"'Wouldn't it be inspiring if you could acknowledge straight up, to yourself and to others, that you have big, wild and precious professional goals?' Condren urges women to pry apart the bars of 'common self-imposed traps' which cause ambitious women to 'sell themselves short'.""
National Bestseller ~ Recommended Book on OprahSelects.com
Irreverent, ferocious, funny, and wise! Any woman who has ever felt conflicted about feeling passionate about her work should read this book cover to cover. —Barbara Corcoran, real estate magnate, national bestselling author, regular contributor to ABC’s Good Morning America and The View
Dr. Debra Condren is a dedicated advocate for empowering women to break traditional boundaries and achieve personal and professional success. —Barbara Boxer, U.S. senator
This is an inspiring, empowering, and practical book. Give it to your friends, sisters, and daughters. —Tanya Styblo Beder, CEO of Citigroup Alternative Investments' multi-strategy, proprietary hedge fund, Tribeca Global Management LLC
Debra Condren’s book is something I wish I had twenty years ago. Having learned from my mistakes, being a person who self-sabotaged for many years, afraid of the A-word, life as a mother, a filmmaker, and an actor has made me come to terms with the word ambitious. It’s okay and I’m proud of who I am today. Read this book so you can avoid the long road of self-sabotage and embrace ambition as a powerful virtue. —Rosanna Arquette, actress
Condren shares her story of making career, family and big dreams work, while guiding other women toward embracing their ambitions. She grants her readers permission to take their careers seriously and to work toward their dreams rather than work their dreams around their lives. Clear suggestions and composite examples of real-life women who have embraced their goals make this an enthusiastic rallying cry. –From Publisher’s Weekly
Positive in tone, loaded with strategies and solutions, this engaging book charts a compelling, clear and accessible course for getting comfortable with passion for your work and transforming inner obstacles into success and power. —Elizabeth Roberts, First Vice President of Wealth Management, Smith Barney
Women don’t have to make a choice of ‘ambitious vs. happy—pick one only.’ Debra Condren’s book is an astute analysis of the myriad conflicts women feel when we assertively pursue our careers with passion and determination. She explains how women can break free from self-sabotaging behavior, and also be 100% ambitious with zero percent bitch factor. —Karen Salmansohn, Best Selling Author, Ballsy: 99 Tips to Score Extreme Business Success
Dr. Debra Condren understands the importance of integrity and ethics in business, and how we need to redefine ambition from the perspective of turning our visions into action. We should all feel passionate about our work and encouraged to 'go for it' when it comes to pursuing career and economic success. —Anna L. Marks, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Bay Area BusinessWoman News. Recipient of "Women of Achievement" by San Francisco Business and Professional Women and "Women and Industry Award" by the Commission on the Status of Women.
Debra Condren nails ways in which professional women—even accomplished ones—sell themselves short. She offers precise, innovative guidelines for how women can turn self-imposed blocks and inhibitions into motivation to outrun inner doubt and win back their worth. —Sheldon Siegel, New York Times Bestselling Author, Special Circumstances and Incriminating Evidence
Dr. Debra Condren has been a guiding light to many women business owners and young women in realizing their potential. —Dianne Feinstein, United States senator
We simply need to hear a fresh message: Dr. Condren's book is the first to redefine ambition as a virtue, and the first to show you precisely how to get out of your own way and how to make the contribution you were born to make. —Belinda Stronach, member of the Liberal Party of Canada and Chair of the national caucus of women Liberal MPs.
Ambition Is Not A Dirty Word
By Debra Condren.
320 pp. Random House Books/Broadway Books
IN the 1880s, when the chief achievable career goal for nice girls, apart from marriage and motherhood, was teaching school, a young woman named Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote an essay in praise of ambition. It appeared later in “These Happy Golden Years,” part of her “Little House” series. The essay read in part, “Without an ambition to excel others and to surpass one’s self there would be no superior merit.”
Since then, as the laurels women can win in the working world have multiplied, female ambition has received a bad rap.
The book, Ambition Is Not A Dirty Word, by the psychologist and career coach Debra Condren, is a defiant charge to women to “reclaim ambition as a virtue.”
Ambitious men are seen as go-getters, she writes, but there is a public distaste for smart, aggressive, successful career women, who are too often labeled with the insulting epithet in the book’s title.
Why can’t women admit they are ambitious, she asks. “Wouldn’t it be inspiring if you could acknowledge straight up, to yourself and to others, that you have big, wild and precious professional goals?”
In 16 strongly worded chapters, Ms. Condren’s corrective manifesto urges women to pry apart the bars of “common self-imposed traps,” which cause ambitious women to “sell themselves short” unwittingly by acts of “socially sanctioned self-sabotage” like giving away credit, not asking for advice, downplaying accomplishments, refusing awards, avoiding confrontation and “being too responsible to others — and irresponsible to our own needs.” In other words, falling into the “nice” trap.
Of course, stinting on niceness can also backfire, as Judith Regan has lately discovered. But Ms. Kaplan Thaler and Ms. Koval, authors of “The Power of Nice,” and Ms. Condren, who have been paying attention all along, have worked out a way to make charm and ambition pay. Nice work if you can get it.