Break Your Own Rules

How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women’s Paths to Power

Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, Mary Davis Holt

Jossey-Bass, August 2011

Women hold just 11 percent of the most senior-level leadership positions in U.S. Corporations—a number that hasn’t changed in over 30 years. How can women break through? Break Your Own Rules distills the six faulty assumptions (or “rules”) most women follow that get in the way—then delivers the correlating new rules that promise to clear that path. For example, the old rule of “Focus on Others” must be replaced by “Take Center Stage,” “Hard Work Will Get You There” must yield to “Be Politically Savvy.” “Play It Safe” must give way to “Play to Win.” “Ask Permission” must be replaced by “Proceed Until Apprehended.”

  • Features the results of over 1,700 interviews with executives in Fortune 1000 companies, as well as the authors’ new research and ongoing work with over 5,000 professional women
  • Showcases previously-untold stories from high profile women including Ann Moore (CEO, Time Inc.), Susan Ivey (CEO, Reynolds American), Cathy Bessant (Global Executive for Technology and Operations for Bank of America), Lynn Ford (CEO, ING Solutions), and more
  • Reveals what it really takes for any woman to succeed at the highest levels
  • Foreword by Sharon Allen, Chairman of Deloitte

This hands-on guide is for women who are ready to transform their assumptions and join the senior ranks of American business.

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About the Author

Jill Flynn, M. Ed., specializes in creating and implementing new and practical solutions to leadership problems faced by high-potential women. Previously, Jill was Senior Vice President at the nation’s fourth largest bank, First Union (now Wells Fargo), where she established award-winning leadership development, diversity, organizational consulting, and employee satisfaction initiatives.

Kathryn Heath, Ph.D., serves as a developer of leadership programs, coach, and training designer. Previously, Kathryn was Senior Vice President and Director of First University at First Union (now Wells Fargo), where her inventive and results-focused approach won her numerous honors in the field of learning and development.

Mary Davis Holt is an executive coach and keynote speaker on business, women, and leadership. Prior to joining Flynn Heath Holt Leadership, Mary held a number of executive positions at Time Warner, with oversight that ranged from finance to information technology, marketing, human resources, manufacturing, and distribution.