The 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women: A book review by Bob Morris

Posted on: August 9th, 2011 by bobmorris

The 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women: A Portable Life Coach for Creative Women
Gail McMeekin
Conari Press (2011)

How to discover your unique gifts, claim your personal power, and help others to do so

Gail McMeekin devotes a separate chapter to each of the 12 “secrets” and, in fact, none is a secret. Rather, an evidence-driven, experience-proven, eminently sensible admonition. There are no head-snapping revelations among them, nor does McMeekin make any such claim. The great value of this book, rather, is derived from the process of self-examination and personal transformation that McMeekin explains with uncommon clarity as well as conviction. She serves as her reader’s coach, mentor, and travel guide but also as a companion during what is inevitably for each reader a perilous journey of self-discovery. I hasten to add that men as well as women can learn much of great value from the various female exemplars on whom McMeekin focuses.

She wrote this book as a guide to help her reader to leverage abilities and avoid or overcome various pitfalls, such as the 18 she identifies on Pages 8-9. “Fortunately, there are remedies for all of these issues, and this book is your guide to creative success and peace of mind. Most of the creative liabilities are also strengths, but you must learn how to capitalize on them and redesign your strategies of being in the world.”

McMeekin immediately establishes a direct and personal rapport with her reader. I think she makes brilliant use of a series of exercises for the reader to complete. They serve several separate but interdependent purposes as self-diagnostics, reality checks, guidelines for decision-making, and reminders of key points. My own opinion is that they are also included to enable the reader to interact (emotionally as well as intellectually) with the abundance of material that McMeekin provides. Readers will also appreciate the provision of dozens of “Challenge” items that can help to sharpen and sustain focus while proceeding through the narrative.

Some of the most valuable material is provided in the final chapter, “Initiate Transformation for You and Your Team.” I agree with McMeekin that, until now, the book’s focus should be on helping the reader to clarify and then recommit to her or his personal/career values, priorities, goals, and objectives. Now McMeekin’s focus shifts to helping the reader to help others to initiate and then remain on their own “creative success path of transformation.” Those who follow her advice when attempting to do that will no doubt be surprised and pleased to sense their own growth.

Note: Gail McMeekin’s previous books are The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: A Portable Mentor (2000) and The Power of Positive Choices: Adding and Subtracting Your Way to a Great Life (2001); her next book, The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women Journal, will be published in November, 2011.

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