Monday, February 13, 2012

Tough Cookies

Girl Scouts-- anytime you hear them mentioned, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Thin Mints. Tagalongs. Do-Si-Dos. Girl Scout Cookies! Even a Google search for “Girl Scout” automatically prompts “Girl Scout Cookies” as if the two terms were synonymous.

But Girl Scouts are so much more than cute little girls toting boxes of cookies in their wagons, a reality that I hadn’t recognized until I read an intriguing book by Kathy Cloninger, CEO of Girl Scouts of the United States of America. In her book, Tough Cookies: Leadership Lessons from 100 Years of the Girl Scouts, Kathy explains how cookie sales teach girls leadership and business skills, organization and goal setting, teamwork and financial literacy, along with a range of other positive skills.

Expanding beyond cookies, Kathy argues that we as a nation need to be investing in the leadership potential of our girls to even out the perpetuating disparity in our workforce. She doesn’t launch into a full-scale feminist argument, but she rightly points out that our nation will fail to thrive if it doesn’t utilize its entire pool of qualified professionals rather than drawing from only half of the population. Today’s youth will be tomorrow’s leaders, so we need to start investing in them. All of them.

Do you have a daughter, a niece, or a granddaughter of your own? Do you have a little sister, mentor a young girl, or simply want to know more about building leadership skills in today’s girls? Then I highly encourage you to read this book! Check out or place a request on the library’s copy today!

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