The Female Advantage
By Sally Helgesen
(Crown Business, Paperback, 9780385419116, 320pp.)
Publication Date: April 1, 1995
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Now in Currency paperback -- Sally Helgesen's classic study of female leaders and how their strategies represent a highly successful revision of male leadership styles. Sixty thousand copies in print! In her bestselling 1990 book, Sally Helgesen discovered that men and women approach work in fundamentally different ways. Many of these differences hold distinct advantages for women, who excel at running organizations that foster creativity, cooperation, and intuitive decision-making power, necessities for companies of the twenty-first century. Helgesen's findings reveal that organizations run by women do not take the form of the traditional hierarchical pyranaid, but more closely resemble a web, where leaders reach out, not down, to form an interrelating matrix built around a central purpose. The strategy of the web concentrates power at the center by drawing others closer and by creating communities where information sharing is essential. She presents her findings through unique, closely detailed accounts of four successful women business leaders -- Frances Hesselbein of Girl Scouts USA, Barbara Grogan of Western Industrial Contractors, Nancy Badore of Ford Motor Company's Executive Development Center, and Dorothy Brunson of Brunson Communications. Helgesen observes their meetings, listens to their phone calls and conferences, and reads their correspondence. Her "diary studies" document how women leaders make decisions, schedule their days, gather and disperse information, motivate others, delegate tasks, structure their companies, hire, and fire. She chronicles how their experiences as women -- wives, mothers, friends, sisters, daughters -- contribute to their leadership style.