In Review: "Leading Women"
Author: Nancy D. OReilly, PSYD
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
by: Reviewed By Liz Potter, ALFN

Section: WILLed Q3 2016

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I confess. I am a serial reader of business books and magazines. Can’t get enough of authors and experts telling me how to do everything smarter, faster, leaner, more profitably, more empowered, you name it. But sometimes one small book is great to slow down with for a season and you need to approach it differently and let it sink in. For me this season, as we turn indoors and cozy up to all things pumpkin spiced, a slower pace with a book steeped in meaning and meant to be read thoughtfully and slowly is perfect.

Leading Women by Nancy D. O’Reilly is a compilation of nineteen contributing authors discussing external and internal worlds we as women all share, and one of the only books that features authors discussing how we can not only improve ourselves, but also connect with each other in a more positive and progressive way. I have had this book in my business tote on numerous trips and have enjoyed reading it slowly, pausing to reflect and re-read, author by author and letting their important and inspirational messages have time to simmer and resonate. A favorite section that I have read several times is Lois. P. Frankel’s submission, “Eight Key Ways Women Become Natural and Necessary Leaders” with a thought provoking section suggesting that it’s not that we make better leaders (than men) it’s that we make different leaders, and that leadership must match its time in history, in the history of our country and equally applicable in the history of our company’s and law firms.

Another significant contribution, although different than Ms. Frankel’s, is by Cheryl Benton “You Do Not Have to Be a Feminist to Support Women’s Equality”, in which Ms. Benton, who came of age in the 1960s with the Feminist Movement unfolding around her, discusses the decline of Feminism and the recent pushback against it. There is additionally a beautiful submission by Aurea McGerry titled “Live Your Legacy: Leadership, Philanthropy and Transformation”.  Pondering this heartfelt essay made me realize that we should contemplate having given something back at the end of all of this … to create in our careers a piece that can live on beyond us. As McGerry elegantly states, “I encourage everyone to look closely into what your life has been so far and what you could turn into a legacy so powerful that it could live on and create good in the world long after you are gone”.  Most definitely an enjoyable read and a book to savor slowly over a season. 
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