How Women Rise Book Summary - How Women Rise Book explained in key points
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How Women Rise summary

Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith

Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job

4.4 (155 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

How Women Rise by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith explores the key behaviors and habits that hold women back from reaching their full potential in the workplace and provides practical strategies to overcome these challenges and succeed as leaders.

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    How Women Rise
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    Women struggle to claim their own accomplishments.

    Several years ago, one of the authors, Sally Helgesen, decided to interview successful professional women. Her aim was to find out what these women saw in the behavior of their younger colleagues that could be holding them back. The verdict was unanimous – the younger women all struggled with the word “I.”

    Reluctance to take credit for personal achievements is a common problem among professional women. When the author discussed the topic with women with senior positions in accounting, consulting and law, they all agreed that younger female employees in their firm were conscientious, consistent and delivered work of a very high standard. It was even noted that they often worked harder than their male counterparts. Their weakness didn’t lie in the quality of the work – it lay in their discomfort with drawing attention to their successes and taking credit for their accomplishments.

    For instance, they would underplay their own role in a team’s success, preferring to spread credit around than to acknowledge their hard work in front of senior colleagues.

    This is a problem that the author has observed in the numerous workshops she’s conducted with diverse groups of professional women, and it’s evident in nearly every industry at every level in the workplace hierarchy.

    Although seen as polite, being overly modest is more likely to harm a woman’s career than advance it. Over the course of their careers, both the authors have observed how men tend to distrust women who are self-deprecating about their achievements, considering them inauthentic. If a woman demonstrates this tendency in a management role, she also risks diminishing the accomplishments of the team she leads. As a manager, any failure to claim credit on behalf of the people she represents is a failure to acknowledge their hard work. By not recognizing the efforts of her team, she will end up demoralizing and being resented by her staff.

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    What is How Women Rise about?

    How Women Rise (2018) explores the surprising things that women say, do and think in the workplace that hold them back from progressing. Using real-world examples and practical advice, the blinks explain how professional women can meet their full potential and rise to the top of their chosen career ladder.

    How Women Rise Review

    How Women Rise (2018) is a must-read book that offers insightful advice on breaking through the barriers holding women back in their careers. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Packed with practical tips and strategies, it provides actionable guidance for women to overcome common obstacles and rise to their full potential.
    • By combining the expertise of Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith, this book offers a unique perspective and valuable insights from both a female and male viewpoint.
    • The book's real-life stories and examples bring the concepts to life, making it engaging and relatable, ensuring it is anything but boring.

    Who should read How Women Rise?

    • Women wanting to climb the career ladder
    • Employers who seek to make their workplace more female-friendly
    • Social psychology enthusiasts looking for fresh insights

    About the Author

    Sally Helgesen is a popular keynote speaker and expert on the topic of women’s leadership. She has advised companies such as Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and IBM, and her work has been featured in the New York Times. Marshall Goldsmith is a New York Times bestselling author and executive coach. His book Triggers was named Amazon’s Best Business Book of the year in 2015.

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    How Women Rise FAQs 

    What is the main message of How Women Rise?

    The main message of How Women Rise is to help women overcome the habits that can hold them back from reaching their potential.

    How long does it take to read How Women Rise?

    The reading time for How Women Rise varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is How Women Rise a good book? Is it worth reading?

    How Women Rise is worth reading as it provides valuable insights and actionable advice for women looking to advance in their careers.

    Who is the author of How Women Rise?

    The authors of How Women Rise are Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith.

    What to read after How Women Rise?

    If you're wondering what to read next after How Women Rise, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness by Jim Rohn
    • When Women Ruled the World by Kara Cooney
    • What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith
    • The 11 Laws of Likability by Michelle Tillis Lederman
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