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I'd Rather Be in Charge: A Legendary Business Leader’s Roadmap for Achieving Pride, Power, and Joy at Work Hardcover – January 31, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593156820
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593156824
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #699,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Charlotte is the greatest master of knowledge I have ever met. This book will help working women remove their self-imposed blocks and become as great as they are meant to be.”
—Suze Orman, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Charlotte Beers is: Captivating. Persuasive. Charming. Disarming. Eloquent. Substantive. Successful. Modest. Strategic. Capable. Determined. Convincing. Enough said. Read this book to learn how to be in charge.”
—Martha Stewart, New York Times bestselling author

"A role model and champion to all women who want to make the most of their careers, Beers offers useful guidance on how to seize opportunities, be influential, and shape events."
Publishers Weekly

“Reading I’d Rather Be in Charge, I found myself reflecting on my own way of teaching and leading. Charlotte candidly shares with us how she found her own unique path to influence in her exceptional journey in Corporate America and gives us precious advice on how to find ours. I will draw on some of her lessons in my Power and Influence class this season.” 
—Julie Battilana, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School 

“Charlotte Beers goes straight for the jugular with tales from her meteoric career in advertising. But her true gift is ultimately the ability to teach us all how to be both memorable and persuasive in our own communications. A must read that combines wit and wisdom in equal measure.”
—Ted Bell, New York Times bestselling author

"The book is a great read. I found it to be very inspirational, even for someone who has been at this business for as long as I have.  I think all women, at any point in their work life journey, will experience a transformational epiphany by reading and engaging in the challenges Charlotte Beers puts forth in I'd Rather Be In Charge."
Mary Baglivo, CEO New York and Chairman & CEO Americas, Saatchi and Saatchi

About the Author

Texas-born Charlotte Beers has combined her business insight with an innate Southern charm to become a legend in the competitive world of advertising. Featured on the covers of Fortune and Businessweek as one of the most powerful women in America, Charlotte and her mantra of the difference between products and brands revolutionized major ad campaigns brought unprecedented success to her clients and the advertising agencies she managed.
Charlotte began her career in advertising as an account executive at J. Walter Thompson Advertising, later becoming the first female senior vice president in the firm’s history. From J. Walter Thompson, Charlotte brought her skills to Tatham-Laird & Kudner as CEO. Her success led her to her
next position as chairman/CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, a multinational advertising agency. Harvard Business School still teaches their bestselling case study on leadership entitled “Charlotte Beers at Ogilvy.”
From 2001 to 2003, Charlotte served as undersecretary of state under Colin Powell. For her service, Charlotte was awarded the distinguished service medal, the State Department’s highest honor.
Charlotte currently serves on the board of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and conducts seminars throughout the United States and Europe, teaching women the tools for transforming themselves into managers and leaders in the many industries they represent.
Charlotte resides in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Customer Reviews

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I now add this book to the list.
Great book for young and older women struggling to make sense of the male dominated work place.
Madie Haskell
I would recommend it for anyone in the business world!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Cirroc on February 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I wish I had this book 12 years ago. It could have put my career on a different (better) path. There used to be two books I gave to professional women I hired: "Who Moved My Cheese" and "Talking from 9 to 5: Women and Men at Work" by Deborah Tannen. Career essentials. I now add this book to the list.

This book is very easy to read. You pick and it up and it just flows.

This is a must-read for any professional woman. It is like having your own personal female mentor in the workplace. I would also highly recommend it to any responsible male employer, manager or supervisor. It will give you a sneak peak into the world of business women that I can't imagine you would get any other way. More importantly, it will enable you to better understand and communicate with the women in your workplace which will benefit not only you but also your company.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Marina on May 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I stumbled upon this book by chance, while searching for literature on emotional issues faced by women in the workplace. What prompted me to buy the book (despite the dearth of reviews) was the author's focus on a proactive approach toward addressing workplace issues. The fact that Charlotte Beers is a prominent name in business and thus could draw upon her own experience as a successful woman was another factor that encouraged me to read this book.

I'd Rather Be in Charge offers a solid treatment of the subject of women and power in the workplace, addressing many of the issues that may stand between women and positions of authority. Some of the issues raised by the author include:

* approval-seeking ("It's good to enjoy applause, but not to need it");
* the tendency by women to merge their work and home identities (Beers emphasises the need to distinguish between the two--and to be comfortable with the distinction, which the author presents as liberating);
* emphasising performance over presentation, expecting that all the hard work will be noticed eventually .

By identifying these issues and providing ample examples that demonstrate how the author or other women dealt with them (effectively or not so much), Beers helps the reader become aware of her automatic responses to a variety workplace situations. In fact, self-knowledge as a tool for change is a cross-cutting theme of Beers' book.

Additionally, the author attempts to connect many of these emotional issues to the messages that girls receive while growing up. While certainly laudable, this attempt would benefit from being more grounded in psychological literature.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Linda L. Shiosaki on May 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Charlotte Beers appeared on Martha Stewart's show, well worth watching. She is tight with words and to the point. "It's not what you say,.....but what they hear" and this book lays it down on how to re-look at yourself as a woman in the business world. It does not matter WHAT business. I am a baker..o.k. no high finances here, I am already learning how to deal with management and myself in a whole new way. A great read, will give it to both of my daughters. The chapters on investigating why you respond or re-act, and making an updated picture of yourself to yourself could be life changing. Thank you Charlotte Beers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark Goulston on April 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Potential IS a terrible thing to waste. This book is one of the best ways to help women prevent that.

As a guy (and former FBI/police hostage negotiation trainer) who focuses mainly on coaching high performing, high potential women* to break through into the upper echelons of companies and organizations, "I'd Rather Be in Charge" is a book I will personally buy for all my female coachees.


This book is not about bashing men, but understanding them and understanding the unique value and talents that women bring to every enterprise they are in and leveraging that to empower and embolden women to "take charge" in a powerful and effective way.

Charlotte Beers not only speaks from experience, but she is as Saul Bellow would say, "a first class noticer" and communicator of the what every high potential women needs to fulfill their potential.

* And why am I primarily focused on coaching women? Maybe it's just my experience, but I find far fewer women seduced by power, ego and greed that success will too often suck men into. Women already run the world, I believe they deserve a shot at running it, now that we see what men did with their turn.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Michaels VINE VOICE on April 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Are women allowing the internal image we have of ourselves to hinder our business successes? In her book I'd Rather Be in Charge, Charlotte Beers addresses both the public (external) and private (internal) aspects of women succeeding and thriving in business.

The author writes from her own career experiences, which include being a CEO, Chairman, an Undersecretary of State and a teacher. Ms. Beers believes it is time for women to achieve pride, power and joy at work. This is the type of book you'll want to read with pen and paper handy so you can make notes and work the activities. Plan on spending quality time going through this book because it can be a valuable learning experience.

I enjoy reading books written by empowered women who have been there, done that and succeeded. These are the women who are willing to share the challenges they faced on their journey to achieving their goals - they do not candy coat the truth. In I'd Rather Be in Charge, the author tells it like it is - the ups, the downs and the disappointments. Most importantly, she shares the lessons that shaped her into a leader who is in charge of her own professional destiny.

Charlotte Beers believes, "we women have won our revolution, we are now on the cusp of a new era." It is time now to move on and evolve into the business leaders we are capable of becoming - the leaders who can make a difference in today's ever changing world. It is time to stop allowing ourselves to be underpaid and under-appreciated - it's time to succeed to our full potential.

Chapter 4, "Who You Think You Are," is a favorite of mine because it is about drawing our own internal self-portrait.
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