Arrive and Thrive: A book review by Bob Morris

Arrive and Thrive: 7 Impactful Practices for Women Navigating Leadership
Susan MacKenty Brady, Janet Foutty, and Lynn Perry Wooten
McGraw Hill (April 2022)

“What got you here won’t get you there.” Marshall Goldsmith

Susan MacKentry Brady, Janet Foutty, and Lynn Perry Wooten focus on a covey of practices — and devote a separate chapter to each — that can be of substantial value to both women and men now in a leadership position or aspiring to occupy one. They share their own wide and deep experience and combine with it a wealth of information, insights, and counsel from 20 contributors. Most are C-level executives and several are CEOs.

Keep in mind: Whatever their size and nature may be, all organizations need effective leaders at all levels and in all areas of the given enterprise. The co-authors fully understand how difficult it is — especially for women — to reach the CEO position within the traditional corporate structure. Those who “arrive”  soon learn that thriving in that position is even more difficult…especially for women.

With uncommon skill, they create a lively and eloquent narrative during which they  correlate and coordinate separate but convergent content that includes self-awareness and self-practice orientations (best viewed as briefings). Other reader-friendly devices include Figures, “Authors’ Picks” (mini-commentaries), and “Power Recap” summaries of key points about the given practice and suggested action steps to implement those points. I also strongly recommend close attention to the various “Thriver’s Wisdom” contributions. The observations and suggestions are eminently practical and doable. Some are imperative.

These are among the passages that also caught my eye, listed to suggest the thrust of the co-authors’ coverage:

o Cultivating the Practice of Personal Growth and Professional Development (Pages 7-11)
o A Well-Being Primer (19-20)
o Tour Top Tool for Returning to Your Best Self: Susan’s Best Self-Centering Practice (26-31)
o What Does Embracing Authenticity Mean? and How to Embody the Practice (40-44)
o Authenticity in Action (47-51)

o Courageous Striving (63-66)
o Cultgivating Personal Courage (69-79)
o Cultivating a Culture of Courage (82-84)
o Bounding Back [from Adversity] (91-92)
o Four Modes of Action to Foster Resilience (95-99)

o Fostering Well-Being (102-104)
o The Practice of Ushering in Change (119-123)
o Inspiring a Bold Vision for the Organization (127-132)
o Set the Team Direction and Strategy (145-147)
o Communicate Honestly And Convene Frequently for Service Excellence (147-151)

o Ensure Psychological Safety (155-157)
o Doing the Work of the Inclusive Leader (165-167)
o Why the Practice Is Essential (167-170)
o The Inclusive Leader: Level 1 (172-173)
o Raised to Be an Inclusive Leader: Lynn’s Personal Account (186-187)

To repeat, I think much (if not most) of the material offered in this book could also be of substantial value to men as well as women. None of the seven practices is gender-specific, nor are any of the “key points.” That said, each reader must select whatever is most relevant to their current/imminent circumstances, of course, but also to their background, temperament, capabilities, and career objectives.

* * *

To those who have arrived at their career destination, congratulations.

Given the significantly reduced tenure (on average) for CEOs and other leaders in recent years, your next objective should be survival. However, what got you “here” may not even allow you to remain, much less reach the next “there.” Striving for success — without a plan — will not achieve it.

Susan MacKenty Brady, Janet Foutty, and Lynn Perry Wooten have written a “must-read” book, especially for women,
that can help almost anyone to arrive and then thrive not once but several times throughout a career path, whatever and wherever the “heres” and “theres” prove to be.

Posted in

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.