can achieve it. Blalock’s lessons are honest and thoughtful—they extend beyond corporate experience and will resonate with anyone aspiring to leadership.”
—Alyse Nelson, president and CEO, Vital Voices Global Partnership, and author, Vital Voices
“This practical playbook will help you become a better leader, a better colleague, and a better human being. Dare is packed with immediately applicable tips and techniques.”
—Christine Comaford, author, New York Times bestseller Rules for Renegades and SmartTribes
“Becky is a proven leader who has captured in Dare what it takes to succeed in the business world. I saw these lessons in action first-hand when she was on my team at Southern Company. Anyone, male or female, can learn to be a stronger leader by following this timeless advice.”
—Bill Dahlberg, retired chairman of the board and CEO, Southern Company
“Dare will give you that push we all need from time to time, showing you how to excel by believing in yourself, acting boldly, and being unafraid to take risks.”
—Carole Hyatt, bestselling author, and founder and CEO, The Leadership Forum
“Are you still waiting to be noticed? Stop it. Becky Blalock shows you how to overcome the single biggest thing that holds women back: fear. Read Dare and learn how to boldly seize the reins of your career, and your life.”
—Lisa Earle McLeod, author, Selling with Noble Purpose
“Becky has assembled a treasure trove of practical, well-illustrated advice, from communication techniques to getting valuable personal feedback to negotiating salaries and much more. Her personal stories are supplemented with research and vignettes from other successful executives. A valuable book for every woman in business!”
—Martha Brooks, retired president and COO, Novelis, Inc., and board member, Bombardier, Harley-Davidson, and Jabil Circuit, Inc.
“Looking for something to help you tackle a challenge in your career? In Dare, you will find the encouragement and coaching you need to believe in yourself and challenge the status quo. Successful women share their stories of lessons learned, and practical advice is given to provide you with the confidence to tackle anything. Everyone's journey is different. Learn from the best, apply it to your situation, and enjoy success.”
—Mylle Mangum, chairman and CEO, IBT Holdings, and board director, Reynolds Metals Company, Haverty Furniture Companies, Barnes Group, Express Inc., PRGX Global Inc., and Decatur First Bank
“Top leadership in corporate America is no longer a lofty goal for women. Dare is full of wisdom from great female leaders who help you understand how you, too, can reach your full potential.”
—Susan Stautberg, co-founder and co-chair, WomenCorporateDirectors, and president, Partnercom
“Becky has been a leader in the United Way movement as well as in business. She has brought her full experience to this leadership book by women, for women. It has taken years to reach a point where there are enough women in senior roles to model the way for others, and Dare contains priceless wisdom from some of the most accomplished women of our time. Their lessons learned and success strategies will boost your confidence and challenge you to achieve more.”
—Cynthia Round, executive vice president, United Way Worldwide
“Dare is an excellent resource for any professional woman. Becky’s practical and insightful advice will give you a clear path to the top.”
—Kathy Ameche, author and traveler-in-chief, womanroadwarrior.com
“Becky Blalock has risen to the very top of the male-dominated information technology industry. She is a national treasure. Dare is simultaneously inspirational, informational, operational, and recreational. A must-read for future leaders of every gender.”
—Thornton May, futurist; author, The New Know; executive director, IT Leadership Academy
I'll get straight to the point on this one. Buy it!! This book is written by Becky Blalock, a former CIO of Southern Company, a Fortune 500 utility company. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Book 'Em Danno
Becky Blalock has the personal experience of navigating corporate ladders in a Fortune 500 company and captures credible experiences from other women in big business who have... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Nancy M. Parks
Great Book for the woman who is seeking to understand how the business world for women works, and how to make it work in your own world, and DARE to climb to the top!Published 9 months ago by R. Fly
I just finished reading DARE by Becky Blalock and loved it! Her encouragement and courage are beacons for many women to find their source of power within and push through. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Ann Cone
Becky's comments are right on target. Indeed, I can't count count how many times I have read and written on performance reviews of women that they need to be more aggressive and... Read morePublished 12 months ago by H. James Dallas
Very practical, common sense advice and insight. Clearly written and an easy read. I highly recommend it.Published 13 months ago by JL
Did you buy "Lean In"? "Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office"? Other books like that?
Then you should probably buy this too. Read more
As a professor who teaches principles of leadership for college women, I recently asked several of my students to "road test" Ms. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Julia Overton-Healy
I loved this book. It surprised me with how real it was, and how much I could apply the lessons. I ended up buying a copy for every woman in my office. Read morePublished 14 months ago by L. Calhoun