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Seducing the Boys Club: Uncensored Tactics from a Woman at the Top Paperback – December 30, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Chairman of McCann Erickson New York, part of one of the largest advertising networks in the world, DiSesa delivers a one-on-one mentoring session on working with, competing against and managing both men and women. Confirming that her nature is to nurture, she is thoughtful and confessional as DiSesa looks back at how she learned to defy her own bad habits—including in-office meltdowns—and to substitute charm in their stead. DiSesa also readily shares insights gained from such nongender-based blunders as letting clients take a break in the middle of a presentation (the clients failed to return to the conference room). Though she refers to manipulating and seducing and learning to exhibit male behavior throughout, DiSesa's hard work, talent and insight into human nature appear to be the real drivers behind her success. That DiSesa has managed to package her experiences into accessible form creates a welcome opportunity for both women and men hoping to duplicate her success. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Nina DiSesa has worked in the quintessential boys clubs of advertising for almost thirty years. In 1994, she became the first woman EVP, Executive Creative Director for McCann Erickson New York, the flagship office of the largest advertising agency in the world. Under her creative leadership, the New York office enjoyed an unprecedented 5-year growth period adding almost $2.5 billion in billings. In 1998, she was made Chairman as well as Chief Creative Officer of McCann New York. She was the first woman and first creative director to be named chairman in the McCann global network.
In 1999, Nina was chosen by Fortune magazine as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in American Business.” In 2005, she received the Matrix Award, given each year to a select group of women in communication. In 2007, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame for CEBA (Creative Excellence in Business Advertising).
Nina and her husband live in an apartment in NYC and escape to their 45-acre horse farm in Dutchess County, New York.
From the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The most interesting book I have read about a woman succeeding in business. Ok, the only book, yet it would be difficult to imagine one more entertaining, and informing, and controversial.
As you might expect from an advertising professional, she knows how to hook you emotionally, and, if you care to look beyond the entertaining story, you will discover the information and the many strategies she employs successfully, and how to match and outperform as a female in an alpha male environment.
Men listen like dogs, and hear only what they want. I found this controversial, but when she says we only hear what we want to hear, I know exactly what she means. Women, though look beyond the content and look at body language and tonality, and pick up on nuance. She has actually trained some of these alpha males to develop some of these superior qualities.
Some of her strategies on how to butter up men I found really entertaininng. I can just imagine myself puffing myself up and responding to the handshake workout opener, and had to laugh at its brilliance, or the tie comment. Simple but so effective.
She talks of the different communicating styles of men and women, and how to adapt. Definitely more interesting than most business books you will read. Fascinating.
Hope this is helpful.
I really, really, really wanted to like this book. But the reality is I couldn't finish it.
First of all, the majority of the author's struggle takes place when she's already "made it." Not when she's an underling, working under men who incessantly steal her ideas. I wanted to hear how she handled that, not how she honed her management skills. And with all the, "When I was at JWT...hee, hee, hee...oh I used to work with him at Y&R...yuck, yuck, yuck...I hear on a daily basis at work, I could have done without Nina's "shout outs" to Boy's Club cronies every other page. Boys she hated at first, but now loves (well, it was nice of them to write five-star book reviews on Amazon for her.)
Maybe I'm just bitter. I'll spare you the retort. I'm a bitter unsuccessful copywriter who writes long, boring reviews on Amazon. There you have it.
(But I still didn't like this book.)
Indeed, there are two kinds of copywriters. People who learned to write ads. And writers who work/ed in advertising. Nina Disea is the former. Augusten Burroughs is the latter. (Sorry to compare you to a man, but I know you can handle it).
I'm still going to try to get through this book. What can I say? I'm a glutton for punishment.
Given her outlook and response to opposition I found it hard to sympathize with her and I was quickly turned off by her character. The bitterness she holds against her ex husband gets old really fast and the deceptive practices she occasionally employs when it works to her advantage sincerely disappointed me. I could not even finish the book.
Being a woman myself, I'm happy for and proud of the women who've managed to reach the top in their respective fields, but as this book is a perfect example of, it's no wonder women in power can get labeled as [expletives]. I would not recommend this book as a guide to any woman who aspires to climb the ladder of success unless she planned to compromise her integrity, morals, and self-respect and if that's the case, why the entertainment industry has plenty better examples.
For example, my poor testosterone-deprived mother taught me that modesty is a virtue. Ms. DiSesa, without compromising her own virtue, explains how Mom unwittingly hindered my career by raising me as a "quiet achiever". (Can I get a do-over?) And a compelling story the author tells to perfectly illustrate effective use of "stimulus and response" had me running to my email to forward to friends.
This is not just another new-age, gender-specific, self-help exercise from an earnest liberated woman, but witty, insightful, down-to-earth advice for women and men alike. It's a sharing of her wisdom and experience by a woman whose resume and accomplishments prove she knows what she's talking about. The book is enlightening, entertaining, and worthwhile.