Tiffany Dufu: Drop the Ball



Turned out to be Tiffany Dufu s version of the same story The endorsement by uiet author Susan Cain had me hopeful but while Dufu does spend a great deal of time discussing household communication the tales of her networking activities were than enough to make an introvert s head spin It s an amazing feat that she gets any work done at home or at the office between all the cocktail parties and coffee dates even if many of these activities are part of her ob description and that of her husbandMany readers of Lean In complained that it was out of touch with non executive women In this regard Dufu deserves credit for featuring a few stories of average lower income women a bus driver for instance navigating the demands of unforgiving work schedules child care and household management But I wish she would have given them attention Dufu may not be a Google executive but her personal story had much the same thrust as Sandberg s with the drive for a trophy career at its root even if that wasn t one of her explicit personal goals her story read this way to me While Dufu pushes the unrealistic dream of having it all to the side when it comes to dropping the ball there is only one arena in which that attitude is ever entertained the home It is always mail piling up home projects that settle for good enough but I didn t recall Dufu ever describing how she passed off organizing a big event to a colleague so she had a manageable load Perhaps this was merely the boundaries the book drew for itself Ironically while Dufu is hyper focused on helping her readers break free of the stifling pressure of the invisible homemakers meritocracy she merely advocates prioritizing one meritocracy the workplace over another the home I guess I was bound to be disappointed by a book that presumed all of its readers had their priorities in the same order but not without some obligatory lip service to diversity in families and social circumstances The main problem with this narrative is that it dismisses the many motivations mothers have for working often than we d like to admit it is not primarily for personal development though that is always a nice bonus but in order to pay the bills and support their family and perhaps because they are terrified that taking a few years off will forever eliminate their ability to gain and sustain a professional The Myth of Psychology job in perpetuity which again is depressingly realistic Western society may have accepted that pregnancy doesn t merit a compulsory resignation but it has not yet accepted that a few years of raising children full time does not reduce all of a woman s education and skill to a worthless heap Most working mothers already do most of the things Dufu recommends such as abandoning perfectionism and control going to bed on time and delegating withoy When there s very little room to drop the ball at home it makes one wonder why it always seems out of the uestion to consider dropping it anywhere else The subtle message is that if women don t want high powered careers they don t belong in the workplace at all Where are the options for women who want to support their families but don t have their heart set on making it to the top Why are our only choices go for the C suite or nothing Why is the trendy solution to the work life balance have your husband do around the house rather than negotiate a flexible schedule than prioritizes the health of a working mom and her family Why is it working parents that have to drop the ball rather than their employers I wish that Dufu would have asked some tougher uestions that would have set her story apart from Lean In. Also starting families Mounting responsibilities at work and home leave them with no bandwidth to do what will most lead to their success Offering new perspective on why the women's leadership movement has stalled and packed with actionable advice Tiffany Dufu's Drop the Ball urges women to embrace imperfection to expect less of themselves and from others only then can they focus on what they truly care about devote the necessary energy to achieving their real goals and create the type of rich rewarding life we all desir.

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E on than they need to andor don t ask for help The applications of this book are really ust towards working women in a committed relationship with a man she acknowledges that the dynamics are different in same sex couples where both partners work outside the home One of the biggest issues facing the couple is the ingrained sexism we inherit from watching our parents generation and media which harms both men and womenShe suggests that not everything must be done perfectly as this is sometimes why women would rather do the tasks themselves that we should trust our partners to do housework and do it well and that we can drop the ball by giving up some of these responsibilities to our partners or sometimes to noone if it doesn t help with your andor your partner s missions in life She uses many anecdotes from her own life and those of people she knows to explain these situations and show how they might be aided by a different approachI am not usually a lover of self help books but this was really incredible It flows so beautifully and with such clarityrelatableness that I felt like it could have come from my own life experiences Although this book may not resonate with everyone s situations I found it to be really poignant and highly applicable to my own life I see a lot of myself in the situations Dufu describes and I have been trying to get better about this especially regarding standards of perfection at home it really made me feel less alone with my own struggles and offers up some great strategies for how to allow yourself to let things go as well as how to approach your partner for help if this is an issue For me I found the passages about letting perfection go most critical Dufu tells us to ask for our massive to do lists and see what actually needs to be done what can be done in an easier way and what can be done by someone else If we prioritize based on our and our family s goals there are many things we think we need to do that we really do not I am not saying this as well as she does but it s a really fantastic book and I would highly suggest this for women who are struggling to have it all and who have a male partner as this is where most of the advice would be applicable less so for single parents or same sex couples There are a few examples of these other situations but by and large this book is for a fairly specific demographic but for people in this situation I think it would be incredibly usefulPlease note that I received this book through a goodreads giveaway All opinions are my own I picked up this book because a colleague of mine said most career books for women didn t have useful information for her as a person of color So I went actively looking for a book by an author of color that had high ratings and sadly it took some doing to find one However I m not sure that this book will meet my colleague s need as it ended up primarily about giving up on being a perfectionist homemakermother and learning to focus on what s most important with your limited time for career marriage motherhood and home With that said I do think you can take some of the principles of the book and apply them to work Especially as stereotypically women can be assignedvolunteer for so many projects that are not seen as career advancing but that benefit the company See As someone who does uggle two teenage boyshome with a full time career and long commute this book made me even grateful I found this book disappointing probably due to the marketing as much as anything else I had seen this advertised as a measured response to Sheryl Sandberg s Lean In but it merely. Er and personal goals was an impossibility Eventually she discovered the solution letting go In Drop the Ball Dufu recounts how she learned to reevaluate expectations shrink her to do list and meaningfully engage the assistance of others freeing the space she needed to flourish at work and to develop deeper meaningful relationships at homeEven though women are half the workforce they still represent only eighteen per cent of the highest level leaders The reasons are obvious ust as women reach middle management they are.

35 starsOne of the things that s hardest about the twin problems for women of worklife balance and domestic division of labor is actually figuring out how to fix it We know the problems but finding workable solutions can feel like ust another thing that overwhelms you when you re already overwhelmed DROP THE BALL s greatest strength is that it understands this and lays out a roadmap with actionable steps and specific examples Dufu is smart funny and personable Reading the book makes you want to be her friend Highly recommended particularly for women with young children or women who are planning to have kids soonNow time for the nitpicking Because I have some nits to pick I always do with this kind of self help book This book should really say up front that it is for a limited audience specifically 1 women 2 who work 3 are happily married to a man who also works 4 and have career goals in leadership or even the C Suite It also assumes that you are reasonably well off and able bodied If you are most of these things you should find a lot of useful information here But if you re a single woman like me there s a lot less There s one other very significant caveat the happily in happily married I added Going Om just above is for a reason This book assumes that you have a husband who really does view you as an eual partner and who really does support your career and who really does want to help out This is a pretty significant assumption There are a lot of women who have straight up asked for the things Dufu spends the first portion of the book not asking for and not received them The assumption that you can drop a ball and your husband will pick it up is one that will leave a lot of women with a permanently dropped ball There is a lot of good advice here I like what Dufu has to say about delegating withoy and avoiding the problem of uninvolved fathers especially with infants But I admit I felt irked a lot because so much of the work here still falls on women To be fair this is a book FOR women who want this specific advice It really isn t the book s fault I ust wonder where are all the books for men making it clear to them that they aren t pulling their weight and giving them action itemsThe final limitation I noticed was in a note I made on one page where Dufu talked about her support system or village to assist with tasks I wrote This is an extrovert s village And it is Dufu knows a lot of people she has a strong support system and she s clearly a people person If you are in a new place if you work from home if you are an introvert it s going to be hard to replicate the many categories of contacts Dufu recommendsI was partnered in my early parentingworking years and I did give a lot of things up in my career and I did have massive issues in my marriage about division of labor so a lot of what Dufu says rang very true to me I don t know that her solutions would have worked but I think they could have been helpful for me if I d read this earlier in life And if I ever consider partnering with someone and considering division of household labor again I will definitely be picking up this book once again And giving it to my partner too Drop the Ball is a how to guide on having it all based on Tiffany Dufu s experience with her husband I found myself as a modernyoungish woman nodding along with so many of her perspectives and experiences She explores how despite how far we have come as a gender many of the household responsibilities still fall to women Even if men help out their contribution statistically is not 50% and this is not always their fault sometimes women tak. A bold and inspiring memoir and manifesto from a renowned voice in the women's leadership movement who shows women how to cultivate the single skill they really need in order to thrive the ability to let go Once the poster girl for doing it all after she had her first child Tiffany Dufu struggled to accomplish everything she thought she needed to in order to succeed Like so many driven and talented women who have been brought up to believe that to have it all they must do it all Dufu began to feel that achieving her care.