Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less

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A bold and inspiring memoir and manifesto from a renowned voice in the women's leadership movement who shows women how to cultivate the single skill they really need in order to thrive: the ability to let go.

Once the poster girl for doing it all, after she had her first child, Tiffany Dufu struggled to accomplish everything she thought she needed to in order to succeed. Like so many driven and talented women who have been brought up to believe that to have it all, they must do it all, Dufu began to feel that achieving her career and personal goals was an impossibility. Eventually, she discovered the solution: letting go. In Drop the Ball, Dufu recounts how she learned to reevaluate expectations, shrink her to-do list, and meaningfully engage the assistance of others—freeing the space she needed to flourish at work and to develop deeper, more meaningful relationships at home.

Even though women are half the workforce, they still represent only eighteen per cent of the highest level leaders. The reasons are obvious: just as women reach middle management they are also starting families. Mounting responsibilities at work and home leave them with no bandwidth to do what will most lead to their success. Offering new perspective on why the women’s leadership movement has stalled, and packed with actionable advice, Tiffany Dufu’s Drop the Ball urges women to embrace imperfection, to expect less of themselves and more from others—only then can they focus on what they truly care about, devote the necessary energy to achieving their real goals, and create the type of rich, rewarding life we all desire.

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About the author

Named to Fast Company’s League of Extraordinary Women, Tiffany Dufu was a launch team member to Lean In and is Chief Leadership Officer to Levo, the fastest growing millennial professional network. She’s been featured in The New York Times, ESSENCE, O, The Oprah Magazine, and on NPR. She is a consultant to Fortune 500 companies, a sought after speaker on women’s leadership, and has presented at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, MAKERS and TEDWomen. She earned a BA and an MA in English from the University of Washington. Author of Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less, she lives in New York City with her husband and two children.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Flatiron Books
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Published on
Feb 14, 2017
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781250071750
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Women
Business & Economics / Women in Business
Social Science / Sociology / Marriage & Family
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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In Everything Is Possible, Dan Abraham, the legendary founder of Slim-Fast, recounts the story of his personal and business life, starting from his childhood and army years and his purchase of Thompson Medical for $5,000 when he was in his early twenties, and culminating in the sale of Slim-Fast for $2.3 billion in 2000. At the heart of Everything Is Possible are 16 life lessons that Abraham has picked up in sixty years of a hard-working business career. Among them:There is no such thing as a mistake (see pages 198–202)Why I always insured that my suppliers made a profit (see pages 208–9)The philosophy of continuous improvement (see pages 202–5)If you have a theory and the facts dispute it, drop your theory (pages 205–8)The realization that we all have both good and bad luck in our lives, but many of us don't prepare for either (pages 216–9)I never saw a man pick a fight with a stronger man (pages 191–5)

But this memoir, a brilliant guide for anyone starting and growing a business, is about far more than business. Abraham tells the heartwarming story of growing up in a modest home in Long Beach, New York, and the lessons he learned from his mother, father, and one high school teacher that have guided him ever since. And there is more, much more: a discussion of his beliefs about the pleasure of giving; what he has learned from Judaism about ethics and the Golden Rule; and what he learned from his experiences with the FDA about the importance of compromise and about the necessity to fight hard when you believe you're right.

At a time, when newspapers are filled with reports of business fraud and deceptions, and when so many people believe that to have spectacular success in business you have to be ruthless and dishonest, this is an account of a business life that has been lived honorably, passionately, and successfully, and with fun. Everything Is Possible is a book to be savored and shared with young and old alike.

In Thrive, Arianna Huffington makes an impassioned and compelling case for the need to redefine what it means to be successful in today's world.
 
Arianna Huffington's personal wake-up call came in the form of a broken cheekbone and a nasty gash over her eye--the result of a fall brought on by exhaustion and lack of sleep. As the cofounder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group--one of the fastest growing media companies in the world--celebrated as one of the world's most influential women, and gracing the covers of magazines, she was, by any traditional measure, extraordinarily successful. Yet as she found herself going from brain MRI to CAT scan to echocardiogram, to find out if there was any underlying medical problem beyond exhaustion, she wondered is this really what success feels like?
 
As more and more people are coming to realize, there is far more to living a truly successful life than just earning a bigger salary and capturing a corner office. Our relentless pursuit of the two traditional metrics of success--money and power--has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related illnesses, and an erosion in the quality of our relationships, family life, and, ironically, our careers. In being connected to the world 24/7, we're losing our connection to what truly matters. Our current definition of success is, as Thrive shows, literally killing us. We need a new way forward.
 
In a commencement address Arianna gave at Smith College in the spring of 2013, she likened our drive for money and power to two legs of a three-legged stool. They may hold us up temporarily, but sooner or later we're going to topple over. We need a third leg--a third metric for defining success--to truly thrive. That third metric, she writes in Thrive, includes our well-being, our ability to draw on our intuition and inner wisdom, our sense of wonder, and our capacity for compassion and giving. As Arianna points out, our eulogies celebrate our lives very differently from the way society defines success. They don't commemorate our long hours in the office, our promotions, or our sterling PowerPoint presentations as we relentlessly raced to climb up the career ladder. They are not about our resumes--they are about cherished memories, shared adventures, small kindnesses and acts of generosity, lifelong passions, and the things that made us laugh.
 
In this deeply personal book, Arianna talks candidly about her own challenges with managing time and prioritizing the demands of a career and raising two daughters--of juggling business deadlines and family crises, a harried dance that led to her collapse and to her "aha moment." Drawing on the latest groundbreaking research and scientific findings in the fields of psychology, sports, sleep, and physiology that show the profound and transformative effects of meditation, mindfulness, unplugging, and giving, Arianna shows us the way to a revolution in our culture, our thinking, our workplace, and our lives.
It’s not good enough to want it. You’ve got to know how to get it. Real estate titan, bestselling author, and TV star Donald J. Trump is the man to teach you the billionaire mind-set–how to think about money, career skills, and life. Here is crucial advice on investing in real estate from the expert, everything from dealing with brokers to renovating to assessing the value of property, buying and selling, and securing a mortgage. Trump will show you how to cut costs, decide how much risk to assume in your investments, and divide up your portfolio. He’ll also teach you how to impress anyone, how to correct or criticize someone effectively, and how to know if your friends are loyal–everything you need to know to get ahead.

And once you’ve earned your money, you’ve got to learn to spend it well. Trump presents his consumer guide to the best things in life, from wine to golf clubs to engagement rings. Check out the billionaire lifestyle–how they shop and what they buy. Even if you’re not superwealthy, you can afford many of these luxuries.

And what look inside the Trump world would be complete without The Apprentice? Trump will take you behind the scenes, from the end of season one and into season two, with insights into the making and the meaning of TV’s hottest show.
As Donald Trump proves, getting rich is easy. Staying rich is harder. Your chances are better, and you’ll have more fun, if you think like a billionaire. This is the book that will help you make a real difference in your life.
New York Times bestselling author Nicole Lapin is back with a sassy and actionable guide empowering women to be the boss of their lives and their careers. 
 
You don’t need dozens of employees to be a boss, says financial expert and serial entrepreneur Nicole Lapin. Hell, you don’t even need one. You just need to find your inner Boss Bitch — your most confident, savvy, ambitious self — and own it. 
 
A Boss Bitch is the she-ro of her own story. She is someone who takes charge of her future and embraces being a “boss” in all aspects of the word: whether as the boss of her own life, family and career, the literal boss at work, or, as the boss of her own company. Whichever she chooses (or all three), a Boss Bitch is someone who gets out there and makes her success happen — and so can you. 
 
Lapin draws on raw and often hilariously real stories from her own career — the good, the bad, and the ugly — to show what it means to be a "boss" in twelve easy steps. In her refreshingly accessible and relatable style, she first shows how to embrace the “boss of you" mentality by seizing the power that comes from believing in yourself and expanding your skillset. Then she offers candid no-nonsense advice for how to kill it at as the “boss at work” whether you have a high-up role or not. And finally, for those who want to take the plunge as an entrepreneur, she lays out the nuts and bolts of how to be the “boss of your own business” from   raising money and  getting it off the ground to hiring a kickass staff and dealing office drama to turning a profit. 
 
Being a badass in your career is something that should be worn as a badge of honor, says Lapin. Here, she inspires us to rise to the occasion and celebrate our successes — and then keep killing it like the Boss Bitches we are!
"Ann has always seen the power and potential in young women. The Big Life helps make all our dreams closer than ever." —Lauren Conrad, designer and New York Times bestselling author of Lauren Conrad Celebrate 

"The Big Life is a guide for women in their 20s and 30s who are hungry for a job they love, a supportive network of friends, respect from their bosses, and partners who want all those things for them as badly as they do." —The New York Times

Millennial women are changing what it means to be powerful and successful in the world—for everyone. Forever. You want The Big Life—that delicious cocktail of passion, career, work, ambition, respect, money, and a monumental relationship. And you want it on your own terms. Forget climbing some corporate ladder, you want a career with twists and turns and adventure. For you, success only matters if it’s meaningful. Ann Shoket knows the evolving values of young women more than anyone. She’s the voice behind the popular Badass Babes community, a sisterhood of young, hungry, ambitious women who are helping each other through the most complex issues around becoming who you’re meant to be. As the trailblazing editor-in-chief of Seventeen for the better part of a decade, Shoket led provocative conversations that helped young women navigate the tricky terrain of adolescence and become smart, confident, self-assured young women. Now that they are adding muscle to the framework of their lives, she’s continuing the conversation with The Big Life. 

The Big Life is packed with actionable guidance combined with personal advice from high-profile millennial women who have already achieved tremendous success, plus intimate conversations with a cast of compelling characters and Shoket’s own stories on her quest for The Big Life. You’ll learn to tackle all of the issues on heavy rotation in your mind such as:
• How to craft a career that’s also a passion.
• How to get respect from a boss who thinks you’re a lazy, entitled, and self-obsessed millennial
• Why you need a “squad” of people who support you as you build your Big Life
• How a side hustle will make you smarter, hotter, and more in control of your destiny.
• Why work/life balance is a sham and your need to embrace the mess.
• How to find a partner whose eyes light up when you talk about your ambition.

Written in Shoket’s friendly and authoritative style, The Big Life will help you recognize your power, tap into your ambition, and create your own version of The Big Life.
Everyone has an opinion, anecdote, or horror story about women and work. Now the acclaimed author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast shows how real working women with families are actually making the most of their time.

“Having it all” has become the subject of countless books, articles, debates, and social media commentary, with passions running high in all directions. Many now believe this to be gospel truth: Any woman who wants to advance in a challenging career has to make huge sacrifices. She’s unlikely to have a happy marriage, quality time with her kids (assuming she can have kids at all), a social life, hobbies, or even a decent night’s sleep.

But what if balancing work and family is actually not as hard as it’s made out to be? What if all those tragic anecdotes ignore the women who quietly but consistently do just fine with the juggle?

Instead of relying on scattered stories, time management expert Laura Vanderkam set out to add hard data to the debate. She collected hour-by-hour time logs from 1,001 days in the lives of women who make at least $100,000 a year. And she found some surprising patterns in how these women spend the 168 hours that every one of us has each week.

Overall, these women worked less and slept more than they assumed they did before they started
tracking their time. They went jogging or to the gym, played with their children, scheduled date nights with their significant others, and had lunches with friends. They made time for the things that gave them pleasure and meaning, fitting the pieces together like tiles in a mosaic—without adhering to overly rigid schedules that would eliminate flexibility and spontaneity.

Vanderkam shares specific strategies that her subjects use to make time for the things that really matter to them. For instance, they . . .
* Work split shifts (such as seven hours at work, four off, then another two at night from home). This allows them to see their kids without falling behind professionally.
* Get creative about what counts as quality family time. Breakfasts together and morning story time count as much as daily family dinners, and they’re often easier to manage.
* Take it easy on the housework. You can free up a lot of time by embracing the philosophy of “good enough” and getting help from other members of your household (or a cleaning service).
* Guard their leisure time. Full weekend getaways may be rare, but many satisfying hobbies can be done in small bursts of time. An hour of crafting feels better than an hour of reality TV.

With examples from hundreds of real women, Vanderkam proves that you don’t have to give up on the things you really want. I Know How She Does It will inspire you to build a life that works, one hour at a time.
Includes a new afterword by the author • “Slaughter’s gift for illuminating large issues through everyday human stories is what makes this book so necessary for anyone who wants to be both a leader at work and a fully engaged parent at home.”—Arianna Huffington

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST, NPR, AND THE ECONOMIST 

When Anne-Marie Slaughter accepted her dream job as the first female director of policy planning at the U.S. State Department in 2009, she was confident she could juggle the demands of her position in Washington, D.C., with the responsibilities of her family life in suburban New Jersey. Her husband and two young sons encouraged her to pursue the job; she had a tremendously supportive boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and she had been moving up on a high-profile career track since law school. But then life intervened. Parenting needs caused her to make a decision to leave the State Department and return to an academic career that gave her more time for her family.

The reactions to her choice to leave Washington because of her kids led her to question the feminist narrative she grew up with. Her subsequent article for The Atlantic, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” created a firestorm, sparked intense national debate, and became one of the most-read pieces in the magazine’s history.

Since that time, Anne-Marie Slaughter has pushed forward, breaking free of her long-standing assumptions about work, life, and family. Though many solutions have been proposed for how women can continue to break the glass ceiling or rise above the “motherhood penalty,” women at the top and the bottom of the income scale are further and further apart.

Now, in her refreshing and forthright voice, Anne-Marie Slaughter returns with her vision for what true equality between men and women really means, and how we can get there. She uncovers the missing piece of the puzzle, presenting a new focus that can reunite the women’s movement and provide a common banner under which both men and women can advance and thrive.

With moving personal stories, individual action plans, and a broad outline for change, Anne-Marie Slaughter reveals a future in which all of us can finally finish the business of equality for women and men, work and family.

“I’m confident that you will be left with Anne-Marie’s hope and optimism that we can change our points of view and policies so that both men and women can fully participate in their families and use their full talents on the job.”—Hillary Rodham Clinton
A new kind of career playbook for a new era of feminism, offering women a new set of rules for professional success: one that plays to their strengths and builds on the power they already have.

Weren’t women supposed to have “arrived”? Perhaps with the nation’s first female President, equal pay on the horizon, true diversity in the workplace to come thereafter? Or, at least the end of “fat-shaming” and “locker room talk”?  
 
Well, we aren’t quite there yet. But does that mean that progress for women in business has come to a screeching halt?  It’s true that the old rules didn’t get us as far as we hoped. But we can go the distance, and we can close the gaps that still exist. We just need a new way.
 
In fact, there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future, says former Wall Street powerhouse-turned-entrepreneur Sallie Krawcheck.  That’s because the business world is changing fast –driven largely by technology - and it’s changing in ways that give us more power and opportunities than ever…and even more than we yet realize.  
 
Success for professional women will no longer be about trying to compete at the men’s version of the game, she says. And it will no longer be about contorting ourselves to men’s expectations of how powerful people behave. Instead, it’s about embracing and investing in our innate strengths as women - and bringing them proudly and unapologetically, to work. 
 
When we do, she says, we gain the power to advance in our careers in more natural ways. We gain the power to initiate courageous conversations in the workplace. We gain the power to forge non-traditional career paths; to leave companies that don’t respect our worth, and instead, go start our own. And we gain the power to invest our economic muscle in making our lives, and the world, better.
 
Here Krawcheck draws on her experiences at the highest levels of business, both as one of the few women at the top rungs of the biggest boy’s club in the world, and as an entrepreneur, to show women how to seize this seismic shift in power to take their careers to the next level. 
 
This change is real, and it’s coming fast. It’s time to own it.
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