Last weekend I finished Sarah Cooper‘s third book “How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings“, out on October 30th. Given that I thoroughly enjoyed the previous one, “100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings“, and my interest in female leadership, purchasing her new book was a no-brainer. Sarah is a writer, comedian, speaker, and she knows well what is to be a woman in tech: she has worked as a user experience designer for companies like Yahoo! and Google.
As you may have guessed, the book’s premise is that ambitious women are intimidating; hence the goal to provide advice – in form of cartoons – to ensure they are not perceived as “pushy, aggressive, or competent”. Nothing better than a peek into the table of contents to give you an idea of what to expect. Some of my personal favs are the Honest Diversity in Tech Report, the Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women, and her communication toolkit How to Talk Like a Man but Still Be Seen as a Woman. The 6 blank pages “to doodle on when men are explaining things”, the low expectations action plan, and the paper mustaches are handy extras.
In case the situations depicted in the book were not familiar enough, Sarah’s call to action deeply resonated with me
So, how do you be successful without hurting men’s feelings? […] more rules on how we should change in order to better deal with their issues ain’t gonna help us, honey.
What will help us is more of us. A lot more of us. Everywhere. So get out there! And be as threatening or as non-threatening as you want.
I anticipate that this book will be akin to the Rosetta Stone for anthropologists of the future wishing to study women’s leadership in the 21st century.