Women, It’s Time to Stand Up and Count!

I just finished reading an amazing new book entitled, Women Count: A Guide to Changing the World by Susan Bulkeley Butler, the first female partner of Anderson Consulting (now Accenture). This relatively small book packs a big punch, and has risen to the top of my recommended business books for women entrepreneurs.

It was Gandhi who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” and that message echoes throughout in Butler’s challenge to women.  Rather than always being counted for this or that, Butler calls on women to think bigger, act bolder, and speak louder to achieve positions around the globe where we can make a difference, and COUNT.

In her first book, Become the CEO of You Inc, Butler wrote that to achieve success “…you have to pave your own path, make your own plan, and find mentors and teammates to help you along the way to your goals. You have to learn to ask for what you want. You have to make things happen for you — rather than let things happen to you.”  Sounds simple, and yet how often have you been waiting for things to happen?

Never has there been a better time for women to break out of the stereotypical mold and blaze trails like the female pioneers Butler describes throughout this book.  There is so much inspiration woven into the stories of the women who made a big difference in their “corner of the world.”

I believe that the key to creating a women’s movement for change will require greater unity among women in business, through the mentorship model that Butler recommends, as well as providing women the strategies to overcome the obstacles they create for themselves by way of limiting beliefs.  Thinking big is essential, but will never materialize into action if not backed up by unshakeable beliefs.  A few of my favorites quotes of wisdom from this book represent this mental shift women need to embrace:

  • “To become women who count, women need to change their own equations…It means moving beyond positions of support and into positions of leadership. And it means creating a new vision of how you see yourself…”
  • “…women need to decide what they really want and then go make it happen.”
  • “To move from being counted to counting, every woman has to figure out her own way to make all the disparate pieces of her life add up to success and happiness.”

You may be wondering what you can do to take action and truly embrace the unique opportunity you have to make a difference, even in your small corner of the world.  Butler offers four steps —

  1. Create a clear vision – you’ve got to decide what you want to change, what problem you wish to solve in order to develop steps to make it happen.
  2. Build a team – get others on board with what you wish to accomplish, as many hands make the work lighter.
  3. Develop a detailed plan – lay out all the to-do’s between where you are right now and where you wish to be by a specific point in time.
  4. Navigate the journey – as with any plan, you need to have a way to track your progress and make adjustments along the way for life’s unexpected surprises, so you can stay on course to the finish line.

The only thing holding you back from changing the world is you.  If there is something you’ve longed to do, but haven’t had the courage to tackle, then perhaps Women Count will be the catalyst that pushes you out of your comfort zone.

This book is a brilliant approach to not only educate, but motivate women to action.    When women choose to create self-fulfilling prophecies that culminate in the realization of their dreams, we will begin to see more women in leadership positions, large and small, in boardrooms and the classrooms — and more women who count.


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  1. Posted May 6, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I read it back in December and I just loved it. I’ve reread parts of it several times since then. I haven’t got around to reviewing it -yet -but it’s on She Takes on the World’s Top 10 Books for Women list 🙂

    Great review Shannon!

    • Posted May 7, 2011 at 7:35 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for your comment, Natalie! Is there any action that you are taking as a result of reading it?

      I will have to check out the others on your top 10 list too. 🙂 I am looking forward to reading Butler’s prior book soon. Take care.

  2. Posted May 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I just finished reading it too and seriously will be picking this book up a lot to refer back to. It’s been the catalyst for me ramping up my business this week alone to make it do way more than count!

    Great review, mine’s coming up!

    • Posted May 6, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Awesome, Natalie! I can’t wait to read yours too, and find out how you are applying it to your business. 🙂

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