Book Review by Kara Zone
While it took me a little while to understand how Elizabeth Lions' title, Hear Us Roar—Unapologetic Women Leading in Corporate America
, tied in with its content, and as I read, I realized that she wanted to help women stop blaming men and start supporting other women in corporate America.
The book is a quick read. Elizabeth connects research and anecdotes, which allow for a reader to understand how she became unapologetic through life lessons and studies to back her up. There are examples of her own time in corporate America (how a male speaker became increasingly upset and more agitated when he found out that he would have less speaking time than she), and advice on how to accept certain terms about being who you are and not worrying about what others think or believe about you.
The last chapters in the book were my favorite. These chapters dropped any of the information that is repeated often in other texts (e.g., there is a women's pay gap and becoming part of the "boy's club," all important topics and needs that every person should rectify) and focused on new terms for being a woman in corporate America. Many of these had to do with Elizabeth's mindfulness, her discovery of transformational leadership, her knowledge of what transparent and authentic leadership is, and the final chapter of "What Every Woman Should Know."
In the chapter "We have to Talk," Elizabeth opens up the discussion by explaining that the delivery of difficult feedback with grace, as a female leader, is the most necessary skill to master. She then talks about the difference between our truths and perception and ties both together with the understanding that most people talk just to be heard—they rarely ever want to listen.
While there is advice on how to overcome these obstacles and helpful hints on how to deal with someone that may only want to talk and not hear, the most important message in the chapter is that everyone's perception is different—and that's okay. The grace part comes from learning to adapt to people's perceptions and picking up what each person is saying.
In the next chapter of transparent leadership, Elizabeth tackles the idea of being a vulnerable leader and what that can mean for a team. Opening up about sexuality, religion, and other beliefs that may not be the popular view can and will come up. The trick is to be vulnerable and still find your finesse as a leader. Being true to yourself is one of the best ways to lead, even when it feels uneasy.
The last chapter, "What Every Woman Should Know," discusses the ideas and the trials that women go through, including getting older. Elizabeth suggests to age with grace and to be proud of who you are.
It's one of the best pieces of advice, and it was unexpected. Elizabeth doesn't write superficiality, but it is so often not written about. We have people in pop-culture who discuss getting older and the acceptance of our whole-self, however, the next thing we can see is the same person talking about makeup to hide wrinkles—it is a paradox of our time, I suppose. But it is nice to see someone writing to women and telling them its okay to be human, because, after all, that is what we are and we should all feel confident, beautiful, smart, and ready to take on the world.
Kara Zone is a professional writer, editor, and graphic designer. She is the managing editor of WITI.com and enjoys working remotely. She is a critical thinker and builds departmental systems for companies to use when structuring organizational systems.
Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.
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