It’s been a little minute since my last book review post but in my defense I’ve had to undergo intensive leadership training these past few months.
So I thought what better time to gain more leadership knowledge than right at the peak of my career in Nonprofit Management and here we are!
Can I just say how much I love this read! “Lead From The Outside: How To Build Your Future and Make Real Change” by Stacey Abrams is insightful, refreshing and charismatic.
Abrams looks at challenges that hinder, people of color, the working class, members of the LGBTQ+ community and millennials through a whole new lens.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book on Audible, not sponsored btw, because it was read aloud by Stacey Abrams herself.
Now let's dive into this review!
American politician, lawyer, voting rights activist, and author, Stacey Abrams devises a guide to leadership that warms your heart in a way not many politicians can.
This part memoir/part self-help book chronicles her rise to power as a minority leader. Abrams reflects on her time in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2007 to 2017, serving as minority leader from 2011 to 2017 and the recent 2018 election.
Abrams was the first black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the United States, and she was the first black woman and first Georgian to deliver a Response to the State of the Union.
Abrams has been on the frontlines of key initiatives to defend voting rights, broaden economic power and build equity in the south, as well as working to increase civic engagement.
Abrams founded a nonprofit organization, Fair Count that is dedicated to partnering with Hard to Count (HTC) communities to achieve a fair and accurate count of all people in Georgia and the nation in the 2020 Census, and to strengthening the pathways to greater civic participation.
Abrams hones in on her experience and life lessons to break down how ambition, fear, money, and failure function in leadership, while offering personal stories, practical strategies, and exercises you can do in real time.
Abrams illuminates the path for minority leaders to rise to make real systemic changes.
Abrams urges minority leaders not to take a back seat when it comes to challenging stereotypes.
Tokenism is real and as tempting as is to not want to be the one who represents all women or all people of color we must not be silent about issues that affect all aspects of our life and autonomy.
Abrams addresses the fact that women are more likely to be underpaid for the same work, be in careers where salaries lag behind and face hidden tax prejudices that siphon off their money before they have a chance to realize it.
According to a Pew Research Center analysis women working full-time get paid 84% of what male counterparts receive.
Rarely do we see Black women asking for money for various reasons one being pride. I struggle to ask for help myself, but it is so crucial that we do.
Abrams encourages us to gain financial literacy and independence by getting to know someone who works in organizations like the PTA or neighborhood association, boardnetusa.org, exploring volunteermatch.org, serving on the audit committee or finance committee see how decisions are made first hand.
We can’t wait for others to give us permission to act we must take the initiative to seize the opportunity for ourselves.
Silence is dangerous in corrosive. We must take accountability and find ways to hack the system rather than dismantle it.
In order to embrace our most authentic self Abrams suggest that we have to be clear about how we are seen.
Abrams encourages minority leaders to embrace their own ambitions and tap into their potential even if it doesn’t fit society’s standard.
We don’t have to be bound to one passion or career. I often think about how I switched my focus from Multimedia Journalism to Nonprofit Management.
Both are passions are valid and valuable in their own right.
Abrams shows us that we can give ourselves space to explore when you don’t know what you want and when you do know why choose it everyday.
In her pursuit of power Abrams continued to look to the accomplishments in her life to leverage the confidence she earned there.
She insist that minority leaders embrace failure and urges them not to become complicit by giving credence to bad actions.
Minority leaders must be willing to give before they can receive.
She tells minority leaders not to downplay your abilities trying to be humble, deflect praise and belittle our accomplishments.
Instead we must know our worth and stop giving our power away.
I love how Abrams contradicts the belief that their is a work/life balance. She compares life to a game of Jenga.
Life is a series of moves and strategizing ways to keep ourselves from collapsing but even when we do fall we can pick ourselves back up and rebuild.
To cope with the falls of life we have to take time for self-care.
Abrams inspires us to critically think about where we are now and where we want to be.
Ultimately we must never be ashamed to reach for more!
Top Five Quotes
“What I seek to achieve is bigger than any prejudices about who I am”
“Finding your ambition demands that you allow yourself the time and energy to understand what holds you back from defining what you really want”
“Denying fear of disappointing everyone to avoid responsibility for everyone doesn’t do anyone any good either”
“Do not drop hints, they’ll lie on the ground forever”
“Saying no doesn't make you a bad person"
Have you read Lead From The Outside?
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