Drop the Ball by Tiffany Dufu (January 2018)

For our first-ever book club, we not only chose an excellent New Year's book, we were honored to have the incredible world-changing author, Tiffany Dufu, join us for our inaugural discussion! 

Tiffany Dufu Book Club
via the author @tdufu on Twitter

via the author @tdufu on Twitter

Official description:

Once the poster girl for doing it all, after she had her first child, Tiffany Dufu struggled to accomplish everything she thought she needed to in order to succeed. Like so many driven and talented women who have been brought up to believe that to have it all, they must do it all, Dufu began to feel that achieving her career and personal goals was an impossibility. Eventually, she discovered the solution: letting go. In Drop the Ball, Dufu recounts how she learned to reevaluate expectations, shrink her to-do list, and meaningfully engage the assistance of others--freeing the space she needed to flourish at work and to develop deeper, more meaningful relationships at home.

Even though women are half the workforce, they still represent only eighteen per cent of the highest level leaders. The reasons are obvious: just as women reach middle management they are also starting families. Mounting responsibilities at work and home leave them with no bandwidth to do what will most lead to their success. Offering new perspective on why the women's leadership movement has stalled, and packed with actionable advice, Tiffany Dufu's Drop the Ball urges women to embrace imperfection, to expect less of themselves and more from others--only then can they focus on what they truly care about, devote the necessary energy to achieving their real goals, and create the type of rich, rewarding life we all desire.


Kit's thoughts: Even though not every aspect of her experience was relevant to me (I’m never having kids and I’m more often the partner who doesn’t do “home” chores), I found the techniques she outlined could be very relevant to my other relationships: brother, mom, business partners.

Kit’s favorite bit: building a village for your work/personal development. Sage mentors, sponsors, peer mentors, mentees, etc. BOY I NEED TO CULTIVATE THIS MORE! The idea that it takes a village - even for work - was a very good push for me.

Viv's thoughts: I thought this was a well-reasoned and thoughtful book which spoke to something that I very much identify with (‘HCD’) despite living a very different life and having a very different personality from Tiffany. Although I would have liked to see more addressing the situations of non-straight/middle class couples, I appreciated the broader lessons.

Viv’s favourite bit: Not so much a favourite bit as a resonant one – the setup of the idea that many women do the emotional labour of household management because they can’t imagine their partners understanding what goes into it/wouldn’t be able to complete the task properly is something people don’t talk about enough and was really thoroughly explored with many examples.

Kit Whelan