How She Does It: How Women Entrepreneurs Are Changing the Rules of Business Success

Margaret Heffernan, Author . Viking $25.95 (274p) ISBN 978-0-670-03823-7

Women-run companies are more likely to stay in business than the average U.S. firm, to grow at three times the average rate, create jobs at twice the average rate and produce profits faster, according to former CEO and BBC producer Heffernan. To find out how and why, she interviewed hundreds of women business owners. Although the way her results confirmed stereotypes about gender differences made her queasy, it turned out that women business owners typically possess the characteristics experts think are needed in 21st-century businesses: combining "discipline, focus, detachment, and systematic thinking with playfulness, empathy, and design." She found that many women started their own businesses after working for corporations that didn't respect or listen to them. In charge of their own companies, their abilities to assert their values, nurture their employees and customers, "orchestrate" rather than "command and control," emphasize collaboration rather than competition, stay open to change, ask for help, learn from mistakes and make time for family became a formula for success. Heffernan's tone matches the frenetic pace and idealistic underpinnings of her interviewees' packed lives. Although aspiring entrepreneurs may wish for more specific details, this book inspires hope for a holistic alternative to the profits-only mentality. (Jan. 22)

Reviewed on: 11/13/2006
Release date: 02/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
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