Tough Cookies: Leadership Lessons from 100 Years of the Girl Scouts
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The Girls Scouts organization has shaped the lives of more than 50 million alumnae alive today, among them many of our nation’s female leaders. A national poll of American women, in fact, found that two-thirds of women of professional achievement and more than three-fourths of those who were deemed “women of distinction” had been Girl Scouts in their youth. The same poll found that more than four out of five successful professional women who had been Girl Scouts rated their Girl Scout involvement as helping them achieve later success.
In other words, the Girl Scouts stand for much more than cookies, camping, and crafts. There is no other organization remotely comparable in size, experience, and resources devoted to developing the leadership in girls. Kathy Cloninger, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, tells their story in the new book - Tough Cookies: Leadership Lessons from 100 Years of the Girl Scouts (Wiley; 9781118000045; $24.95; October 2011; Hardcover & E-Book).
Girl Scouts of the USA is gearing up to celebrate its 100th Anniversary in March 2012. Helping to kick off “The Year of the Girl”, November 8-13th will be the Girl Scouts 2011 National Council Session/52nd Convention in Houston, Texas. The organization was founded by Juliette Gordon Low of Savannah, Georgia, who imagined that Girl Scouting could be "the magic thread" that would connect girls everywhere—and for 50 million women, the ties have never been stronger.
TOUGH COOKIES addresses one of our nation’s most underused resources: Girls, and the women they ultimately can become. Kathy Cloninger makes a convincing case for the enormous untapped potential of America’s girls and issues a ringing call to action to girls, boys, parents, the business community, and public to help females make a better, stronger, and more prosperous future for all.
Cloninger underlines her point with two very personal transformation stories. Cloninger, the first member of her family to attend college, was originally advised by her high-school counselor to set her sights on secretarial school. However, her instincts led to college, then to graduate school, to an extremely successful non-profit career, and finally to her appointment as chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the USA.
The other story is that of an iconic but fading American institution that under Cloninger’s galvanizing leadership transformed itself into an envied and widely imitated model of non-profit management excellence. She renewed and revitalized the organization’s commitment to developing girls' leadership capabilities, and implemented a new strategic business plan affecting every major area of organizational activity: programs, volunteerism, brand, funding, and structure/governance.
Under Kathy Cloninger’s leadership, Girl Scouts has completed a nationwide merger of local affiliates. This restructuring effort, virtually unprecedented in the nonprofit sector, has greatly enhanced the organization's ability to deliver programs and services to girls.
The TOUGH COOKIES story is not only a celebration of leadership, citizenship, service, confidence and character but a testament to a movement that continues to transform lives and multiply across the globe.
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Tough Cookies: Leadership Lessons from 100 Years of the Girl Scouts (US $24.95)
-and- Essentials for Board Directors: An A to Z Guide, 2nd Edition (US $15.00)
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