Paul Tulenko's Small Business E-News
"The Naked Truth" A Working Woman's Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters by: Margaret Heffernan
Friday November 19, 2004

Well, I don't know what to tell you... this book has a lot of 'thought material' for men in high places along with some 'valid complaints with possible solutions' for women. There's also a bunch of surprises included. Let's start with the men's side of things:

I like the way Chapter 5 begins. "Power is the ability to do things. With power we can achieve goals. With power we can make choices. WIth power, we can do things for ourselves, we can do things for other people. With power we can change the game." Men understand that, act on it, and do everything in their power to make it happen. The acquisition of power and the resultant perks are facts that men know, work to acquire, and understand.

I also like the way Chapter 2 outlines the typical way women try to 'fit-in'. "In my experience, there are four main stereotypes women tend to fall into: geisha, invisible woman, bitch, and guy."...All over the world are women who've fought their way through this nonsense and emerged whole. It can be done." This chapter is empowering for women and enlightning for men. Read it with that thought in mind.

Chapter 11 ends this way. "When I started thinking about the lives of women in business, I used to think in terms of catching up with men. But now I see that that is irrelevant, because it is women who are the trailblazers. Our career patterns, which companies see as so eccentric and challenging, are the shape of things to come"

Women, pay attention! Throughout the book are vignettes of women, some you will hate, some you will love, some you will awe; but overall you will end up digesting their experiences, contemplating their journeys, and making decisions on your own life.

Men, pay attention! The world of business is changing, and unless we decide to actively participate in those changes, we stand the absolutely unthinkable and seemingly unbelievable chance of being marginalized. Think of that while you are putting on the 10th.

The 'between' chapters tell the story of Margaret's learnings from her point of view, and if enough women buy-into, read, and act-on what she writes, we may be in for a major change in the way business in America is conducted. For you men out there, you need to read this book. Whether you decide to go along with Margaret's ideas or not is irrelevant, the changes are coming. What we (men) need to decide is whether we will participate and possibly help guide and benefit from participating in the changes.

I give this book 4 1/2 stars. (Only the Bible and the Constitution receive 6 stars.)