Reading List: Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office

UPDATED: February 15, 2014
PUBLISHED: February 15, 2014

In 2004, years before Sheryl Sandberg advised women to “lean in,” executive coach Lois P. Frankel challenged women to lean back and take a hard look at the cultural cues and societal attitudes that subconsciously or unconsciously contribute to career-sabotaging mistakes. In this updated edition of her New York Times best-seller, Frankel revisits the concerns addressed in her earlier book and takes on social media, personal branding and other 21st century issues.

In Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office, Frankel identifies and explains 133 “typical mistakes women make at work” and offers coaching tips for each to help women avoid damaging behaviors. Among the mistakes covered: engaging in email wars, internalizing messages, being the last to speak and couching statements as questions. Her coaching tips are as straightforward, practical and honest as always—Frankel says, for example, that women must balance the need for assertion and niceness. “Yes, nice is necessary for success… but women take it to the extreme and lose their own identities in the process,” she says. “Turning into a pretzel to achieve career success causes women to lose their identities and a sense of what they really value in life.” Now, as in 2004, Frankel’s sensible advice rings true whether you’re starting out, starting over or already at the top.

by Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D.

Business Plus; $18

Jessica Krampe is the digital managing editor for A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Jessica has worked for news, entertainment, business and lifestyle publications. Outside of the daily grind, she enjoys happy hours, live music and traveling.