Worthy by Jane Boulware: 5*****

Just a spectacular book from Jane Boulware, who rose from small town Iowa to eventually becoming one of the top 150 Executives at Microsoft. This book is part memoir, part business and leadership, part family saga and part inspirational. Short, easy to read chapters, take us from Jane’s childhood to her retirement and the stories are just riveting. Jane had no family help to pay for college and yet she has numerous degrees including two in Forestry. Her first job was with Kimberly-Clark and while there she was the leader of the team that propelled Huggies to the #1 diaper spot over Pampers; she was part of the team that helped transform Scott Paper (in Chester, PA) and restore pride in the workers and the brand, which halted the Scott Paper loggers from logging inferior logs!! Eventually recruited by Microsoft she moved from Wisconsin to Seattle and was met with a rather hostile environment – even though a Corporate VP she was not “one of them.”

We also read about how and why Microsoft went from being a leader in the industry, to falling way behind Apple and Google. The revelations are amazing, and eventually led her to a demotion from CVP to General Manager of a different department. She shows how to make a winning team and how to take the Me culture to a We teamwork culture that propelled her division to the top. She was supported by her husband who very early on became a house father to their 2 children, and she also provides some insights into how to turn dinner table conversations with her kids into a great and fun educational time (the kids tried to teach her to touch her tongue to her nose!). This is just a really fine book, and if you would buy it, all profits are donated to the Boys and Girls Club. Cannot say enough good things about this book!

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