In the wake of two pandemics that shook our world to its core and revealed deep fault lines in our culture, Intentioning: Sex, Power, Pandemics, and How Women Will Take the Lead for (Everyone’s) Good (Forefront Books; September 28, 2021) shows how we can seize the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity created by massive disruption to build back stronger with women at the center of the recovery.
Through the lens of women’s stories, this book delivers a fresh set of leadership tools, skills, and concepts that help women reach their own highest intentions, purposefully creating new norms while guiding institutions to break through the remaining barriers to gender and racial parity—for everyone’s good.
New York Times best-selling author, speaker, commentator, international leadership expert, former Planned Parenthood CEO and President, current Take The Lead Co-Founder and President and feminist icon Gloria Feldt urges all who identify as women – of all diversities and intersectionalities – to embrace their personal and collective power to lead with intention, confidence, and joy.
It comes as no surprise that women flexed their formidable muscles when needed most, representing a disproportionate number of essential workers during the darkest days of the coronavirus global outbreak and leading the charge against racism in the U.S. And abroad, it was female national leaders who reined in infection and death rates in their countries to the lowest levels worldwide.
But this book is decidedly about the future, taking the leadership lessons learned from this disruption and creating a better world for all through the power of intention.
Feldt not only unveils the next step in advancing gender parity in all spheres of business and life, she also lays out the vital next steps in the overall advancement of our economy and our civilization.
The Lead Like a Woman framework and the 9 Leadership Intentioning Tools she presents through stories of women who have successfully leveraged them is designed to prepare, develop, inspire, and propel women of all diversities and intersectionalities now so that by 2025 women will have attained their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors of industry and society.
We simply cannot squander women’s talents when so much hangs in the balance. Women must be at the vanguard of reimagining and constructing a vibrant and sustainable future for us all.
This book shows how intentioning:
• prepares you to lead change, be change, and sustain change by using the VCA method: Vision, Courage, and Action.
• helps you see the consequences of actions and flex as needed.
• dramatically improves your impact in meetings and presentations.
• is a proactive practice that builds habits that sustain your leadership journey and filters out derailers or “power demons”
• helps you turn your obstacles into assets.
• helps you tap into your power to energies, using your ambition as fuel to achieve your intentions.
Through stories of intentional women, Feldt unveils 9 Leadership Intentioning Tools, along with practice exercises for each:
The Self-Definitional Leadership Intentioning Tools
• Uncover Yourself - what sets you apart is what gets you ahead, and the keys to your best future are already in your hands.
• Dream Up - if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.
• Believe in the Infinite Pie - when we use our power to build rather than rule over others, we learn that the more there is for everyone, the more there is to go around.
The Counterintuitive Leadership Intentioning Tools
• Modulate Confidence - self-doubt can have positive value.
• Strike Your Own Damn Balance (and love your stress) - you get to choose what matters to you and reject the rest.
• Build Social Capital - relationships are everything and will ultimately help you as much as educational qualifications or work experience.
The Systems Change Leadership Intentioning Tools
• Be “Unreasonable” - sometimes you have to break the rules and invent new ones to get where you want to go.
• Unpack Implicit Bias and Turn Its Effects on Its Head - you can make its effects your superpowers.
• Clang Your Symbols - they create meaning, which brings others into the story, the most essential function of leadership.
…and what about men? Feldt shows how men can and do partner with women to achieve parity.
Too many self-help books remain stuck on the tired question of whether women can have it all, either nudging women to make a grab for the tired old laundry list of goals (motherhood, corner office, thriving sex life, etc.) or accept limitations. Intentioning ditches that obsolete paradigm and shows how to rock the institutions we live and work in so that together we can all lead healthier, happier and more productive lives.
This fresh, liberating approach to reaching gender parity helps women dream “impossible” dreams and gives them the actionable tools to intention them into reality.
Gloria Feldt is a New York Times best-selling author, speaker, commentator and feminist leader who has gained national recognition as a social and political advocate of women's rights. In 2013, she co-founded Take The Lead, a nonprofit initiative with a goal to propel women to leadership parity by 2025. She is a former CEO and president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, directing the organization from 1996 to 2005. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, Time, NBC, Fast Company, Vanity Fair, and much more.
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