Forbes reports that on the cusp of its 100-year anniversary, the Girl Scouts now counts 10 million members in 144 countries and a growing alumnae network of 50 million women. It’s also big business. The annual cookie sale exceeds $700 million and, for many girls, serves as a first introduction to business basics.
At the head of its largest division, Kathy Cloninger, CEO of the Girls Scouts of the U.S., has spent the last eight years revamping the organization to focus on “girl-centered leadership.” She threw out the old handbooks and irrelevant badges and redesigned them. She merged regional offices, turning 300 into 100. And now, in her new book Tough Cookies: Leadership Lessons from 100 Years of the Girl Scouts, Cloninger demands more attention on female leadership, saying it could be the path to a revived America.