Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less PDF ✓

Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less A bold and inspiring memoir and manifestofrom 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, meaningful relationships at homeEven 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 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 3.5 stars.One of the things that s hardest about the twin problems for women of work life balance and domestic division of labor is actually figuring out how to fix it We know the problems but finding workable solutions can feel like just another thing that overwhelms you when you re already overwhelmed DROP THE BALL s greatest strength is that it understands this and lays out a roadmap with actionable steps and specific examples Dufu is smart, funny, and personable Reading the book makes yo 3.5 stars.One of the things that s hardest about the twin problems for women of work life balance and domestic division of labor is actually figuring out how to fix it We know the problems but finding workable solutions can feel like just another thing that overwhelms you when you re already overwhelmed DROP THE BALL s greatest strength is that it understands this and lays out a roadmap with actionable steps and specific examples Dufu is smart, funny, and personable Reading the book makes you want to be her friend Highly recommended, particularly for women with young children or women who are planning to have kids soon.Now, time for the nitpicking Because I have some nits to pick I always do with this kind of self help book This book should really say up front that it is for a limited audience, specifically 1 women, 2 who work, 3 are happily married to a man who also works, 4 and have career goals in leadership or even the C Suite It also assumes that you are reasonably well off and able bodied If you are most of these things, you should find a lot of useful information here But if you re a single woman, like me, there s a lot less There s one other very significant caveat the happily in happily married I added just above is for a reason This book assumes that you have a husband who really does view you as an equal partner and who really does support your career and who really does want to help out This is a pretty significant assumption There are a lot of women who have straight up asked for the things Dufu spends the first portion of the book not asking for and not received them The assumption that you can drop a ball and your husband will pick it up is one that will leave a lot of women with a permanently dropped ball There is a lot of good advice here, I like what Dufu has to say about delegating with joy and avoiding the problem of uninvolved fathers, especially with infants But I admit I felt irked a lot because so much of the work here still falls on women To be fair, this is a book FOR women who want this specific advice It really isn t the book s fault I just wonder where are all the books for men making it clear to them that they aren t pulling their weight and giving them action itemsThe final limitation I noticed was in a note I made on one page where Dufu talked about her support system, or village, to assist with tasks I wrote, This is an extrovert s village And it is Dufu knows a lot of people, she has a strong support system, and she s clearly a people person If you are in a new place, if you work from home, if you are an introvert, it s going to be hard to replicate the many categories of contacts Dufu recommends.I was partnered in my early parenting working years and I did give a lot of things up in my career and I did have massive issues in my marriage about division of labor so a lot of what Dufu says rang very true to me I don t know that her solutions would have worked, but I think they could have been helpful for me if I d read this earlier in life And if I ever consider partnering with someone and considering division of household labor again, I will definitely be picking up this book once again And giving it to my partner, too I found this book disappointing, probably due to the marketing as much as anything else I had seen this advertised as a measured response to Sheryl Sandberg s Lean In, but it merely turned out to be Tiffany Dufu s version of the same story The endorsement by Quiet author Susan Cain had me hopeful but while Dufu does spend a great deal of time discussing household communication, the tales of her networking activities werethan enough to make an introvert s head spin It s an amazing I found this book disappointing, probably due to the marketing as much as anything else I had seen this advertised as a measured response to Sheryl Sandberg s Lean In, but it merely turned out to be Tiffany Dufu s version of the same story The endorsement by Quiet author Susan Cain had me hopeful but while Dufu does spend a great deal of time discussing household communication, the tales of her networking activities werethan enough to make an introvert s head spin It s an amazing feat that she gets any work done at home or at the office between all the cocktail parties and coffee dates, even if many of these activities are part of her job description and that of her husband.Many readers of Lean In complained that it was out of touch with non executive women In this regard, Dufu deserves credit for featuring a few stories ofaverage, lower income women a bus driver, for instance navigating the demands of unforgiving work schedules, child care, and household management But I wish she would have given themattention Dufu may not be a Google executive, but her personal story had much the same thrust as Sandberg s, with the drive for a trophy career at its root even if that wasn t one of her explicit personal goals, her story read this way to me While Dufu pushes the unrealistic dream of having it all to the side, when it comes to dropping the ball, there is only one arena in which that attitude is ever entertained the home It is always mail piling up, home projects that settle for good enough but I didn t recall Dufu ever describing how she passed off organizing a big event to a colleague so she had amanageable load Perhaps this was merely the boundaries the book drew for itself Ironically, while Dufu is hyper focused on helping her readers break free of the stifling pressure of the invisible homemakers meritocracy, she merely advocates prioritizing one meritocracy the workplace over another the home I guess I was bound to be disappointed by a book that presumed all of its readers had their priorities in the same order but not without some obligatory lip service to diversity in families and social circumstances The main problem with this narrative is that it dismisses the many motivations mothers have for workingoften than we d like to admit, it is not primarily for personal development though that is always a nice bonus , but in order to pay the bills and support their family and perhaps because they are terrified that taking a few years off will forever eliminate their ability to gain and sustain a professional job in perpetuity, which again, is depressingly realistic Western society may have accepted that pregnancy doesn t merit a compulsory resignation, but it has not yet accepted that a few years of raising children full time does not reduce all of a woman s education and skill to a worthless heap Most working mothers already do most of the things Dufu recommends such as abandoning perfectionism and control, going to bed on time, and delegating with joy When there s very little room to drop the ball at home, it makes one wonder why it always seems out of the question to consider dropping it anywhere else The subtle message is that if women don t want high powered careers, they don t belong in the workplace at all Where are the options for women who want to support their families, but don t have their heart set on making it to the top Why are our only choices go for the C suite or nothing Why is the trendy solution to the work life balance have your husband doaround the house, rather than negotiate a flexible schedule than prioritizes the health of a working mom and her family Why is it working parents that have to drop the ball, rather than their employers I wish that Dufu would have asked some tougher questions that would have set her story apart from Lean In Drop the Ball Achieving More by Doing Lessby activist Tiffany Dufu had me very enthused and motivated at the beginning, as it seemed to be well on its way to delivering on the promise of its book description But one by one, misgivings started to crop up, grow, and multiply, so that by the end of the book I was unsettled by Dufu s most basic assumptions and motivations.To begin with, while this book appears to hold up Dufu s marriage as a bastion of ideal communication and harmony, I beganDrop the Ball Achieving More by Doing Lessby activist Tiffany Dufu had me very enthused and motivated at the beginning, as it seemed to be well on its way to delivering on the promise of its book description But one by one, misgivings started to crop up, grow, and multiply, so that by the end of the book I was unsettled by Dufu s most basic assumptions and motivations.To begin with, while this book appears to hold up Dufu s marriage as a bastion of ideal communication and harmony, I began getting flummoxed and finally became fairly exasperated at how bad she really was at communicating, at least to begin with She held in her frustrations and annoyances with her husband Kojo to the point of physical stress, even occasionally flinging out passive aggressive barbs, if not outright verbal attacks She did eventually find a way to talk to Kojo, but only after she had hemmed, hawed, and obsessed about developing just the right phrasing and presentation with which to express herself, emphasizing the correct way of wording what she wants to say, rather than improving her genuine assertiveness That s because she did not see communication as a valuable end unto itself but rather the means to a goal expressing her feelings was actually pitching a well rehearsed argument meant to manipulate her husband into taking the actions she had already decided in advance that she wanted him to take She had already unilaterally formulated the solution his only role was to come to her conclusion while thinking it was his own idea To her credit, on the occasions when her husband surprised her by veering from her preset agenda, she did listen and seemed genuinely open to what he was saying, but the fact that she went in to every marital discussion as if it were a tactical military operation just really rubbed me the wrong way And while I get that because it helps me achieve my goals might work from a reverse psychology point of view, it doesn t help advance thegermane point that a husband doing his fair share in the physical labor of a marriage is simply fair, and if he doesn t, he s kind of a jerk Similarly, Dufu sure makes it sound like you should drop the ball on anything that you don t feel is the highest and best use of your time and simply expect your husband to do it Well, I doubt he really feels like scrubbing the toilet is the highest and best use of his time either, but if you can t afford a housekeeper, then someone s got to do those kinds of jobs eventually Dufu gives women a pass to just declare we re not doing the chores we deem beneath us and expect and require our husband to pick them up, without advocating any negotiation and compromise for sharing of the crappy work She seems to operate in this strange middle ground, between clinging to a very antiquated, patriarchal model of he s the boss marriage, and wanting something better for her own relationship But rather than assuming her husband would also want a fairer andequitable division of roles, she appears to repeatedly underestimate his motivations for example, she assumes that fathers only contribute to childcare to make their wives happy Really Not because they feel any investment in their children s upbringing and want to be involved for the sheer joy of it Dufu s entire motivation for dropping the ball and straight into her husband s lap is so that she hastime to devote to her career, which, because she works in the non profit field of education and empowerment of women and girls, she seems to place a much higher value on than most of her household and family related activities But she never talks about dropping the ball at work for instance, what do you do when a manager or coworker is taking unfair advantage, weaseling you into doing work well outside your job description What if, like most jobs, it comes with boring or administrative busywork that keeps the cogs of the valuable work you do greased Apparently, craptastic tasks still have to get done at work, where there is nobody to guilt or cajole into taking them off your plate And finally, while Tiffany does seem a lovely person and was willing to do some self examination of her record of home life failures, she has not been quite so forthright here with her work life, where clearly balls that nobody ever picked up have sometimes gotten dropped The White House Project that she was rightfully proud of got shuttered Levo, her next project, started up under some sketchy and controversial circumstances If Drop The Ball was really about achievingby doing less and not just achievingat work by doing less at home , where were the counter examples about how to juggle the work life balance from the work side of the equation What was sacrificed in the context of her career, and what lessons were learned Unfortunately, those questions were never even addressed, let alone answered I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book at no cost courtesy of its publisher, Flatiron Books, via Goodreads Giveaways My review of this or any other book has not been influenced by its mode of acquisition. This was an eye opener about some of my own habits in my marriage and I m glad I read this At heart, it s a book about how women wanting it all put unnecessary stress on themselves and others to do so because that s what they ve been shown needs to be done Men, on the other hand, have been shown that they don t need to pick up the pieces or the slack Social conditioning So, when a woman finally says that some of the things that don t take her to her highest and best self remembering to This was an eye opener about some of my own habits in my marriage and I m glad I read this At heart, it s a book about how women wanting it all put unnecessary stress on themselves and others to do so because that s what they ve been shown needs to be done Men, on the other hand, have been shown that they don t need to pick up the pieces or the slack Social conditioning So, when a woman finally says that some of the things that don t take her to her highest and best self remembering to pick up the dry cleaning and tightening screws in the closet she can delegate those tasks and accept the fact that her partner will do them they want he knows how to best do them That doesn t mean they make best use of his highest and best self, but it does in the sense it gives him ownership of household maintenance, too The takeaway for me on this one was accepting that the way my husband does things I ask of him is okay I don t need to micromanage since it s not done the way I would do it It got done that s good enough By praising the work getting done, that positive reinforcement ensureshappens in the future By not micromanaging, I m not nagging and I m also accepting the fact that my husband might be teaching me something about a task or himself The breaking down of gender stuff was interesting I d be really fascinated to see this looked at from a same sex couple perspective, too I suspect tactics and suggestions are the same, but the science and research behind it would be interesting I ll let the dishes sit in the sink now and instead, read another book

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