Title: Break your own rules: How to change the patterns of thinking that block women’s paths to power

Author(s): Jill Flyn, Kathryn Heath, Mary Davis Holt (Partners, Flyn Health Holt Leadership)

Publisher: Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint

Publication Date: 2011

ISBN: 978-1-118-06254-8

Women are constantly being looked over. That’s a given fact. After reading this book you’ll realize that men don’t have faith in women and our leadership abilities. The book also notes that women are given tasks such as managing fundraising events and socials because of the emotional tie and effort we put into planning these activities. A woman can work 10 times harder than her male co-worker but her work gets unnoticed by her boss who skips over her promotion opportunity.

The authors of the book, Break your Own Rules have a vision to change the quantity of female leaders-not quality because that’s already there. Their vision is “to see women make up at least 30 percent of the top leadership positions in corporate America within the next ten years…..America’s corporations will be better led, and everyone will benefit.” (Flynn, Heath, Holt, 2011, p. 1).

The authors are coaches who help women earn higher positions within their company. According to the book’s flap, they have trained over 5,000 women. The coaches not only train women but interview their bosses, with most being Fortune 500 companies, and seek why the women are lacking in promotion and how they could perform better. The book is broken into chapters which explains the old rules women follow in their career and implements new rules. I’ve listed them below:

  • Old: Focus on others vs. New: Take Center Stage
  • Old: Seek Approval vs. New: Proceed until apprehended
  • Old: Be Modest vs. New: Project Personal Power
  • Old: Play It Safe vs. New: Be Politically Savy
  • Old: It’s All or Nothing vs. New: It’s Both-And

I really enjoyed reading this book. While I’m not currently in my field or corporate America I feel empowered to step out of my comfort zone and make my own rules to succeed.

Flynn, J., Heath, K., & Davis Holt, M. (2011). Our Vision. In Break Your Own Rules (1st ed., p. 173). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.