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Cover for Kicking Ass in a Corset

Kicking Ass in a Corset

Jane Austen’s 6 Principles for Living and Leading from the Inside Out

Andrea Kayne


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What can organizational leaders in business, education, government, and most any enterprise learn from an unemployed, unmarried woman who lived in patriarchal, misogynistic rural England more than 200 years ago? As it turns out, a great deal. In identifying the core virtues of Austen’s heroines—confidence, pragmatism, diligence, integrity, playfulness, and humility—Andrea Kayne uncovers the six principles of internally referenced leadership that, taken together, instruct women how to tap into a deep well-spring of personal agency and an internal locus of control no matter what is going on around them. Utilizing practical exercises, real-life case studies, and literary and leadership scholarship, Kicking Ass in a Corset maps out effective leadership that teaches readers how to tune out the external noise and listen to themselves so that they can truly live and lead from the inside out.

Praise For Kicking Ass in a Corset: Jane Austen’s 6 Principles for Living and Leading from the Inside Out

“Jane Austen knew, so why do so many modern women fail to see their own power? Kicking Ass in a Corset is a fresh and brilliant playbook for internally referenced leadership inspired by Jane Austen’s heroines. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an Austen fan or not. This is the best empowerment book for women today!”—Laura Berman, TV host, OWN Network

“By combining her significant expertise in organizational leadership with insight-filled love for the novels of Jane Austen, Andrea Kayne delivers a fresh take on both. Kayne uses Austen’s six heroines as models for today’s women leaders, as she cleverly weaves together literary criticism, memoir, and leadership advice. Kicking Ass in a Corset—which also features provocative questions and helpful exercises designed to move you forward—is an engaging, readable book that is sure to inspire.”—Devoney Looser, author, The Making of Jane Austen

“What an utterly clever use of Jane Austen’s brilliance to inspire women to realize the truth that no matter what chaos may be unfolding in their external world, true leadership, whether of the self or others, relies upon internal qualities of the human spirit. Pure gold.”—Caroline Myss, author, Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing

Kicking Ass in a Corset is a practical and insightful guide to finding one’s resolve and agency under great constraint and in trying times. This book is a road map for women leaders who want to tap into their own reserve of power to lead consciously, skillfully, and fearlessly. As someone who believes in the power of cultivating our leadership skills in all areas of our lives, Kayne’s work is a necessary and supportive addition to my bookshelf.”—Angella M. Nazarian, author, Pioneers of the Possible: Celebrating Visionary Women of the World

University Of Iowa Press, 9781609387600, 208pp.

Publication Date: September 15, 2021

About the Author

Andrea Kayne serves as director of the doctoral program in educational leadership and is associate professor at DePaul University. She has taught, written, and consulted in the areas of empowered leadership, feminist leadership, emotionally intelligent leadership, and internally referenced leadership. She lives in Oak Park, Illinois.