Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success

Sylvia Ann Hewlett. Harper Business, $26.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-224689-9
Economist Hewlett argues that understanding the bias in the workplace against women and minorities is part of overcoming the bias, and that overcoming it can pay huge dividends to your career. Furthermore, as Hewlett notes: “When companies and leaders know how to harness and leverage gender, generation, ethnicity, race, culture, and nationality, there is a significant impact on the bottom line.” Hewlett shows how to achieve success through attention to appearance, speech, manner, and authenticity—a combination of elements that make up “executive presence.” The author describes how Margaret Thatcher moderated a voice perceived as shrill and earned the increased gravitas that helped her achieve political success. A financial analyst who switched from jeans and T-shirts to tailored slacks and blazers was given oversight over a major project. Meanwhile Marissa Meyer “showed she had the chops” when she changed Yahoo’s telecommuting policy, “but, regrettably, it also showed a leader out of touch with the realities other working parents contend with.” Hewlett argues that neither ruthlessness nor conforming to the dominant culture makes a great leader; rather, it’s most important to find comfort in your own skin. Hewlett’s approach is straightforward and anecdotal. A solid guide for those looking to take their career to the next level. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/31/2014
Release date: 06/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-233197-7
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-06-224690-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4830-0469-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-4830-0470-9
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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