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Tough Cookies: Leadership Lessons from 100 Years of the Girl Scouts Hardcover – October 18, 2011
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From the Inside Flap
"Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place."
The Girl Scouts' Mission Statement sounds simple enough. But organizing 2.3 million girls and 880,000 adult members to execute a strategy of turning today's girls into tomorrow's leaders is hardly a jaunt in the woods. It takes an efficient, focused, and determined organization that knows who it is and where it's going. Tough Cookies captures the essence of this iconic institution and the principles that have sustained its 100-year history of success.
Less than a decade ago, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) faced a coming crisis. Girls were changing, and Girl Scouts struggled to fit into the modern family's busy schedule. On top of that, the organization's unwieldy structure, comprised of 300 disparate councils, undermined its ability to deliver leadership to girls. GSUSA needed to reassert itself as an institution that mattered. In order to execute its strategy, it would need to undergo a restructuring virtually unprecedented in the non-profit sector, merging its 300 councils down to 112 that would each serve tens of thousands of girls.
Full of inspired wisdom, Tough Cookies describes Girl Scouts' transformative journey to become an integrated, unified movement for girls. Learn how this massive non-profit addressed its most pressing challenges, including how to:
Rebrand itself not just as a gaggle of cute girls selling cookies and camping, but as the most important organization for girl culture
Create the world's best personal leadership development model for girls
Provide efficient and effective governance to deliver scouting to girls
Make it easier for volunteers to lead troops
Remain democratic and mission-focused throughout the merger process
Millions of American businesswomen, thought leaders, and politicians received their first lessons in salesmanship, money management, marketing, teamwork, and fulfillment from Girl Scoutsas will millions more to come. Discover how lessons from Girl Scouts of the USA can help your organization achieve such lasting success.
From the Back Cover
"Tough Cookies makes it clear how badly we need more women in leadership today—and offers a compelling road map for getting where we need to be. If you care about the future, read this book."
—Ilene H. Lang, President & CEO, Catalyst
"Remarkable and essential! In Tough Cookies, Kathy Cloninger draws on a rich blend of personal experience, wide-ranging research, and on-target insight to show how to tap America's most valuable potential resource: the leadershippotential of girls. I can't think of a better resource for the Year (or the Decade) of the Girl."
—Sally Helgesen, coauthor of The Female Vision and author of The Female Advantage
"Guided by a transcendent mission and Kathy Cloninger's courageous leadership, the Girl Scouts have transformed themselves for a new century. Tough Cookies is a compelling story of organizational renewal—told from the inside—that will serve as an inspiration for all leaders everywhere."
—Willie Pietersen, author of Reinventing Strategy
"For the millions of former Girl Scouts who continue to live the Promise, Tough Cookies touches our hearts. For the millions who are just learning about the Girl Scouts, this book helps chart a bright future."
—Frances Hesselbein, President and CEO, Leader to Leader Institute; former CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA
"Tough Cookies shows what vision, courage, and an unflinching dedication to mission can accomplish. Kathy Cloninger makes it clear that the Girl Scouts—and girls—rank high among our nation's treasures."
—Johnnetta Betsch Cole, PhD, President Emerita, Spelman College and Bennett College for Women
"Kathy Cloninger has captured the excitement and boundless promise of the transformation of Girl Scouting. If you want to know how to make a great (and irreplaceably valuable) organization greater, this is the book for you."
—Connie Lindsey, Executive Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Northern Trust
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Top Customer Reviews
You're Only Young Twice: 10 Do-Overs to Reawaken Your Spirit
Very boring in my eyes. Would not recommend it to anyone.
San Rafael, CA
It's definitely worth a read, but I went in with too high of expectations. Kathy is a great storyteller.
Iam a GREEN DINOSAUR . 74 years in GS. Still active. Therefore I have gone through minor and major program changes. As a trainer when a program change comes up my hair turns a little grayer. With the Journeys I really flipped. My question was why have the same material the girls are getting in school. It has always been the policy to AVOID it wherever possible. But after reading this book and seeing the whole program. I'm sold. Those journeys are preparing for the thinking needed for the badge programs and service projects in areas using material where they are comfortable. TOUGH COOKIES shows us why these "LARGE" good turns are needed. They are going to really prepare the girls for the corporate world. They do not release the girl for the Daily Good Turn that should be done with the knowledge that you are personally doing something "small" for someone each day as your GIRL SCOUT GOOD TURN . But TOUGH COOKIES is a concise well written interpretation of the direction we must go if we are going to prepare our girls for life in the 21st century. Take it from one who loved "the good old days" a real "green dinosaur", this is an absolute MUST READ for anyone working with the Girls or
Adults. They will become even more understanding of their value. If you can get a copy and have your parents read it that would be really great. The attendance at your meetings and the support of the parents might even improve!
This book reminded me what I gain in my years as a scout. It also reminded me what I missed because the organization failed to stay current and relevant. If they had been a little "cooler" I may have stuck in longer. As a very goal driven person (even as a young child) if I had felt like there was more to achieve I would have stayed. It's a great reminder that "doing good work" for a community is not enough. Any organization need to evolve and stay connected to its purpose not just it's mission.
Of course this is written from the view of one person's journey through the organization. Some may see it as a self centered view and other may see it as propaganda. Some see it as a push to "raise" girls to pursue everything other then motherhood.
My take from this book is Girl Scouting can have a positive impact on a girls life, open her eyes to new ways of thinking and to explore things that normally a girl would by pass. I found it interesting how many woman in NASA were Girl Scouts.
The book was a short and a fast read. I think it could have gone deeper on many levels. It left me wanting more. I hope that the organization will take time to write more about the history and the impact of Girl Scouting. All that research is out there to share and change more lives through a story.
I did leave the book ready to refocus my life on being a woman of courage, confidence, and character who makes the world a better place one girl or one woman at a time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If this book was used, I can't tell. Fast delivery. Very satisfied.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This was an interesting book and I learned a lot about the progression of the Girl Scouts organization! They are doing some important work.Published 14 months ago by K. Haas
A good book on were we get a lot of our ideas of handling our greatest assets women and young ladies.Published 15 months ago by charlotte e
Excellent book for all women to read. No idea GSUSA was so involved in growing girls to leaders. Celebrate 100 years in 2016'Published 17 months ago by Paddi Cain
As a Girl Scout of the 1960s, I enjoyed the author's thoughts on building the organization to help build strong, courageous, and independent girls.Published 17 months ago by Book Lover
Excellent leadership tool for girls,teens and women of all ages.Published 18 months ago by UMW reading program participant