Book offers work-place leadership advice

By Maria-Jose Subiria


Sometimes, even professionals need a little guidance, and a book will help lead the way.

Authors Rhonda Joy McLean, Elaine Meryl Brown and Marsha Haygood, of the book entitled, "The Little Black Book of Success: Laws Of Leadership For Black Women," are scheduled to make an appearance today from 7 p.m., to 8:30 p.m., at Barnes & Noble, 1939 Mount Zion Road.

"We really believe in creating a new generation of leaders, as they tap into their leadership potential," said McLean in a phone interview.

The information in the book does not come from a study, according to McLean, but instead it derives from her, and co-authors Elaine Brown's, and Marsha Haygood's experiences on-the-job.

McLean said she is a deputy general counsel, for Time Inc., and her clients include TIME magazine, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, FORTUNE and Essence magazine. She said she is responsible for regulatory compliance for the 40 magazines published by Time Inc., in the U.S. and Canada.

She said Brown, an Emmy Award winning producer, writer and director, retired from Home Box Office, Inc., (HBO), about six months ago, and worked for the company for 22 years.

McLean added that Haygood retired from New Line Cinema and was head of human resources there, for about 13 years.

"We have been friends for 10 years," she said.

Although the book targets black women, women of all colors, and even men, can benefit from the book, the author said.

"I think it [the book] is important for, not only the African American woman, but for everybody. Our country and our world [are]becoming multi-cultural."

The book has 40 chapters, each containing a principle of law and leadership, which include topics such as, self-esteem, stepping out of one's comfort zone and obtaining a career mentor, said McLean.

"What they [readers] will get is some step-by-step guidance, to assist them in setting goals for themselves," she said.

McLean said women who want to be leaders in the workforce, must study the culture of their industry. This is a stepping stone, to becoming a team player in the work place, she said.

As a leader, a woman needs to be someone her employees can aspire to emulate, because of what she brings to the table, McLean said.

Furthermore, McLean said, a promotion does not always help boost a career, but instead, leaving the company might.

According to McLean, women may leave a company because they do not see a future ahead, or because their superior does not offer the raise, or promotion they deserve.

"Maybe you've done all you can do there, and it's time to leave instead," she said.

She said the book also encourages readers to create a "personal leadership role book," where they record their career goals and desires.