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Dare: Straight Talk on Confidence, Courage, and Career for Women in Charge Hardcover – October 7, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Q&A with Becky Blalock, author of Dare

Becky Blalock
Becky Blalock
Why did you write Dare?

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.

Why do women need to dare more to reach the top jobs?

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.

Why are role models and mentors important?

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.

Dare offers advice from top C-suite executive women. What commonalities did you find in their advice and willingness to mentor?

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.

How will Dare help women in the workplace?

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.

Review

“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

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (October 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 111856264X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118562642
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #776,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lee W. Crump on October 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I finished "Dare" by Becky Blalock last week and just have to give it 5 stars. Men can learn as much from this book as women. First, some of the issues their female employees face that we never think twice about, but also some good common sense behaviors and attributes that will help a man suceed too! I immediately bought a copy as a gift for all my female managers, my daughter, and a woman I mentor. I thought that highly of it.

Becky writes in a conversational style and the stories she relates to emphasize her points are worth the price of the book alone. As a male CIO I was able to relate to everything she said, and once I started reading, I couldn't put it down!

If you are a male leader with female reports you need to read this book. If you are a women and are looking for some "straight from the shoulder" advice on furthering your career and working more powerfully with your male counter-parts, you definitely need to read this book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. Oliver on November 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Becky Blalock's book, DARE, guides women and men - younger and older - through plotting their course to success in business and in life. I enjoyed Lean In, but when I read DARE, I was particularly impressed with the practical advice, specific resources and diverse examples which help readers of all kinds apply the principles and lessons to their own lives. DARE made me highlight key references and dog-ear pages that I'll use and pass along to my young adult children.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Crump on October 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The title says it all -Dare - take risks! Becky Blalock clearly lays out the strategy and execution to define your goals and dreams and then be both bold and determined in delivering them. She gives examples from her own life and that of others that illustrate how to do this and the benefits in doing so. Though the title and the message are built around taking risks, Ms. Blalock gives heart-felt and genuine advice on overcoming the fears and obstacles that sometimes stop us from daring to go after our dreams.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Antigone Walsh VINE VOICE on January 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is an inspiring and informative book on achieving excellence by a woman who broke through the glass ceiling while maintaining both her values and her sense of self. Too often women are plagued by a sense of unworthiness. I applaud the author for calling out women who attribute their success to being blessed and lucky. Odds are they are qualified and deserving. The author provides valuable advice for people at any point in their careers. Unlike books filled with feel good platitudes this is actually a usable plan , almost like having a mentor in a book. Although directed towards women, this is a book that would benefit anyone who aspires to be the best. While not very long it is an easy, enjoyable read. Hands down the best business book I've read all year. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Neal Reynolds VINE VOICE on January 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Sure, this is aimed at the gals, but most of the ideas presented here are just as appropriate for guys. Becky Blalock talks in a straight forward and decisive manner to her audience. The prose flows well and is inspiring. There's a lot more practicality in these pages than you will usually find. This is for the person who wants to succeed, and it will undoubtedly help that person.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By molu TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm a woman, and a VP in a company where VPs, FVPs, SVP, and EVPs are mostly men. Confidence and courage is so important in my environment. I really enjoyed this book. It's clear. The stories are poignant and insightful and help get the message/lesson across so that I can begin to think of ways as I'm reading on how I can apply the principles I am learning. I have several pages flagged and this is sitting on my self in my office.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eustacia Vye VINE VOICE on January 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Being a woman in business is hard. Heading to business school, I'm more likely to hear "but don't you want to have children" than "congrats." Becky Blalock shares her stories to help other women not be afraid to break through the glass ceiling.

I like that although this book was written towards women, this book is geared towards any person looking to forward their career goals.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Julie Haley on January 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover
As the first women CIO of Southern Company, Becky paved the way for a whole generation of women in technology. Her anecdotes are downright funny, and the guidance that she provides based on her experiences are insightful and helpful to other aspiring women who want to break into the "C" suite. A great read.
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