Wednesday, October 26, 2011

SELF: "4 Leadership Lessons We Learned From the Girl Scouts"

SELF reports that in honor of the Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary, Girl Scouts CEO Kathy Cloninger (who will retire next month) is taking a look back in her new book, "Tough Cookies: Leadership Lessons From 100 Years of the Girl Scouts." Below are the four lessons that SELF walked away from the book with.

1. Selling cookies is serious business.

"Just being able to say 'I'm a Girl Scout and I'm selling cookies' puts a girl in a position of respect, influence and approval," Cloninger writes. "At the same time, she's learning how to interact with coworkers, how to play by the rules, how to be ambitious, how hard work pays off, and how to set both long-term and short-term goals."

With today's workforce more competitive than ever, it's never too early for girls to learn these critical skills! And the rest of us get to snack on Thin Mints -- yum.

2. Leaders are made, not born.

"A national poll of American women found that two-thirds of American women of professional achievement, and more than three-fourths of those who were deemed 'women of distinction,' had been Girl Scouts in their youth," Cloninger writes. Plus, 80 percent of female senior executives and business owners are former Girl Scouts, as are two-thirds of the women in Congress and virtually all of the women in NASA's astronaut corps. Proof that the world's most successful women start young!

3. Sometimes, girls need a troop of their own.

"Girl Scouts always has provided a sanctuary where girls can be themselves, not bothered or distracted or intimidated by boys," Cloninger writes. With today's girls more concerned than ever about their appearance and attractiveness, as Cloninger points out, they need a safe place to focus on more important things.

4. The 3 C's: Today's girls need "courage, confidence, and character."

The most recent Girl Scouts mission statement reads: "Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place."