How Women Rise

Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job


By Sally Helgesen

By Marshall Goldsmith

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Overcome the twelve habits holding you back and take your career to new heights with this wise and approachable guide from two business leadership experts.

Ready to take the next step in your career . . . but not sure what’s holding you back? Read on.

Leadership expert Sally Helgesen and bestselling leadership coach Marshall Goldsmith have trained thousands of high achievers — men and women — to reach even greater heights. Again and again, they see that women face specific and different roadblocks from men as they advance in the workplace. In fact, the very habits that helped women early in their careers can hinder them as they move up. Simply put, what got you here won’t get you there . . . and you might not even realize your blind spots until it’s too late.

Are you great with the details? To rise, you need to do less and delegate more.

Are you a team player? To advance, you need to take credit as easily as you share it.

Are you a star networker? Leaders know a network is no good unless you know how to use it.

Sally and Marshall identify the twelve habits that hold women back as they seek to advance, showing them why what worked for them in the past might actually be sabotaging their future success. Building on Marshall’s classic bestseller What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, How Women Rise is essential reading for any woman who is ready to advance to the next level.



On Being Stuck


Where We’re Coming From

In 2015, a mutual friend and colleague, Mike Dulworth, sent the two of us—Sally and Marshall—an e-mail with the subject line “Crazy Idea!” His suggestion? That we collaborate on the book you now hold in your hands.

We both immediately knew it was a great idea. Explaining why requires a bit of background.

In 2007, Marshall published his international best seller, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful. There was a gold sticker on the front cover that read: Discover the 20 Workplace Habits You Need to Break. The lead endorsement came from Alan Mulally, then CEO of Ford Motor Company, CEO of the Year in the United States, and one of Marshall’s superstar coaching clients: “Marshall’s proven improvement process ROCKS!”

In the book, Marshall identified twenty behaviors that often trip up high achievers in their quest to make it to the next level. These are habits he’s repeatedly observed hindering talented people from reaching their full potential, diminishing their ability to inspire and lead others, and at times even derailing their careers. The examples and stories were drawn from the global base of clients Marshall has developed over many decades as one of the world’s most successful executive coaches.

A key insight in the book was spelled out in the title: the same behaviors that help people achieve high positions often undermine them as they seek to move further up. Because these behaviors worked in the past, people are reluctant to let go of them. On the contrary, many believe they are successful because of these bad habits.

Any human, in fact any animal, will tend to replicate behavior that is followed by positive reinforcement. The more successful we become, the more positive reinforcement we get. We can easily fall into the “superstition trap,” which is: “I behave this way, I am successful—therefore I must be successful because I behave this way.”


We are all successful because of the fact that we do many things right and in spite of the fact that we are doing some things that actually work against us.

Marshall wrote the book for a broad audience—not just leaders at the top of their organization’s pyramid or ladder, but those on the middle rungs as well. What Got You Here is basically for anyone whose behavior gets in the way of where he or she ultimately wants to go.

Since publication, Marshall has traveled the world sharing and developing the ideas he put forth in the book. But in the course of doing so, and especially while delivering a series of workshops for women based on his 2015 best seller Triggers, he came to recognize that some of the more aggressive and self-centered behaviors he identifies as problematic in What Got You Here are less likely to be stumbling blocks for successful women than they are for men.

For example, instead of claiming credit they don’t deserve, women are often reluctant to claim their own achievements. Instead of always needing to be right, women are more likely to be hobbled by the desire to please or the need to be perfect. Instead of refusing to express regret, women often can’t stop apologizing, even for things that are not their fault.

Everyone has self-limiting behaviors, for the simple reason that we are all human. But although men and women do sometimes share the same undermining habits, they frequently do not. Women often face very different challenges as they seek to advance in their careers and operate on a bigger playing field, so it makes sense that women would adapt their behavior in different ways. And women are often rewarded differently, as we will show in the next chapter. These differences shape their expectations of what behaviors will be effective.

Given that Marshall’s coaching base is typically about 80 percent male, it’s not surprising that the original habits in What Got You Here would be those that most often hold back high-performing men. Marshall didn’t view these behaviors as particularly male when he wrote the book, but rather as common forms of self-sabotage that could be corrected using the insights and practices he’d developed as a coach. Yet the more he worked with women, the more Marshall saw that they could benefit from a similar approach that addressed different behaviors.

Enter Sally.

Sally has been working with, writing about, and researching women leaders since the publication of The Female Advantage: Women’s Ways of Leadership in 1990. Because it was the first book to focus on what women had to contribute to organizations rather than how they needed to change and adapt, companies began asking her to develop and deliver women’s leadership programs almost from the start.

As a result, Sally has spent nearly three decades helping remarkable women around the world grow their leadership skills and consulting with executive teams seeking to retain talented women. She has worked with some of the most successful women leaders in the world. This has given her both up-close exposure to the challenges women face as well as plenty of opportunities to observe what gets in their way.

The two of us knew each other well from the Learning Network, a small group for top leadership professionals that Marshall had started in 1996. But neither of us had considered collaborating on a book about behaviors that hold women back until that e-mail with the tagline crazy idea.

Because of our complementary experiences and long-standing friendship, we felt confident that by combining forces we could provide specific, helpful, and targeted guidance for women seeking to advance to the next stage in their careers and heighten their ability to have a positive impact—on their organizations, their communities, and on the world. Sally viewed the collaboration as a chance to help women address stumbling blocks that had held them back for decades. And Marshall saw a whole new world of habits that the coaching insights and practices he’d been honing for thirty years could help address.

We had also each had aha moments that confirmed our belief that women could benefit from a book on behaviors that get in their way as they seek to rise. These personal experiences have made us passionate about the need for this book and convinced us of its potential value.

Marshall’s aha came while coaching the legendary leader Frances Hesselbein, who had coincidentally been extensively profiled in Sally’s best seller, The Female Advantage. Frances will be mentioned quite a bit in this book.

During her long tenure as CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA, Frances had gained international attention when no less an expert than Peter Drucker, the founder of modern management, wrote that she was possibly the finest leader he’d ever met and suggested she be considered to head up General Motors. Upon retiring from the Girl Scouts, Frances assumed the presidency of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Non-Profit Management, later known as the Leader to Leader Institute.

Frances has earned respect and kudos from corporate, military, and nonprofit leaders around the world throughout her extraordinarily long career, and received almost countless accolades. She has twenty-three honorary PhDs, was profiled on the cover of BusinessWeek, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor accorded to American civilians. Marshall was honored to accompany her to the White House when she accepted this well-deserved recognition from President Clinton.

Marshall had first met her when she was still with the Girl Scouts. He was doing volunteer work for the Red Cross, whose CEO at the time was a member of Frances’s board and a mutual friend. When Marshall described to her the 360-degree feedback process he had developed to help clients become better leaders, Frances decided she could benefit from some coaching, and Marshall donated his time. As part of the process, he interviewed her board members, direct reports, and other stakeholders and wrote up a full report.

Not surprisingly, the feedback for Frances was incredibly positive. However, when she saw it, her immediate response was, “I have so many things I need to improve!” She then began listing about twenty-seven things she wanted to get right to work on. While Marshall was impressed by her dedication, he was surprised that a person of her stature was so self-critical.

He knew that most of the high-performing men he worked with would have viewed the kind of feedback Frances received as a testament to their brilliance as leaders, as well as confirmation that they had little—or perhaps no—need to change. He was, unfortunately, aware of too many men who responded to negative 360 results by saying, “If I’m so terrible, why am I the most successful guy here?” or “I made five million bucks last year—and you’re telling me I need to change?”

By contrast, Marshall recognized that his primary challenge in coaching Frances would be convincing her not to be so self-critical. In the years since, he’s found this to be true with other fantastic women leaders. No matter how effective they’ve been or how much recognition they’ve received, women often tend to focus on all the ways they believe they fall short. As a result, when coaching women, Marshall usually starts with a ground-rule request: Please do not be too hard on yourself.

So Marshall’s aha was that successful women’s tendency to critique themselves instead of others opens them to different behavioral habits than men, who are more likely to accept recognition and deflect blame.

Sally’s aha was more personal and painful, providing insight into a behavior that had helped her earlier in her career but was now getting in her way. By chance, it occurred when she and Marshall were co-delivering a half-day seminar for female engineers in Rhode Island.

Sally’s usual practice before big events was to spend huge amounts of time rehearsing her program and memorizing her talking points so she could deliver her program smoothly and avoid any mistakes. So she arrived in Providence early on the day before the event and stayed in her hotel room to prepare. Marshall arrived late, so they agreed to meet on the morning of the event when the client picked them up in the lobby.

When the client arrived, Marshall (wearing cut-off jeans) immediately announced that he’d forgotten his pants, and asked to stop at a mall en route to the venue so he could buy some khakis. The client obliged, and as they drove around, Sally marveled at how Marshall seemed to be taking the incident in stride. For her, showing up for an engagement without pants would have felt like a literal nightmare, given that she often had anxious dreams of finding herself onstage half-dressed. But Marshall took the attitude that, since he travels a lot, stuff happens.

At the venue, where three hundred women were waiting, the only men’s room displayed a Ladies sign and was awkwardly situated at the front of the hall where everyone could see it. Marshall paid a visit, but as he exited, he slammed his head on the inside purse hook (he wasn’t used to one of these in the restroom) and tumbled out onto the floor. As he picked himself up, laughing, Sally again could not stop thinking how mortified she would have been if she’d made such an entrance.

As the day proceeded, Sally stuck with her tightly prepared program while Marshall took a fluid approach. Super-prepared, she felt an obligation to cover all her points and share everything she knew, while he engaged participants in spontaneous exercises.

An hour before the event’s scheduled end, Marshall’s pager beeped. He’d gotten his departure flight time wrong and now suddenly had to leave for the airport. He apologized but said he knew Sally would do a great job of winding up the program. Again, her first thought was how horrified she would be if she’d miscalculated her flight time. As Sally soldiered on, participants leapt to their feet to give Marshall a standing ovation. Some of the air went out of the room when he left.

Reflecting later on the experience, Sally realized that her exhaustive preparation and need to plow through every one of her prepared remarks had not served her particularly well. Diligence and a willingness to work extremely hard had helped her when she was starting out as a speaker, but contrasting her own dutifulness with Marshall’s spontaneous and forgiving approach made clear that her audience would enjoy themselves more and probably learn more if she were less driven by her desire to be perfect.

Marshall had hardly been perfect. Yet the audience loved him, perhaps because his somewhat bumbling behavior was obviously authentic, and so gave them permission to be themselves. He not only articulated a message about the need to let go of mistakes, he demonstrated it in his behavior, showing how a highly engaged yet imperfect human could have an impact even when circumstances (the forgotten pants, the bathroom tumble, the misjudged flight) seemed to be working against him.

By contrast, Sally seemed to be demonstrating what being hard on yourself looked like.

You may have experienced similar aha moments when you suddenly see that behaviors that helped you get where you are now can hold you back from advancing to the next stage. Maybe, like Sally, you spend too much energy trying to be perfect, trying to please, or overvaluing expertise at the expense of relaxed communication. Maybe you struggle with speaking too much or too nervously or letting details undermine your focus. Maybe you find yourself hoping to be spontaneously noticed and rewarded for your hard work instead of advocating for yourself. Maybe you put your job before your career in an effort to demonstrate loyalty, or fail to enlist allies who can spread the word about your achievements.

If any of these behaviors are getting in your way, or you anticipate that they may do so as you move higher, please read on. This book is for you.


Where You Are

Where are you right now in your work and your career? Are you in a place that feels satisfying and gives scope to your talents? Are you valued not just for your contributions but also for your potential? And do you feel your work is leading to a place that will satisfy your ambitions and help you make the difference you want to make in the world?

After all, you get to define what success means to you. You get to define what it means to rise. Maybe for you it’s moving to a higher, more lucrative position. Maybe it’s finding a wider playing field or getting more recognition for your work. Maybe you want more say in the direction your organization will take in the future. Perhaps you want to create a new business or product. Maybe you want to instill a spirit of joy among your collaborators, customers, and clients. Or you’re fired by the desire to help other women get ahead.

The point is, your definition of rising is always going to be personal, individual to you. But one of the biggest impediments to rising is also personal and individual: being blind to the behaviors and habits that keep you stuck.

As noted in the previous chapter, these behaviors may have worked for you earlier in your career, which is why you may be tempted to cling to them. But as you move higher and assume more responsibility, what got you here—wherever you are now—can begin to work against you. This is true for men as well as women, but in our experience, the behaviors that undermine women are often different from the behaviors that undermine men.

Our focus on behaviors doesn’t mean we seek to blame women who have not risen as quickly as they would have liked or that we don’t appreciate the role external barriers play in keeping women stuck. Impenetrable old-boys’ networks, sexist bosses, men who seem incapable of listening to women or who claim credit for their ideas in meetings, career tracks that assume families do not exist, performance review criteria subtly designed to favor men, the unconscious biases that shape hiring and promotion: these impediments are real and unfortunately continue to play a role in stymieing women’s advancement.

Although women have made extraordinary and rapid progress in nearly every sector over the last thirty years, workplace structures and expectations created with men in mind continue to frustrate many women’s talents and ambitions. So we repeat: we are not trying to gloss over or deny obstacles that we know are real. However, our primary focus in this book is not on identifying external barriers or providing road maps around them. It’s on helping you recognize the behaviors that get in your way as you seek to become more successful on your own terms.

After all, your behaviors lie within your control, whereas external forces like unconscious bias may not. If the executive your boss reports to only feels comfortable talking with men he meets on the golf course, trying to change that will be an exercise in frustration. If your company uses performance criteria that subtly penalize women, you can be a voice for pointing this out and work with HR to explore alternatives, but it’s difficult to persuade your company to immediately jettison how it evaluates performance.

However, uprooting an unhelpful habit, behavior, or attitude you’ve picked up over the course of your working life is the one thing that does lie within your control that can seriously improve your chances of success. At minimum, making the effort should improve your daily experience of work and better prepare you to reach your goals in the future.

So think of How Women Rise as giving you the means to clear your path of self-imposed obstacles so you can become more successful and take greater satisfaction in your work. Our goal is to help you make the biggest positive difference that you want to make on the path you choose through life.


Before we get started, we need to clarify what we mean when we talk about success, a word we’ll be using quite a lot in this book. In our experience, women often define success a bit differently than men. This means they also define success differently than organizations have traditionally expected people (primarily men) to define success.

Instead of viewing money and position as the sole or even chief markers of success, women also tend to place a high value on the quality of their lives at work and the impact of their contributions. Enjoying co-workers and clients, having some degree of control over their time, and believing that their work makes a positive difference in the world are key motivators for many successful women.

This does not mean women don’t care about financial reward or position—not at all. If women believe they are underpaid or feel their position in the organization doesn’t reflect the level of their contribution, they will resent it. And this will certainly impact their commitment and their perception of success. After all, money and position are still the carrots companies use to reward people and recognize their value. And most of us work because we need or want money.

However, one reason organizations sometimes struggle to retain high-performing women is that they operate on the presumption that high salary and high position will always be sufficient motivators even if the quality of work life is consistently low. This assumption, especially when it comes to women, is often wrong. In fact, women are more likely to leave jobs that offer a high salary and position but a low quality of life. They often report finding such jobs “not worth it.”

These are not wild generalizations. We are basing our observations on decades of experience, as well as on hard data.

For example, Sally and her colleague Julie Johnson joined with Harris Interactive, the polling company, to conduct a study of similarities and differences in how men and women perceive, define, and pursue satisfaction at work. The results appeared in their book, The Female Vision: Women’s Real Power at Work.

The survey, which was delivered to 818 men and women who held management positions in companies with more than fifty employees, found many similarities between men and women. For example, both men and women reported deriving great satisfaction from leading teams, posting results that exceeded expectations, and being recognized for their contributions.

But the survey also indicated that men tended to place greater value on attaining a high position and earning a high salary, whereas women placed a higher value on the actual experience of work. Earning an excellent salary or achieving a top position did not feel as satisfying to women if they were unable to also enjoy their days. Not every day, of course. But enough to make the job feel worth it.

Men not only tended to view position and salary as more important than women do, they were more likely to judge themselves (and others) based on these measures. Sally and Marshall have both seen how this form of comparing can lead successful men to underinvest in key relationships, such as family, friends, and community, even though these relationships have consistently been shown to be essential components of human happiness and satisfaction.

Sally and Julie’s research also found that men placed a greater value than women on winning, viewing it as a significant source of satisfaction and a key marker of success. They enjoyed besting competitors, “running up the score,” and often assigned a numeric value or rank to their contributions and achievements. Women, by contrast, took less satisfaction in competition and scorekeeping and often went out of their way to describe winning as the result of a collaborative endeavor. Whereas men were more likely to describe themselves as “playing to win,” women were more likely to agree with the statement “I will pick up the slack for others to assure that a project is successful.”

Marshall’s decades of experience working with successful leaders confirm these findings. When he was interviewed for the Harvard Business Review, he was asked, “What’s the biggest challenge of the many successful leaders you have met?” His answer: “Winning too much!” As Alan Mulally, one of Marshall’s heroes, observes, “For the great individual achiever, it is all about me. For the great leader, it is all about them.”

The transition from achiever to leader can be particularly hard for highly competitive men, who may have difficulty recognizing that, as leader, their job is to make everyone else a winner. Women are less likely to struggle with this transition. Although many of the women Marshall and Sally have worked with like to win, they tend to be less interested in winning for themselves than in helping their organizations or their teams win.

This reluctance to view money, position, and winning as chief arbiters of success is psychologically healthy for women and great for their teams and organizations. But it can have a dark side, leading women to underinvest in their own success even as they devote time to building up others. This instinct for self-sacrifice also lies at the bottom of a number of behaviors that hold women back.

As you will see, the trick to maximizing your talents and opportunities is not becoming a less thoughtful and giving person, but rather being purposeful and intentional about your choices while also addressing the behaviors that keep you stuck.


How do you know if you’re stuck?

Stuckness usually manifests in different ways that are nevertheless interconnected.

• You feel something is preventing you from moving forward or from leading the life you’re supposed to be living.

• You feel unable to break through circumstances that are conspiring to hold you down.

• You feel as if your contributions are not recognized or appreciated.

• You feel the people around you have no idea what you’re capable of achieving.

Stuckness can seem circumstantial, the result of your situation or the fault of someone who has power or leverage over you. And this perception may reflect a degree of truth. But it’s also helpful to consider the ways you might be keeping yourself stuck. After all, your responses help shape your circumstances. And your behaviors shape how others respond to you. That’s why being able to identify these behaviors is so important.

Consider the following cases.

Case 1: Not being recognized for what you’re good at

Ellen is a software engineer for a booming Silicon Valley company that has made a high-profile commitment to developing women. She’s a talented engineer, but is also more outgoing, empathic, and socially skilled than many of her engineering colleagues. As a result, she’s been able to build unusually broad connections during the three years she’s been with her company.

She describes herself as “a go-to person,” a fulcrum around which relationships form. Co-workers frequently e-mail her with queries or requests for help. She connects them with other employees who might be helpful or with resources they need. This helps her be effective in her job and improves workflow throughout her unit. Her boss has frequently commented on how well things seem to be going.

Because Ellen takes pride in her connectedness and sees it as an essential aspect of the value she provides, she was stunned when, during her unit’s annual performance review retreat, her boss made the point in an otherwise excellent assessment that “she needs to get better known in the organization, have more of a presence, and more actively promote what our division is doing.”

“I couldn’t believe it,” she says. “The very thing I’ve always thought I was best at, and he’s telling me I fall short! He even makes it the center of his critique.”


  • "Sally and Marshall give new meaning to the term 'dream team.' Together they have produced a masterpiece, an over-the-moon but magnificently down-to-earth leadership book for the ages."—Tom Peters,bestselling author of In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America'sBest-Run Companies
  • "A myth-busting "how to" for the next generation of women leaders, and those who want to see them succeed. These ideas will transform our workplaces, our careers, and our lives."—Rita McGrath, professor at Columbia BusinessSchool and a Thinkers50 Top Ten Business Thinker
  • "Women suffer from gender bias and when they rise further, also from the general difficulties of leadership. When women approach the top of organizations, they can also bring their own strengths that may unfairly be seen as weaknesses. Sally Helgesen's expertise and Marshall Goldsmith's wisdom bring these insights to light, so that women and men and can do better together at reaching their goals for us all to move forward. This is a powerful and timely book."—Dr. Anthony Marx, President, New York PublicLibrary
  • "Women leaders will be driving forces in twenty-first century organizations. Practically and persuasively, Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith map out how this can and must happen."—Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove, Founders of Thinkers50
  • "How Women Rise is a great read for any woman who wants to identify self-defeating behaviors that are holding her back, gain insight into why she engages in those behaviors, and develop skills to confidently achieve her goals."—Lois P. Frankel,Ph.D., author of Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office and See JaneLead
  • "The most powerful thing you can do for your career is to change what's in your control. Together, Marshall and Sally help women understand what they can change about their own behavior today to make greater contributions tomorrow. How Women Rise is a how-to guide for any woman seeking her next success."—Deanna Mulligan, CEO,Guardian Life
  • "Many of the behaviors most prized in women socially are exactly the same behaviors that hold them back professionally. That paradox provokes huge amounts of conflict, anger, pain and frustration at work. But Sally and Marshall are here to help: identifying how and when to reconcile competing demands and motivators, without losing their identity, professionalism or power."—Margaret Heffernan,CEO and author of Willful Blindness
  • "Pick up this book. Scan the 12 habits. Circle the top three that make you say 'that's me!' Read those chapters, commit to one of the suggestions, and you're on your way. The authors know their material!"—Beverly Kaye, founderof Career Systems International and co-author of Love 'Em or Lose 'Em:Getting Good People to Stay
  • "Women who seek to rise, take note! This is your essential go-to guide. Also highly recommended for men who work with, for, or around women."—Liz Smith, CEO,Bloomin' Brands
  • "This is a must read for women aiming to get to the next level in their careers. It gives insights into challenges and practical tools to address them."—Michelle R.Clayman, Founder and Chief Investment Officer, New Amsterdam Partners andChair, Advisory Council, of the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for GenderResearch at Stanford University
  • "Fast forward your career with one powerful book from two of the world's most brilliant coaches! Marshall's famous strategies for behavior change combined with Sally's profound expertise on women will change your life from the first chapter. Start reading this book now!"—Carol Evans, Founderand President Emeritus of Working Mother Media
  • "The habits and beliefs in How Women Rise provide a wonderful and positive opportunity for women to be self-aware. Sally and Marshall show women how to make tangible and crisp changes that will help them be even more successful and fulfilled at work and at home."—Aicha Evans, SeniorVice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Intel Corporation and a Fortunemagazine Top Future Women Leaders in America
  • "A gem and a revelation. If you lead women, work with women, are a woman or know any women, you must read this book. Its sage and sane wisdom points the way to a life of genuine purpose and meaning."—Richard Leider,international bestselling author of The Power of Purpose, RepackingYour Bags, and Life Reimagined
  • "The best leaders understand that in the shadow of their strengths lurk silent career killers. Sally and Marshall offer a brilliant lens to understand and transcend the habits that hold us back. If you want to lead at the top, How Women Rise is for you."—Liz Wiseman,bestselling author of Multipliers and Rookie Smarts
  • "Whether you are just starting out in your career or a top executive, ample case studies, research, and wisdom make this engaging and actionable read a must read!"—Sanyin Siang, Executive Director of theFuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics, Duke University
  • "Sally and Marshall enable leaders who are women to move from where they are to where they want to be by sharing a blueprint for challenging the status-quo and shining a light on leading change."—Frances Hesselbein,Winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor
  • "I am broadly distributing Marshall's new book, How Women Rise, to our leaders across Best Buy, to help our women leaders achieve their career goals and mentor their female colleagues, and to help men better work with and support the development of their female colleagues."—Hubert Joly, Chairmanand CEO, Best Buy
  • "The top 3 reasons why I loved Sally and Marshall's book How Women Rise? 1) It's incredibly helpful to women, those with female colleagues or direct reports, and the healthy minority of men who are also more self-effacing than aggrandizing. 2) The book is filled with news you can use. It's has helped me, my C-level clients and will help you too. 3) The pages turn themselves. As a scientist as well as coach I can see the psychological and business sophistication behind the 12 habits. Start practicing today."—CarolKauffman, Harvard Medical School and Founder/Executive Director of the Instituteof Coaching
  • "It's easy to find oneself in the pages of How Women Rise. Sally and Marshall teach us how to shift out of auto-pilot, jettison our success-inhibiting habits, and actively steer for the career destination we desire."—Whitney Johnson, critically-acclaimed author of DisruptYourself
  • "Compelling, practical and highly engaging. Women seeking to make a career in law can benefit greatly from reading How Women Rise."—Jami Wintz McKeon,Chair, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • "Sally and Marshall's observations are brilliant-informed by both personal experience and deep scholarship. The behaviors they recommend are pragmatic and achievable; it is a book that will enhance women's effectiveness and ultimately their power."—Anna Fels, MD, authorof Necessary Dreams: Ambition in Women's Changing Lives
  • "Extraordinary real-life stories of women who wait to be asked to the party, get stuck in their comfort zone, seek perfection, and assume their hard work will be recognized. Sally and Marshall show us how to get unstuck and to 'stand out' so women can move forward in more purposeful, powerful, and productive careers. This is a must read with great actionable advice!"—Janice Reals Ellig,Chief Executive Officer of Chadick Ellig and one of BusinessWeek's"World's Most Influential Headhunters"
  • "Sally and Marshall have written a practical and entertaining career guide tailored to help women ascend to senior leadership roles in business, government, and not-for-profits."—Geoff Smart, Chairmanand Founder of ghSMART and bestselling author of Who and Power Score
  • "How Women Rise is absolutely the right book at the right time by the ideal authors. Sally and Marshall's experiences and perspectives in leadership development, career success, and professional and personal satisfaction are each world-class in their own right. But taken together, they are magnificently complementary, creating an inspiring and actionable guide that will change the careers and lives of women leaders everywhere."—James M. Citrin,leader of Spencer Stuart's CEO Practice and a member of the firm's WorldwideBoard of Directors
  • "They offer the kind of advice that women further along in their careers might wish they had known, from sidestepping the pitfalls of negative office culture to leveraging alliances with co-workers. A concise, upbeat guide for women who have grown bored or impatient with their positions, as well as for those new to the professional world and its leadership roles."—Kirkus Reviews
  • "[An] insightful book.... [Helgesen and Goldsmith's] push for women to do a better job of claiming their achievements is a must-read."—The Everygirl
  • "A smart and well-researched handbook for women trying to make the next step in their careers.... Helgesen and Goldsmith offer much more than just insights into the what of habits that constrain. They provide detailed tutoring on how to replace them with behaviors that produce excellent results."—Roger Dean Duncan, Forbes

On Sale
Apr 10, 2018
Page Count
256 pages
Hachette Books

Sally Helgesen

About the Author

Sally Helgesen, cited in Forbes as the world’s premier expert on women’s leadership, is an internationally bestselling author, speaker, and leadership coach. She has been ranked #6 among the world’s top 30 leadership thinkers by Global Gurus, honored by the coaching consortium MEECO for her transformational influence on organizational cultures, and chosen as the Thinkers 50/Marshall Goldsmith world’s top coach for women leaders.

Sally’s most recent book, How Women Rise, co-authored with legendary executive coach Marshall Goldsmith, examines the behaviors most likely to get in the way of successful women. It became the top-seller in its field within a week of publication and rights have been sold in 15 languages. Previous books include The Female Advantage: Women’s Ways of Leadership, hailed as the classic and continuously in print since 1990, and The Female Vision: Women’s Real Power at Work, which explores how women’s strategic insights can strengthen their careers. The Web of Inclusion: A New Architecture for Building Great Organizations, was cited in The Wall Street Journal as one of the best books on leadership of all time and is credited with bringing the language of inclusion into business.

In addition to delivering leadership workshops and keynotes for companies around the world, Sally has consulted with the United Nations on building more inclusive country offices in Africa and Asia, led programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Smith College and been visiting scholar at Northwestern University, U-Nordic Stockholm, and the Lauriston Institute Melbourne AU. She is a contributing editor for Strategy + Business magazine and a member of the MG 100 Coaching Network and the New York and International Women’s Forums. She lives in the Hudson Valley.

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Marshall Goldsmith

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Marshall Goldsmith is America’s preeminent executive coach. He is among a select few consultants who have been asked to work with more than sixty CEOs. His clients have included many of the world’s leading corporations. He has helped to implement leadership development processes that have impacted more than one million people around the world. He has a Ph.D. from UCLA and is on the faculty of the executive education programs for Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan. The American Management Association recently named him as one of fifty great thinkers and business leaders over the past eighty years.

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