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Real Women, Real Leaders: Surviving and Succeeding in the Business World by Priscilla Shumway, Kathleen Hurley

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A Note from Kathy Hurley

“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”

—Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Sheryl Sandberg's quote from her recent book provides the answer to the question of why we chose to publish this book. Having been in the education industry for far longer than I care to admit (more than forty years), my own life has been a journey on a path to leadership and mentorship. My career began back in 1967 as a special education teacher. I spent five years in the classroom before moving to the private side of the industry to the publishing world. While most women dominated the teaching side of the education industry, it became clear, fairly quickly, that leadership in the publishing world was dominated by men. While there were many women in publishing, most were support roles and not leading divisions or making critical decisions. In a nutshell, at that time, we were the “worker bees.” However, having been an educator, I found that knowing the language of the education world—a language that enabled me to relate to and converse with everyone, from a classroom teacher to a curriculum director to a large school district superintendent—gave me a unique perspective and set me apart from many of my male counterparts. Additionally, I learned that the skills I had been taught to lead a classroom full of students translated quite well to the private-sector side of the industry, and ultimately prepared me for leadership ...

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