How Women Are Transforming Leadership
Four Key Traits Powering Success
by Mary Lou Décosterd
May 2013, 168pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-0416-8
$55, £43, 48€, A76
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-0417-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.
This thought-provoking work examines the traits and stories of influential women throughout history to the present day in order to make the case that women continue to evolve leadership practices for the better.

How Women Are Transforming Leadership: Four Key Traits Powering Success delves into the precise skills, characteristics, social programming, and biological designs that make women leadership naturals. Distinguished leadership author Mary Lou Décosterd identifies four key traits that enable women to excel in even the most challenging of leadership roles, and offers detailed tools and techniques for all leaders—men and women alike—to hone these same traits in themselves.

This book explores the idea that a specific set of feminine engendered skills—intuitive orientation, directive force, empowering intent, and assimilative nature—creates leaders with the greater breadth and depth of skills needed for our complex, global, and virtual times. With more than 100 of the world’s most powerful women cited, readers will learn precisely what enabled these women to become major players on the world’s stage. Interviews with four leadership development experts add power to the book’s voice and message.


  • Reveals the four feminine-based skills that promote success
  • Features tools and techniques for developing leadership acumen
  • Studies important women across history, industries, nationalities, and ethnicities
  • Includes interviews, quotes, illustrative vignettes, and speaking excerpts that show leadership skills in action
Mary Lou Décosterd, PhD, is founder and managing executive of the Lead Life Institute, a leadership psychology consultancy group. Her published works include Praeger's Right Brain/Left Brain Leadership: Shifting Style for Maximum Impact and Right Brain/Left Brain President: Barack Obama's Uncommon Leadership Ability and How We Can Each Develop It.


"Décosterd offers an insightful perspective about the unique opportunities women face both achieving leadership roles and continuing to grow as leaders. With honesty and a fresh voice, she identifies ways that women can empower themselves and others by making the most of our natural inclinations rather than trying to emulate less effective leadership styles. I found this book energizing and full of inspiring examples the reader can easily apply to her own situation. I would highly recommend this book to women at all levels in their careers." —Frances Grote, Senior Director, Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Author, Fire In The Henhouse

"In her most important book to date, How Women are Transforming Leadership, Dr. Mary Lou Décosterd comes to grips with perhaps the defining leadership issue of modern times: the roles and responsibilities of women as leaders at all levels. As the world grows more complex and interactive, it is clear that traditional, male-centric leadership methodologies are no longer adequate and are causing societies and polities around the world to fall short of fulfilling basic human needs. In such a reality, Dr. Décosterd spells out in unequivocal terms what must be done: women must power their way into their full leadership potential, and men must not only accept but eagerly embrace a new leadership paradigm. And as a leader with nearly half a century of leadership experience working with and for both men and women, I strongly endorse Dr. Décosterd’s prescriptions. How Women are Transforming Leadership is the definitive work and a must-read for anyone in any leadership position—either now or in the future." —Dr. Christopher C. Shoemaker, Senior Corporate Executive and Retired U.S. Army Colonel

"One day we'll quit being surprised to learn that women possess leadership qualities that can be critical to every business enterprise. Dr. Décosterd spells it out in detail and with conviction. Her findings are substantive and her conclusions provide clarity for all walks of leadership, especially for the business world and the boardroom. " —General Ann Dunwoody, First-ever Female Four-Star General, United States Armed Forces, Retired

"I found Dr. Décosterd's latest book, How Women are Transforming Leadership: Four Key Traits Powering Success, to offer a wonderful and simple recipe for leadership. Admittedly, as I read I forgot that the book focused on female leadership; it is simply a powerful book on leadership. The principles of IDEA empower anyone, female or male, to improve their leadership style. I particularly appreciated the perfect harmony of right side of the brain and left side of the brain thinking. It is indeed a must-read!" —Joann Davis Brayman, Vice President, Commercial Marketing, Armstrong World Industries
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.