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Tough Cookies: Leadership Lessons from 100 Years of the Girl Scouts

ISBN: 978-1-118-12964-7
192 pages
August 2011
Tough Cookies: Leadership Lessons from 100 Years of the Girl Scouts (1118129644) cover image


Fundamental principles for how Girl Scouts USA is run and why it's so successful

Millions of American businesswomen, thought leaders, and politicians received their first lessons in salesmanship, money management, marketing, teamwork, and fulfillment in the Girl Scouts. The Girls Scouts has shaped the lives of more than 50 million alumnae alive today. Eighty percent of American female senior business executives and business owners are former Girl Scouts. In March 2012, the Girl Scouts will celebrate their 100th anniversary. Tough Cookies captures the essence of this iconic organization and the principles that have allowed them to build and sustain a 100-year-old organization.

Under current CEO Kathy Cloninger's leadership, the Girl Scouts has transformed and enhanced its ability to develop leadership in young women. Tough Cookies outlines the rise of the Girl Scouts, this recent and dramatically successful shift, and lessons that are applicable to make any business or organization a success.

  • An inspiring story of the Girl Scouts founding, along with leadership and business lessons that can be applied to organizations of any size
  • No other organization compares to Girl Scouts in size, experience, and resources devoted to developing leadership skills
  • Publication coincides with the 100-year anniversary of GSUSA

What can your business learn from the Girl Scouts?

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Acknowledgments ix

1 Leadership out of Balance 1

2 How I Got Here 15

3 Talk Less, Listen More 37

4 A Logical Conclusion 57

5 Facing the Brutal Truths 73

6 "Trust Me, This Is Going to Work" 91

7 What to Keep, and What to Let Go 113

8 Oh, Yeah? Prove It! 131

9 Shaking the Money Tree 145

10 Girl Scout, Phone Home 157

About the Author 169

Index 171

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Author Information

Kathy Cloninger is the CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA). She is a recognized expert on, and advocate for, girls' and women's issues and a recognized leader in the not-for-profit sector. She serves on boards of the National Human Services Assembly of the National Council for Research on Women, American Humanics, and Leadership 18. She was named an NPT Power and Influence Top 50 by the NonProfit Times in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
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