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  • Writer's pictureMiriam Grobman

Book Review - How Remarkable Women Lead by Joanna Barsh

In How Remarkable Women Lead, McKinsey & Co, partner, Joanna Barsh builds on years of interviews with women leaders across different countries and sectors to develop what ultimately became the Centered Leadership Model.

Joanna Barsh has been a key figure behind much of McKinsey's incredibly influential research about the topic of women's leadership and one of the contributors to the Lean In movement so she knows what she is talking about when she talks about women's leadership.

The book tells about Joanna's personal motivation and impressions of different women leaders and indeed shares stories of some very interesting ones like Alondra de la Parra, a Mexican woman who followed her passion and created her own successful orchestra in a very male-dominated music world, Dame Stella Rimington who despite all odds became the first Director-General of UK's internal counter-intelligence service MI5, and Christine Lagarde who gave up her post as president of the law firm she worked so hard to rebuild to become the first female head of the International Monetary Fund ('IMF').

Through the stories of these women and her own, Joanna outlines the tenants of the Centered Leadership Model and shares some practical advice for women who are embarking upon this journey.

The model has been applied extensively within McKinsey and rolled out to many other organizations. Although taught to both genders, Barsh shares that women tend to derive more value from it.

I think that this book and overall approach can be failry useful for women in earlier stages of their career, or those in other stages who haven't gone through other leadership programs or coaching experiences.

For those who are interested in the background research, the book includes several appendices that explain the methodology and highlight the most important research sources for each section of the model.

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