by Ellen M. Snee, EdD
A book review of Ellen Snee’s new book about women in charge and what they need to tackle specific challenges of leadership most vital for success.
If there was one book that I would love to have read about 20 years earlier, it would be “Lead — How Women in Charge Claim Their Authority” by Ellen M. Snee. If I had I am sure I wouldn’t have doubted myself as much as I did. Having professional grown in a male dominated insurance sales environment I faced many obstacles to eventual becoming recognized for my skills and hard work and I am still learning.
Ellen M. Snee dedicated her life to service, first as a nun and later at the forefront of women’s leadership development. For more than 25 years, she worked with fortune 500 companies, such as Pfizer, Apple, VMware and many more. Her book is based on her long corporate and consulting experience and promises a guidance to readers through specific challenges of leadership most vital for success.
A serenity prayer hanging on the wall in the kitchen of the author’s childhood home introduces the reader to Ellen M. Snee’s essence. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” (p15). Drawn to the courage part to change the things that she can, she went on to change the life of numerous women over the course of her career. I have never heard of that prayer before but in my mid-twenties at a point of being nearly burnt out and constantly stressed I had an epiphany about the exact same thing. As way too often, I was late for work, driving too fast when a car appeared in front of me. It was moving just below the speed limit. For me however, that was too slow. I had no chance of overtaking and I grew so agitated that I was about to hit the pedal to push that car of the road. In that very moment, I had an insight similar to that prayer: Accept things you can’t change and change things you can. This insight had a profound impact on me. I immediately relaxed and I have never been stressed again due to slow moving traffic or of other things that I was not in control of. It helped me to overcome some of my first challenges in my career.