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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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The Female Advantage: Women's Ways of Leadership Paperback – April 1, 1995

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Now in Currency paperback -- Sally Helgesen's classic study of female leaders and how their strategies represent a highly successful revision of male leadership styles. Sixty thousand copies in print! In her bestselling 1990 book, Sally Helgesen discovered that men and women approach work in fundamentally different ways. Many of these differences hold distinct advantages for women, who excel at running organizations that foster creativity, cooperation, and intuitive decision-making power, necessities for companies of the twenty-first century. Helgesen's findings reveal that organizations run by women do not take the form of the traditional hierarchical pyranaid, but more closely resemble a web, where leaders reach out, not down, to form an interrelating matrix built around a central purpose. The strategy of the web concentrates power at the center by drawing others closer and by creating communities where information sharing is essential. She presents her findings through unique, closely detailed accounts of four successful women business leaders -- Frances Hesselbein of Girl Scouts USA, Barbara Grogan of Western Industrial Contractors, Nancy Badore of Ford Motor Company's Executive Development Center, and Dorothy Brunson of Brunson Communications. Helgesen observes their meetings, listens to their phone calls and conferences, and reads their correspondence. Her "diary studies" document how women leaders make decisions, schedule their days, gather and disperse information, motivate others, delegate tasks, structure their companies, hire, and fire. She chronicles how their experiences as women -- wives, mothers, friends, sisters, daughters -- contribute to their leadership style.

From the Inside Flap

Now in Currency paperback -- Sally Helgesen's classic study of female leaders and how their strategies represent a highly successful revision of male leadership styles. Sixty thousand copies in print! In her bestselling 1990 book, Sally Helgesen discovered that men and women approach work in fundamentally different ways. Many of these differences hold distinct advantages for women, who excel at running organizations that foster creativity, cooperation, and intuitive decision-making power, necessities for companies of the twenty-first century. Helgesen's findings reveal that organizations run by women do not take the form of the traditional hierarchical pyranaid, but more closely resemble a web, where leaders reach out, not down, to form an interrelating matrix built around a central purpose. The strategy of the web concentrates power at the center by drawing others closer and by creating communities where information sharing is essential. She presents her findings through unique, closely detailed accounts of four successful women business leaders -- Frances Hesselbein of Girl Scouts USA, Barbara Grogan of Western Industrial Contractors, Nancy Badore of Ford Motor Company's Executive Development Center, and Dorothy Brunson of Brunson Communications. Helgesen observes their meetings, listens to their phone calls and conferences, and reads their correspondence. Her "diary studies" document how women leaders make decisions, schedule their days, gather and disperse information, motivate others, delegate tasks, structure their companies, hire, and fire. She chronicles how their experiences as women -- wives, mothers, friends, sisters, daughters -- contribute to their leadership style.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Currency; 1St Edition edition (April 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385419112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385419116
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Sally Helgesen's profound book shows how women lead differently...via a "web" instead of a hierarchy. Women in the workplace have long been told that we can't compete effectively because of the games (meaning tea parties instead of competitive sports) we played as girls. But, guess what? Sally Helgesen shows that the world based on hierarchies is spinning out of control...and the games we girls played (which hinged on relationships)turn out to be exactly the right games, giving women the unusual strength our world needs to evolve in a powerful new direction.
The rules have changed and women already know them. Not only does this book boost all women's self-esteem, but it also charges us to realize our responsibility to the world in which we live: "...feminine principles are entering the public realm because we can no longer afford to restrict them to the domestic sphere, nor allow a public culture obsessed with Warrior values to control human destiny if we are to survive." [p.255]
How true.
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Format: Paperback
You may have read this book in 1990, when it first came out, as I did. It's worth another look now, if only for chapter 9 - Reconciling the Efficient and the Humane. In the 90's, some of us speculated that the future of leadership would come from the skills women have posessed for generations. As we look for ways to integrate the human element back into the workplace, as we read books on Emotional Intelligence and Resonant Leadership, it's time to acknowledge Helgesen's foresight. What did she tell us we needed back then? She started with an ambience that represented a different set of values. Next, listening, followed by collaborative negotiation. She foresaw what she terms the end of the warrior age.

Helgesen's interviews are as interesting today - and as fresh - as they were when the book was first published. We may have heard this message a few times by now, but I don't think it will ever get old.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Too often, as women, we abandon, dismiss, or deny our feminine wisdom. We distract ourselves and lose sight of our own innate wise feminine approaches to leadership. It's put on the back shelf as we compete, produce, and succeed from our dynamic masculine assets. Then we are less effective, depleted and confused. We begin to doubt ourselves. Yet some part of us knows, and longs to intensify the sustaining flow and effectiveness of our innate feminine nature.

Sally Helgesen takes apart the self limiting beliefs that constrained women from the natural power of their leadership and, even more importantly, shows that women leaders, who lead from their feminine approaches make smarter decisions and build better businesses. They experience a greater sense of personal power so that they are spending their time on what matters the most to them. When we connect our wisdom, our leadership, and our feminine approaches we are the kind of leader the world needs today.

The world has change and organizations who want to continue their success need to change. Women in leadership bring a different approach to being a leader. Wise feminine leadership is an underutilized and critically needed resource for today's growing company. As Sally says on p. 225, "The ability to model and persuade is of particular importance in an organization where authority is not imposed from the top down in hierarchical fashion. In a web structure, where talent is nurtured and encouraged rather than commanded, and a variety of interconnections exist, influence and persuasion take the place of giving orders...Compassion, empathy, inspiration, and direction - all aspects of nurturance - are connective values...."

Will we lose the competitive advantage as we amplify our feminine approaches? Sally Helgesen makes a solid case - the answer is No.
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Format: Paperback
Helgesen cautions us in 1990 that "Feminine values are entering the public realm because we can no longer afford to restrict them to the private domestic sphere, nor allow a public culture obsessed with Warrior values to control human destiny if we are to survive." Indeed, nearly two decades later Warrior values have brought the world to greater peril than ever before in our history. She prescribed not the end of Warrior values but rather the blending of them with feminine values for healing the conditions Warrior values have fostered, in other words, balance. For the primary values, the metavalues of humankind are shared by mature leaders of both sexes. They are what they have always been, Truth, Beauty and Goodness. How can this work? When male warrior values tends toward arrogance, Truth reminds him of his limitations. When warrior viewpoints narrows the area of his awareness, Beauty reminds him of the richness and diversity of human existence. When warrior power corrupts, Goodness cleanses. For it is Love--the composite of the MetaValues of Truth, Beauty and Goodness--that the mature and dedicated female leader can supply in abundance, and what the world sorely needs today.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This carefully conducted research study of how women manage and how women lead provides a baseline for similar studies that follow. Women really do manage and lead differently, and that difference enriches the workplace. I am using this as one of the texts in a web based graduate course focusing on leadership that I am teaching. There are leadership lessons for everyone here.
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