expannd your thinkingStrategy #4– Expand Your Knowledge

I’m sure you have heard the phrase “Knowledge is power”. Most of us agree with it yet struggle to make it a reality in our professional and personal lives.

Over the years, I’ve found that the best way to expand your knowledge is through receiving new information. This will cause you to re-think, re-evaluate, and re-consider some things. You can receive this new information through various channels. But, the one that is easiest for me is to read a book.

Books are secret weapons for women on the rise in their careers and businesses. They are filled with tons of un-tapped potential and knowledge when applied help address those concerns we are experiencing in our careers on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, it took me being in a mentoring program with some pretty savvy business people and spending thousands of dollars to sit at that table to fully understand this. Yes, I had read books over the years but I was not what you would call a book lover. I would read maybe two books a year.

Being part of that program however taught me to expand my knowledge by reading at least one book every month. Although life often happens and I may not always finish a book in its entirety, I’ve learned to take the time that I do have and use it wisely. I gather as much useful knowledge that I can apply now and move on to the next one.

NOTE: Not every part or chapter of a book will be useful to you.

This is why it’s important for you to know what you need right now and be sensitive to addressing that need. Your leadership vision will help guide you through this process.

I’ve found some pretty amazing books that are written from a female perspective and specifically address issues and struggles women are facing in the workplace. Who better to speak to the needs of women than a woman who has been there?

Each book is listed with a quick summary and a link to the author’s page. It’s time to expand your knowledge.

5 Must-Reads Written by Women Leaders for Women Leaders

Book #1

Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Dr. Lois Frankel

If you work nonstop without a break…worry about offending others and back down too easily…explain too much when asked for information… or “poll” your friends and colleagues before making a decision, chances are you have been bypassed for promotions and ignored when you expressed your ideas. Although you may not be aware of it, girlish behaviors such as these are sabotaging your career!

If you recognize and change behaviors that say “girl,” not “woman,” the results will pay off in career opportunities you never thought possible – and in an image that identifies you as someone with the power and know-how to occupy the corner office!


Book #2

Multipliers by Liz Wiseman

A thought-provoking, accessible, and essential exploration of why some leaders (“Diminishers”) drain capability and intelligence from their teams, while others (“Multipliers”) amplify it to produce better results. Including a foreword by Stephen R. Covey, as well the five key disciplines that turn smart leaders into genius makers, Multipliers is a must-read for everyone from first-time managers to world leaders.


Book #3

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

In Lean In, Sandberg digs deeper into women issues, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. She recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of “having it all.”  She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home. 


Book #4

The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

Working women today are better educated and more well qualified than ever before. Yet men still predominate in the corporate world. In The Confidence Code, Claire Shipman and Katty Kay argue that the key reason is confidence.

Combining cutting-edge research in genetics, gender, behavior, and cognition—with examples from their own lives and those of other successful women in politics, media, and business—Kay and Shipman go beyond admonishing women to “lean in.” Instead, they offer the inspiration and practical advice women need to close the gap and achieve the careers they want and deserve. 


Book #5

Say Yes: A Woman’s Guide to Advancing Her Professional Purpose by Tara Jaye Frank

Since women make the majority of purchasing decisions and the female population is becoming more culturally diverse, the business world needs your leadership to shape the future. American companies can’t thrive long term unless you do. With a clear professional purpose rooted in your values, clarity about what sets you apart, and the ability to harness your inherent creative power, you can both define a compelling leadership vision and realize it. Both inspired and practical, Say Yes is the perfect guide on the road to your own professional high ground.

Of course, I didn’t include my own book, Own Your Life, since I’m sure you already have it!


Your homework today is to select one book from the list above to purchase. You can click the link on the book, go online to Amazon.com, or go to your local book store and purchase it. Over the course of a couple weeks, read the book. Take notes of your aha-moments and those things you want to incorporate into your leadership vision. What will you change? How quickly do you want to see results? What did you learn? What did you not know before but wish you had? These are just a few questions to reflect on as you read and expand your knowledge. 

This concludes strategy #4. Please email me at info@erykatjohnson.com and let me know which book you selected.

Talk with you later. Strategy #5 is coming in a few days.



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