Eleanor Roosevelt's remarkable ability to confront and overcome hurdles-be they political, personal, or social-made her one of the greatest leaders of the last century, if not all time. In "Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way," author and scholar Robin Gerber examines the values, tactics, and beliefs that enabled Eleanor Roosevelt to bring about tremendous change-in herseEleanor Roosevelt's remarkable ability to confront and overcome hurdles-be they political, personal, or social-made her one of the greatest leaders of the last century, if not all time. In "Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way," author and scholar Robin Gerber examines the values, tactics, and beliefs that enabled Eleanor Roosevelt to bring about tremendous change-in herself and in the world. Examining the former first lady's rise from a difficult childhood to her enormously productive and politically involved years in the White House, as a U.N. delegate and an honorary ambassador, an author, and beyond, Gerber offers women an inspiring road map to heroic living and an unparalleled model for personal achievement....more
ebook, 352 pages
August 1st 2003
(first published 2001)
I decided I had to read this book when I heard the author lecture at Scripps College. It's a cross between a manual on how to become a good leader and a biography of Eleanor Roosevelt. It was written for younger women, but I was still completely inspired by it.
As the title indicates this book is about the life and stories of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, with a particular focus on her leadership abilities. As the author states in his introduction: "Eleanor Roosevelt holds an unassailable place as the most respected and well-known woman of the last century. In the year before her death in 1962, international polls repeatedly showed her to be the world's most admired woman."
The book is divided into 12 sections, each focusing on one aspect of ER's leaderAs the title indicates this book is about the life and stories of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, with a particular focus on her leadership abilities. As the author states in his introduction: "Eleanor Roosevelt holds an unassailable place as the most respected and well-known woman of the last century. In the year before her death in 1962, international polls repeatedly showed her to be the world's most admired woman."
The book is divided into 12 sections, each focusing on one aspect of ER's leadership:
1) Learn from Your Past
2) Find Mentors and Advisers
3) Mothering: Training for Leadership
4) Learning the Hard Way
5) Find Your Leadership Passion
6) Your Leadership Your Way
7) Give Voice to Your Leadership
8) Face criticism with Courage
9) Keep Your Focus
10) Contacts, Networks, and Connections
11) Embrace Risk
12) Never Stop Learning
Inter-weaved into each chapter are numerous stories from ER's life in which she has demonstrated leadership in these areas. As stated by the author: "If there are essential threads that can be pulled from Eleanor's story of leadership, they are her adherence to her values, her keen assessment of people's needs, and her ability to motivate those around her to take responsibility and work for change."
What sets this book apart is the structure, the selection of supporting biographical elements and the summary of the key lessons at the end of each chapter. A must read Leadership book!
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:
1) "Eleanor came to believe that learning and growing, remaining curious, and being open to change were essential elements of leadership."
2) "Eleanor exemplified leadership at its finest, but she achieved that status by starting with herself, looking inward with honesty and curiosity This enabled her to change the world around her."
3) "Remember that mentors can give you guidance professionally as well as socially and emotionally."
4) "Organizational skills and leadership talents can be developed in the home as well as in the workplace."
5) "What sets a leader apart is how he or she handles the lowest points, the darkest hours."
6) "Your passion doesn't have to be connected to humanitarian goals, but it must be deeply personal and important to you."
7) "Finding your leadership passion will depend on clarifying your values. Values motivate great leadership, underpin the actions that you take to build your leadership, and lead to lasting and transforming change...Every act of leadership based on your mission builds you capacity for making change on a larger and more transforming scale."
8) "Your leadership will be most effective if you stick to the mission of your organization...Stick to your principles and inspire others by acting on them. Demonstrate that you can be trusted and you will get the trust of those around you."
9) Warren Bennis: "Leaders articulate and define what has previously remained implicit and unsaid; then they invent images, metaphors, and models that provide a focus for new attention."
10) "Show your sincerity and passion as you communicate in both words and images. If you don't have the conviction to support your idea no one else will either."
11) "Distinguish between criticism that you value and can use versus criticism that is best ignored. Handle criticism with less emotions and more intelligence. Be open to constructive areas. Be strong in the face of unjust attacks."
12) "Your job as a transforming leader is to develop a clear, strong vision, to be determined and persistent, and to build leadership in those around you. If you do, you'll find that you can make great changes, achieve maximum success, and leave a lasting legacy as a transforming leader."
13) "Use every avenue, every method, and every opportunity to advance your vision."
14) "Recognize the give-and-take of networking. Look for ways you can help people meet their goals and assess how they can help you meet yours...Be a "connector" linking people in your network to each other."
15) "Accept that you will never be able to plan for or control every contingency; such is the nature of risk...Practice the positive - in your mind, in your discussions, in your relationships, in your actions. The glass is always half full if you want it to be."
16) "Be a leader who is a learner; be a learner who is a teacher; be a teacher who is a leader who motivates others to lead and learn." ...more
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Found at FDR Hyde Park Home Gift Shop
I just started this book and have not gotten into the advice section. Eleanor's childhood biography is inspirational on its own. Her ability to overcome the emotional adversity she experienced as a child is inspiring in itself. The book is great for someone starting into leadership, like an at home mom or someone who has been trying to move from a less experienced or less public position to one where confidence and assertiveness is needed. I found it ultimately interesting, especially if you havI just started this book and have not gotten into the advice section. Eleanor's childhood biography is inspirational on its own. Her ability to overcome the emotional adversity she experienced as a child is inspiring in itself. The book is great for someone starting into leadership, like an at home mom or someone who has been trying to move from a less experienced or less public position to one where confidence and assertiveness is needed. I found it ultimately interesting, especially if you have had a lull in your career and want a pick me up. If you are in the thick of your career or are comfortable and experienced in a management position, this is too light. It was a light biography and it opened up my interest in Eleanor's life and the great depression and Roosevelt himself....more
This book has a lot to offer. I don't think the personal leadership lessons and the random lessons from other women leaders work woven into a narrative about ER, but the lessons from ER and the literature reviewed makes this a book I would use in class. Wish there were more overt lessons about Lorena Hickock.
I picked this up because I wanted to learn more about Mrs. Roosevelt without committing to a 1500-page scholarly work. The author's summary of Eleanor's life & career are nice, but when she tries to impart some wisdom about leadership strategies the writing becomes strained. (not to mention her outlook seems a tad outdated for a 2002 publication) This book is not altogether terrible but definitely falls short.
This is a "must read" for anyone who thinks Eleanor Roosevelt was an interesting wonderful smart woman who was say ahead of her time, or who aspires to be a wise intelligent leader herself. The author uses Eleanor's life and experience, including the effort Eleanor had to put into learning her role and the rules of the road in a time when women for the most part weren't expected to be leaders. I recommend it highly!
One chapter talks about leadership skills that are learned as a mother apply in the workplace. And how those skills actually make you more valuable in the workplace. Oh yeah! That got my attention an dmade me like this book all the more. How validating! I have a few more chapters (but the book got "tidied" and now I can't find it . . . Malachi is known to stuff things in weird, random places.) It will turn up, I hope!
Read this book for an Athenian Dialogue. Partly frustrated with it because there were a lot of references to other people who didn't have anything to do with Eleanor. She was a great lady who could have filled her own book without them. It had a lot of good thoughts on Leadership. One great thought from the book, "Work is easier to carry if your heart is involved." ER
This was one of many required readings for a leadership class. I thought this was a very straight forward and easy read. It helps you understand Eleanor and it is very inspiring. This book walks you through ways to be your better self and a better leader. I recommend to anyone who is interested in Eleanor or interested in self improvement.
Learned there was a lot about Eleanor Roosevelt that I didn't know. Also learned that I don't much care for the writings of Robin Gerber (based on this one book). She did well enough when she kept to the history (as far as I know), but when she went into today's leadership and women in general, I wondered how well she actually knew us.
An incredible book I could read over and over again,...if I didn't have more books to read! Written very well. I loved how the historical aspects were written to be applied to today's leadership world. Eleanor Roosevelt Rocks!!!!Definitely a keeper!
I have this book to thank for wrapping my head around leading effectively. It is often hard to take a position of authority and do it gracefully, but this book really highlights aspects of Eleanor's life that we all can relate to, and learn from.
I loved this book. It's not especially challenging and the take-aways are somewhat obvious, but there are some valuable lessons to learn from Eleanor Roosevelt, especially as a female leader before her time.