"Mary Key's Seizing Success
is a rare volume on leadership for women that combines the right foundations for success with research-based, practical tips on how to develop the attitudes, confidence, and skills necessary to become a transformational leader. The book opens with chapters on the bedrock fundamentals of self-development: self-confidence, self-understanding, and resilience, what the author calls the "intra-personal foundations for leadership." In these and subsequent chapters on assertiveness, influencing skills, and transformational leadership, she delves into what we know about these topics based on thorough research in the field and how to apply those lessons to overcome stereotyping and restrictive internal dialogue. She uses the concept of reframing to teach how readers to overcome barriers, whether they are externally or internally imposed, and how to seize success by thinking about yourself and your world differently. I highly recommend Seizing Success for anyone wishing to be more effective in life and in the workplace."
- Terry R. Bacon, Ph.D.
Author of The Elements of Influence and The Elements of Power
Former CEO of a global consulting firm
"Mary offers some of the best strategies from her years of experience coaching and developing leaders. In reading each chapter, you feel like you just experienced a great coaching session from a master coach."
- Pam Iorio, President & CEO
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
"It's hard to find a book that addresses the right competencies for women to grow now and in the future. In my experience rising from attorney to chairperson of the board, I find that Seizing Success identifies those capabilities and brings them to life with great stories and examples. It is a "must read" for any woman wanting to take her leadership capabilities to the next level and not compromise living a fulfilling life."
- Rhea Law, Of Counsel
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
Former CEO & Chair of Board, Fowler White, Boggs, PA
"Mary offers some of the best strategies from her years of experience coaching and developing leaders, including me. As CEO, we started an internal Key Women's Leadership Forum for women in leadership roles at our company with outstanding results. Many of the tools and action strategies used are shared in Seizing Success - a must read for anyone involved with leadership programs for women."
- Tony DiBenedetto, Founder & CEO, Tribridge
"Mary Key is a nationally recognized and respected expert whose teachings and writings are highly in demand because she is substantive, practical, and relevant. This book is a must for anyone who wishes to grow and compete in our ever changing world."
- Nido Qubein, President
High Point University
"Women struggle with feeling the pressure to perform. Mary Key aces it in identifying why women often recoil from pressure and what to do about it. The strategies offered in Seizing Success serve as a guidepost for women at any stage of their careers, especially those starting out."
- Dr. Hendrie Weisinger
Author of New York Times Best Selling Book, Performing under Pressure
"Memo to Women: you don't have to wait for the perfect mentor or sponsor to move forward as a leader. Instead, start enlisting peers today. This wonderful and well-researched book shows you how to do it. Mary Key is a master coach so pay attention to what she says. Fresh and persuasive."
- Sally Helgesen, Co-author with Marshall Goldsmith, How Women Rise
"You can customize your new car, a pair of jeans and an omelet. Why would you not customize your career, or better yet, your life? Mary Key, in her brilliant, engaging new book, will help you do just that. You'll get clear about what you really want... and you'll discover strategies and steps for how to get it. Every woman who aspires to lead others should read Seizing Success!"
- Sharon Jordan-Evans, co-author of the Best-seller Love 'Em or Lose 'Em: Getting Good People to Stay
"I heard Mary Key speak to an organization of professional women that I belong to and she was terrific! Many of the stories and strategies she spoke about are in this book. I was impressed by her understanding of leadership and her ability to break it down in relatable, practical advice."
- Lorna Taylor, President & CEO
Premier Eye Care
"In Seizing Success, Mary Key has combined her substantial theoretical and conceptual knowledge with her extensive coaching and teaching experience to create strategies to become a great leader. She applies these for women through the lens of being a woman."
- Joseph Hopkins, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, Director of the Stanford University Leadership Development Program for Healthcare
"Real change happens when groups of men and women begin practicing, and not just talking about, new behaviors in the workplace. Seizing Success is an extraordinary guide to the practices women can cultivate and men can respect and respond to at work. Drawn from her extensive coaching experiences and women's leadership groups, Mary offers down to earth tools and inspiring strategies for achieving uncompromising excellence at work and a balanced life worth living."
- Alan Briskin, Author, The Stirring of Soul in the Workplace and The Power of Collective Wisdom
"For women at all stages of their careers, building trusted relationships is just one of the many keys to transforming leadership that Mary explores in her book, and one that's critical for advancing women to corporate boards. A must read for any woman serious about leading."
- Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, CEO of 2020 Women on Boards and author of The Board Game--How Smart Women Become Corporate Directors
"Mary has been in the perfect position to learn the issues that face women leaders. Not only has she "been there" and "done that" herself, but she has coached countless women in facing and overcoming them. Mary brings her years of experience to women in every stage in their careers. Bravo."
- Dr. Beverly Kaye, Co-author, Love 'Em or Lose 'Em, Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go and Up is Not the Only Way
"Over 40 years of experience in the leadership space and working with executives and leaders primarily in Fortune 100 companies has provided me with insights as to the importance of one's personal compass. In particular, the relevance of not only identifying one's personal values, but implementing them in our personal and professional lives. Seizing Success: A Woman's Guide to Transformational Leadership provides the much needed and essential strategies for implementing one's personal values, which, in turn, energizes everything. The crucial relevance of a personal and professional compass enables us to live a purposeful and dynamic existence -- i.e. we become truly human. This book will not only be read and handy on my nightstand, but will be required reading for women I coach, lead, and mentor."
-Cecelia K. Houser, Ed.D., Korn Ferry, Principal
I'm fortunate. I found work that is purposeful for me and where I can use my strengths. My personal mission and that of my firm, Key Associates (KA) is to help leaders and organizations grow. Helping others discover meaningful work has always been my passion. All my books and particularly my latest one, Seizing Success: A Woman's Guide to Transformational Leadership, have had that intention.
My path to writing Seizing Success started with a personal health crisis. In July 2013, I woke up after 8 hours of open-heart surgery gasping for breath. As I took what felt like my final gasp, something inside me turned like a stalled engine that finally catches. I started breathing on my own. The medical team at my bedside cheered. I had survived! But I didn't recover immediately. In fact I developed an infection in my heart and had to have a second surgery from which I almost didn't recover.
My once strong body and heart were compromised and the doctors weren't sure if I could work at my usual full pace any longer. I began to soul search. If I have limited energy, maybe for the rest of my life, what do I want to focus on? Perhaps you've had a crisis of some kind that forced you into setting priorities you didn't expect.
I did a lot of thinking. I had always enjoyed facilitating CEO peer forums and coaching others. I have been an enthusiastic supporter of women in leadership all my career. I decided that if I could get well enough, I would start a peer forum for women in leadership roles and not only focus on business and career but on aligning mind, body and spirit with what is purposeful for that woman in her life. That's how the Key Women's Leadership Forum started, a holistic approach to leadership development and fulfillment.
I'm thrilled to report that I've recovered completely and have my old energy back. The gift in my crisis is that it helped me identify what was most enlivening for me. I've taken my over 25 years of experience coaching leaders, delivering leadership programs and facilitating CEO peer forums and designed a unique peer forum experience for women leaders. The women's forums address pressing issues, leveraging leadership influence and aligning one's career with what is purposeful personally and professionally. Many of the stories in my book come from the work with our forums.
Going through a crisis or personal struggle can be difficult if not overwhelming. However, there's a lot of truth in the old adage that "we are never given more than we can handle." The secret is we don't have to go it alone. In the last chapter of Seizing Success, I share how you can start your own peer forum to get the support professionally and personally that can support you.
Writing Seizing Success: A Woman's Guide to Transformational Leadership has been a labor of love. It is my desire to share with you those skills and experiences that I and others have learned that have helped us grow and prosper. It is the book I wish someone had handed me 25 years ago.