Cathie Black is the wise, funny mentor that every woman dreams of having. She was a pioneer in advertising sales at a time when women didn’t sell; served as president and publisher of the fledgling USA Today; and, in her current position as the president of Hearst Magazines, persuaded Oprah to launch a magazine. In 2006 she was named one of Fortune’s “50 Most Powerful Women in American Business” for the seventh consecutive year. Now, in the exuberant, down-to-earth voice that is her trademark, Cathie explains how she achieved “the 360° life”—a blend of professional accomplishment and personal contentment—and how any woman can seize opportunity in the workplace.
No matter where you are in your career, Basic Black offers invaluable lessons that will help you land the job, promotion, or project you’re vying for. At the core of the book are Cathie’s candid, personal stories. She walks us through her decision to risk dropping a huge ad agency that handled the USA Today campaign in favor of a small boutique agency run by a wild man. (It was a smash.) She admits that her sometimes brusque style once led to a mutiny of staffers at Ms. (She learned to be more flexible in her managerial style.) She offers a clear-eyed look at what happened during the twenty-eight months between the launch and the close of the much-buzzed-about Talk magazine. And throughout, she offers fascinating glimpses of media and business personalities, such as Rupert Murdoch, Tina Brown, Frank Bennack, Vic Ganzi, former CosmoGirl! editor Atoosa Rubenstein, Bonnie Fuller, and the legendarily difficult Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today.
Above all, Basic Black is motivating. It provides a close-up look at the keen judgment, perseverance, and optimism that have propelled Cathie Black to the top of her game, along with the kind of straight-up practical advice you get in a one-on-one session with a career coach. You’ll find out how to handle job interviews, which rules to break, and why you should make your life a grudge-free zone. Equally important, you’ll be inspired to pursue your passions and achieve your very best.
“Basic Black does a great job of telling the story of how Cathie deftly navigated the challenges of the workplace and the media business, while also trying to balance the demands of a busy life. Her practical tips on handling typical workplace situations make this an important read for any woman who wants to become a better colleague, a better leader ... and a better person.”
—Meg Whitman, President & CEO, eBay Inc.
"Bravo for Basic Black! After reading this book, I understand more than ever why Cathie Black is the huge success she is today. She’s totally fearless! She shares her triumphs, but perhaps best of all, she shares her mistakes so that we can learn from them. I love her candor. Whether you're starting your career or going full throttle, you will benefit from Cathie's insights into business--and life. Basic Black is a true must-read.
—Gayle King, editor-at-large of O, The Oprah Magazine
"I’m a big Cathie Black fan–in part because we both believe that where you come from in no way determines where you can get to. If you think it, you can create it.Cathie’s career is living proof of that and her experiences, both professional and personal, make for fascinating reading. The life lessons in these pages are smart, true, and reassuring, no matter where you are in your career."
—Suze Orman, author of Women and Money and The Nine Steps to Financial Freedom
"Cathie Black is exactly the kind of mentor every woman needs: a talented executive at the top of her game willing to tell it like it really is. Imagine having a private lunch with one of the most powerful women in business, and then feast on her wonderful book. Basic Black is among the very best insider accounts of how to succeed as a leader."
—Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School professor and author of Confidence and America the Principled
"Cathie Black demystifies the workplace with her typical brand of pragmatic insight and engaging humor. Basic Black provides a practical guide to the traits we see demonstrated by our greatest leaders at GE---passion, drive, attitude, risk taking, and the ability to nurture and develop great talent. I had fun reading Basic Black, and thought to myself...This is someone I would like to work for."
—Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman and CEO, GE
"As every woman needs basic black in her wardrobe, she also needs Basic Black on her bookshelf. This is the perfect handbook on getting ahead while staying true to yourself."
—Donna Karan, Designer
From the Hardcover edition.
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