Book Review: Nice Girls Still Don’t Get The Corner Office, by Lois P. Frankel, PhD.
Subtitle: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers.
This books happens to be a perfect illustration of the common saying, “Don’t judge by its cover,” because that’s exactly what I did when the book shop attendant suggested it as a book I should read. It has an intimidating title. It makes your brain go on an overdrive with questions like, “Is this book really for me?”, “Am I there yet?” “Am I ready to start claiming a corner office?”, “Is it the right time to read it?”, “What if my boss sees me reading it, will he think I want to occupy his seat?”, “Is it asking me to not be nice?” Yes, in that moment he was holding the book and telling me why I should read it, all those questions crossed my mind. But the one that saved the day was, “Why not?”
True, it has a very unconventional and controversial title. Some of the reactions it elicited when I made it public through my other channels that it was my current read were, “She tells you that you have to act like a bitch to climb the professional ladder”, “You want to sit in the corner office?”, “You want to stop being a nice girl.” So when I started reading, I had all these misconceptions of what the book is about. I was expecting it to literally throw at me ‘how to be a bitch’ tactics, then I’ll just push it aside and say, “It’s been real, but this is not how I want to do it.” I had a plan, but alas!
There’s nothing bitchy about it. Absolutely nothing. Neither is there anything about overthrowing your boss. She even dispels the myth that overcoming the nice girl syndrome means you have to be mean and nasty. If anything my favorite bit is when she says,
“Nice is necessary; it’s simply not sufficient. If you overrely on being nice to the exclusion of developing complementary behaviors, you’ll never achieve your adult goals.”
It highlights those things that don’t do you justice in your work place or business. Those things you do that are a hindrance to your prosperity. She calls them mistakes, because they impend you from reaching your career goals. And although there are plenty of mistakes made by both men and women that hold them back, there are a unique set of mistakes made predominantly by women.
From my understanding, the corner office means that as a person of authority in the realms of your career, you need to develop complementary behaviors in line with how you play the game; how you act; how you think; how you brand and market yourself; how you sound; how you look; and how you respond.
I like the way she introduces you to these mistakes, because they’re 133. It’s a mind full, you can’t just dive in. She advises you to do a self-assessment in chapter one which helps you in identifying the self-defeating behaviors in which you most often engage. Then you go directly to those specific behaviors – which are the common mistakes made. After each mistake, there are tips for counteracting the mistake.
How I see it, the mistakes are synonymous to a hot potato from a pot. You could be getting burnt as you hold onto it with your bare hands, but until you realize that it’s burning you and you can do something about it; whether dropping it, holding it with a spoon or placing it in a bowl, then you just continue burning and hurting. But once you become aware and you do something about it, it’s a relieving feeling that will propel you towards achieving other great things.
I am ¾ way through the book and in all honesty, it has given me a fresh perspective. It has made me more conscious of myself and how I carry myself around. More aware of some of the mistakes I make and how I can commit myself into ensuring I work on them. The couching tips are quite helpful. It makes me feel like I have a personal coach, only that she’s stuck in a book. I understand that everything I do, whether it’s something as simple as my gestures or how I structure my responses, has a direct impact on how others portray me, and a lasting one at that.
In conclusion, it’s the ideal book for someone with career goals they want to achieve, someone who wants to grow in their career or business, someone who’s open minded and is willing to learn from other people’s experiences and mistakes. It’s not a book that you read in a day, because you have to internalize its content (to suit your situation), look into the various scenarios, and put yourself in the picture, so that you can learn from it.
The book is available at Text Book Center (TBC). Happy reading loves.
Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*