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Enlightened Power: How Women are Transforming the Practice of Leadership

Author: various contributors. Edited by Linda Coughlin, Ellen Wingard and Keith Hollihan

Publisher: Jossey Bass, 2005

ISBN: Melanie Smith

Summary:A first-of-a-kind book that forever changes the traditional notions involving women in leadership

This publication is the culmination of the experience of 40 individuals (both men and women), each providing their unique wisdom and perspective on how women are transforming the practice of leadership. 

 

Set across three chapters; ‘Re-imagining Power’; ‘Paths of Power’; and ‘A New Power in the World’, this book contains insightful essays, highlighting personal journeys and observations that have helped change traditional concepts of leadership.  The authors bravely share moments of vulnerability, courage, pain, integrity and compassion that have redefined and reshaped their future. 

 

One essay that I found particularly poignant was ‘Deeper Power’ by Patricia Shafer and Carol Anderson.  It cites the idea that our concept of power is made up of a collection of stories that we gather along life’s highway. These stories help us form a personal frame of reference affecting how we experience ourselves, others and the world.  Both Carol and Patricia share their experience of forgoing established practices, and instead stepping back to forge new ways forward to make a ‘real’ connection with their teams.  Patricia tells how she risked her credibility and the image she carefully constructed over nearly twenty years, and Carol conveys the personal discomfort and potential ridicule she braved, in order to find the ‘authentic’ way forward.

 

This book is a veritable encyclopaedia for both leadership and life, and as such no enquiring mind should be without it.

 

To read more from Patricia Shafer, check out her article ‘Twist on Technology’ in our ‘Themes’ section, under the sub-section of ‘Future of Work’.