Strong Female Lead: Lessons from Women in Power by Arwa Mahdawi
**We received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. We’d like to thank Arwa and Mobius for the opportunity. This book came out on March 29th.**
Reviewed by GGGinny
What I drank: mostly wine. I’ve been skiing with the fam and I’m listening to soft music after a few glasses of red wine and I feel so relaxed.
Women have been taught to ‘lean in’ and act like men to get ahead. But as the financial, environmental, and social systems crumble, isn’t it time we had a different plan?
The first two decades of the twenty-first century have seen financial collapse, a global pandemic, the devastation of our environment and the disintegration of democracies. But while some at the top are telling us ‘it is what is it’, there’s a new generation of leaders showing the world how to be better. They’re building trust, investing wisely and acting decisively. And they’ve got one thing in common.
In Strong Female Lead, Arwa Mahdawi investigates the qualities demonstrated by female leaders who show us how it’s done, including original research and interviews with Madeleine Albright, Mary Robinson, Alicia Garza and many others. Above all, she asks the question: What can women in power teach all of us about leadership?
Drunk Overview: this is a series of essays about how leadership had been based off of typically white male traits and instead of training purple to mimic that, there’s value in identifying traits that are more common in women and people of color.
Drunk Thoughts: this book was interesting but also made me very sad. This book was written during covid but before the last few weeks(obviously) but at one point it lists a lot of the recent catastrophes and oh boy does the war in Ukraine fit…
- I’m a big fan of the way this book focuses on women you might not have heard of. At the very least many were new to me.
- At the same time it’s also infuriating that these awesome women get buried under news stories about other topics.
- This book is also very careful to make it clear that not all positive or negative traits are competely tied to gender (aka there are a bunch of shitty women leaders while there are some great male leaders who practice feminine coded traits.
- The book transitions really well from one essay to the next and theres a clear story being told (nonfiction requires a clear narrative to be successful – at least in my mind)
- Dude…. dude… are you ready for someone to make it clear Elon Musk is toxic??? Cause that happens
- A lot. I mean, Elon Musk is basically held up as an example of poor leadership
- Don’t @ me over this. But also I do have opinions outside of this book….
- But I also saw so much hope. Each essay highlighted someone who is working hard to fix a problem: from early covid responses to figuring out how to make changes to fishing to be more environmentally friendly.
- It was so interesting to read about how people taking new paths or rediscovering old ways is doing something can have such an impact.
- This ties into the fact that I was unaware of so many of these efforts, but these women do work that is easy to overlook for sexier topics (like tesla)
- Also my personal view is that good leadership requires communication. Without good communication someone who could be a great leader is another person shouting into the ether.
- Small mostly related tangent. I follow a Virginia lawmaker who is so good at communicating that I follow her even though I’ve never lived in her district. She got into politics because she wanted a stop sign placed and couldn’t get the municipality to do it. Since then she’s been pivotal in getting LGBT friendly laws passed and making sure kids from poor families got lunches during covid when they couldn’t go to school
- This book made me think of her constantly. These stories aren’t flashy but not so they make an impact.
What it Pairs With: because of the heavy focus on politics (and the fact that i know the drink of choice in the wonk world of dc) a g&t
Rating: 4.5/5. I didnt quite this elsewhere, but it could get a bit preachy. But I’m so glad I read this. I kind of want an update in five years