“How NOT to” Book Series

How NOT to Be a Leader book cover

How NOT to be a Leader is the first in a series of “How NOT to Guides” for the newly minted leaders looking to avoid becoming the LOSER in the ivory tower, feared or hated by all, or veteran leaders who are looking in the rearview mirror and wondering where and why they ran off the road. Irreverent and hilarious, How NOT to be a Leader shines a big bright spotlight on the oh-so-common mistakes that many leaders make by plowing forward through life and business without taking the time to really consider the effect their leadership is having on others.

We’ve all seen and heard the horror stories of bad leadership, and hopefully, many of us have been lucky enough to benefit from truly great leadership – either way, if it’s your turn at the top, How NOT to be a Leader will help you understand what you can do to be a better leader by first understanding what you should never, ever do… and if you are doing the “never ever,” why you should back up the truck, take another look at yourself and your leadership qualities and do the work and self-reflection needed to get back on track. To purchase from Amazon click here.

How NOT to Build a Great Team book coverHow NOT To Build A Great Team is the second in the series of “how-not-to” guides for leaders and managers, and like our first book, How (NOT) To Be A Leader, it is a quick-read collection of hilarious cautionary tales that we hope will help you avoid some of the more obvious speed bumps and traps along your leadership journey. This book covers the critical aspects of how NOT to build a great team: hiring and firing, team management, and leadership development.

Unless you’re superman, you need a team if you want to get anything done.  If you want to build a great team, “How NOT to Build a Great Team” will show you the top 24 things NOT to do to get there. To purchase from Amazon click here.

How (NOT) To Create A Winning Strategy is the third in the series of “how-not-to” guides for leaders and managers. It is a quick-read collection of 24 hilarious cautionary “strategies” that will help you learn from the mistakes of others. These are ways NOT to create a great strategy. Unfortunately, all of them can be found in business more often than anyone would like to admit.

Execution of a bad strategy still leaves you with a bad strategy.  “How NOT to Create a Winning Strategy” will show you all the ways to avoid creating a bad strategy – and how to create one that wins the day. To purchase from Amazon click here.


What people are saying about the “How NOT to…” book series:

“These How Not-To Guides for leaders are so much fun I almost forgot how many lessons I was absorbing. The chapters were just the right length, and equally on point, for busy readers. I enjoyed the pithy “Let’s Get Real” sections at the end so much I would have jumped straight to them except for the funny and oh-so-real parts leading up to each valuable lesson. Sprinkle a dash of irreverence on some very common and terrible leadership behaviors, mix with pearls of wisdom and you have a great recipe for success. In their own words: Evil never wins in the end. You might win a battle or two by being a complete douchebag like the characters in this story, but ultimately you lose as leader. Pick up the set. Laugh out loud. And take up their challenge: choose three or four questionable leadership traits and start working on them!”
-Melissa Muir, HR Director, Seattle Municipal Court

“Mary Marshall ranks among the very best coaches of executives, anywhere. She is in the minds of CEOs.  She has been a strategic advisor to me, and to hundreds of leaders across prominent organizations. Mary navigates the complex with ease and provides clarity to leaders on a path forward.  Her confidence in managing ambiguity and situations lacking precedence makes her an invaluable asset to organizations in times of change and crisis. Her approach is strategic, yet practical, and both serious and fun. Mary develops visionary leaders who lead strategically with a balance of passion and heart. I can’t say enough about Mary and her impact to my business and life.  Mary achieves positive and measurable change for all her clients. These “How NOT to Guides” are the perfect distillation of all this wisdom in a funny and easy read!”
-Amy McKenna, CEO, Human Point

“Some of us seem to insist upon learning the hard way, from our mistakes. Why? So much better to learn from the mistakes of others….it is faster, less expensive, and much less painful. I enjoyed this refreshing trilogy of “How Not To” books relating to Leadership, Team Building, and Strategy. They are filled with examples derived from the author’s professional and real-time experiences. What a pragmatic, humor-filled, and insightful collection of stories and lessons to fast track me down the roadway positively. Leadership; Bosses from Hell; Hiring; Developing People; Teamwork; Strategy; all critical elements I would have so greatly benefitted from had I known earlier on in my career.  I found the writing to be easy to read, great on an airplane, lots of helpful takeaways and reminders of “what not to do”, and therefore on the flip side of the coin, “what to do”!! The authors have clearly been on all sides of the topics and equations they write about so well and in an entertaining fashion. Enjoy!”
-Richard Fitzgerald, Retired President, and CEO, Diageo Canada

2 Bossy Broads

2 bossy broadsMy co-conspirator and co-author, Kim Obbink, and I have created a business called 2 Bossy Broads.  After being in the corporate and business world for 25+ years, we’ve learned a thing or two about business and decided to write books about what NOT to do and to create a space to promote women being in leadership positions.

“Bossy does not equal Bitchy” – Bossy Rules.

As 2 Bossy Broads, and proud of it, we are committed to finding the Bossy in all women leaders. Having run companies and teams for years, we mistakenly thought the barriers to women being accepted as leaders had been torn down. We were wrong. We are deeply disappointed by the slow pace with which women advance and take their place in the boardrooms, in public office, and at the leadership table.

Congress is still only 20% women (up from 14% in 1995), Fortune 500 boardrooms are still only 10% women, and in most small, to mid-sized businesses, the leadership/ownership roles for women are still only about 30%. While we make up 52% of the world’s population, this is not right.