It is so exciting to see different groups using Learning to Lead as a women’s book club book – in their companies, their firms, or their small group of friends.
I’ve collected various questions that have been asked in the course of webinars and speeches about the book and collected them here as prompts for a book club reading through Learning to Lead. Let me know if you have questions you’re using in your book club that have elicited good discussion.
Chapter 2 – Do you, or have you, held any of the myths the book notes women leaders sometimes hold that present roadblocks (p.8)?
Have you encountered the unconscious bias noted in the Catalyst study that reinforces gender stereotypes in the workplace (p. 10)?
What advice would you give your company’s leadership to address any unconscious bias that still exists in your workplace?
(and 6) – Have you found similar gender differences that other leaders note in your leadership experiences: Judge Elrod’s woman’s application (p.80), Judge Bradsteet’s personalizing setbacks (p. 86) or criticism (p.94)?
Chapter 3 – Describe what an effective leader looks like to you (p. 14-15)?
Chapter 4 – Which leadership technique listed do you consider a strength? A weakness? (p.25)
The first leadership characteristic listed is “Be True to Yourself” which can be described as “authenticity.” (p. 26) This characteristic is common in the many leaders interviewed – why is this an important trait?
Another key trait is optimism. There is a recommendation to practice optimism (p.30). How could you do this? In what ways does practicing optimism lead to benefits from a leadership perspective? What activities bring you joy that you could implement in daily life?
Are you risk averse or a risk taker? In what ways could you take more savvy risks with your career? (p. 35)
One of the many takeaways from the book is to “own your destiny” and be “the architect of your career,” which relate to Chart Your Course (p.38). Why do you think setting a vision and defining steps to achieve that vision is particularly important?
What are some tips and considerations for effectively communicating your vision and for identifying appropriate people to receive that message (p.41)?
Chapter 5 – What was the piece of advice that the leaders offered that resonated most with you?
Do you struggle to actively listen in your profession like Ms. Park notes (p. 59) or do you find you need to focus on speaking up and offering pragmatic advice and insight (p. 69)?
Ms. Yu notes how challenging leadership can be (p.62). What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced? What change would you advocate and how would you go about it?
What recurring themes do you see (in this Chapter and Chapter 6) that reiterate some of the research?
Consider Elrod, Williams, Ruiz, Hirono, and Yu for Persistence/Resilience.
Consider Duffly, Ruiz, McDavid, Elrod and Williams for Mentors/Networks.
Consider Bradstreet, Yu, Hightman, Ruiz and Williams for Authenticity.
Chapter 7 – If you are comfortable, share a situation where you feel stuck? What single piece of advice could the group offer to help you move to the next level?
Write down a scenario you want to achieve or a goal you would like to meet in the next year and then make a to-do list. Set at least three action items for yourself to begin moving down the path to success.
I’d love to hear from your book club about what you’re learning and what new insights you discussed. I’m working on my next book and my favorite source of knowledge is from those of us in the trenches trying to lead effectively.