February Book Review
The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership For Black Women
In February I sat down and read The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women by Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood, and Rhonda Joy McLean. This self-affirming book claims to be a “mentor in your pocket.” It’s compacted with tips on things like leadership, communication, and confidence. Geared to help black women navigate through their careers. Each chapter is wrapped up with “MAMAisms.” These affirmation-like statements are said to be words heard by our mothers or grandmothers.
When I first opened this book and began to scan the pages, I was afraid I’d be wasting my time. Not because the pages aren’t lined with valuable information, but because it seemed to be for women of a certain age. As a 19-year-old, I still have a ways to go before I’m living the life I dream of. I’m still tossing my career options around. A lot of what this book entails is for the working black woman. For the women who work in corporate America or even the entrepreneurs. That being said, I was surprised at how helpful the authors tips were. One thing I appreciated about this book is the structure. There’s a total of 40 chapters, which are short and get straight to the point.
Chapter 11 “Don’t Let Your Emotions Get The Best of You” discusses the importance of self-control. As someone who struggles with pausing and taking a breath, I found the strategies listed helpful. We all experience hardships but there’s a time and a place to ball up on the floor and break down. There’s a time and a place to throw a temper tantrum. The ladies advise analyzing the situation and sleeping on it before responding. This allows time to cool off as well as time to find a way to handle or cope with what’s happened. I learned that having self-control correlates with Emotional Intelligence. The ladies break down four areas of EI that we should learn to utilize: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.
Below is their break down of these skills:
- “Self-awareness: Acknowledge the problem and how it is affecting you. Learn to understand your emotions and evaluate your tendencies during these difficult or challenging situations.”
- “Self-management: Develop a strategic plan to get what you need. What do you want to happen if you act or do not react to the situation?”
- “Social awareness: How might the situation look to the other person involved. Think about and try to identify what is really going on with the other person.”
- “Relationship management: Show flexibility to get results. Use your understanding of the other three emotional intelligence skills to manage interactions.”
I plan to carry these tips around as a guide on having a better understanding of my emotions so that I can practice better controlling them.
Aside from the structure and that particular chapter, I fell in love with the “MAMAisms”. As mentioned, these conclude each chapter and are in the form of affirmations and quotes.
Here is a list of some of the MAMAisms I liked.
- Make yourself number one.
- Nothing worth having comes easy.
- You are worthy and deserving of having the best of everything.
- Just because people have problems, don’t make them yours.
- You can’t keep a good sistah down…for long.
- If you don’t put yourself first, you can’t help others.
- You can never change what you allow yourself to tolerate.
- No one can be superwoman all the time.
- He who angers you, controls you.
- You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.
- Learn everything you can. Knowledge is power.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out.
Overall, I found the messages to be uplifting. Being a Black woman and trying to progress in the workforce is a challenge. Learning and knowing that we are capable of being leaders is a thought many of us will continue to struggle with as we’re constantly viewed as unworthy. However, applying the lessons in this book is a step in the right direction.
Book ratings will be judged from 1 through 10 with 1 being “It’s a no for me dawg..” and 10 being “Go buy this book NOW!”
My rating for this book is a 10!
March’s Book of The Month