Synopses & Reviews
"Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place."
The Girl Scouts' Mission Statement sounds simple enough. But organizing 2.3 million girls and 880,000 adult members to execute a strategy of turning today's girls into tomorrow's leaders is hardly a jaunt in the woods. It takes an efficient, focused, and determined organization that knows who it is and where it's going. Tough Cookies captures the essence of this iconic institution and the principles that have sustained its 100-year history of success.
Less than a decade ago, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) faced a coming crisis. Girls were changing, and Girl Scouts struggled to fit into the modern family's busy schedule. On top of that, the organization's unwieldy structure, comprised of 300 disparate councils, undermined its ability to deliver leadership to girls. GSUSA needed to reassert itself as an institution that mattered. In order to execute its strategy, it would need to undergo a restructuring virtually unprecedented in the non-profit sector, merging its 300 councils down to 112 that would each serve tens of thousands of girls.
Full of inspired wisdom, Tough Cookies describes Girl Scouts' transformative journey to become an integrated, unified movement for girls. Learn how this massive non-profit addressed its most pressing challenges, including how to:
Rebrand itself not just as a gaggle of cute girls selling cookies and camping, but as the most important organization for girl culture
Create the world's best personal leadership development model for girls
Provide efficient and effective governance to deliver scouting to girls
Make it easier for volunteers to lead troops
Remain democratic and mission-focused throughout the merger process
Millions of American businesswomen, thought leaders, and politicians received their first lessons in salesmanship, money management, marketing, teamwork, and fulfillment from Girl Scoutsas will millions more to come. Discover how lessons from Girl Scouts of the USA can help your organization achieve such lasting success.
Untold numbers of American businesswomen received their first lessons in salesmanship, money management, customer relations, marketing and fulfillment selling Girl Scout cookies, but, as readers will learn, The Girl Scouts stand for much more than cookies and badges. In fact, there is no other organization remotely comparable in size, experience, and resources devoted to developing the leadership in girls than that of the GSUSA.
Defining the way the Girl Scouts do business, the business of leadership, Tough Cookies will capture the essence of the unique ways in which the GSUSA is run, and why it is so successful, inspiring readers everywhere. Telling the story for how the Girl Scouts organization adopted a set of fundamental principles for sustaining—and building—a 100-year old organization, Tough Cookies will demonstrate how the GSUSA have managed not only to transform themselves, but transform the rising generations of young women and the world they will inherit.
Fundamental principles for how Girl Scouts USA is run and why it's so successful
Millions of American businesswomen, thought leaders, and politicians received their first lessons in salesmanship, money management, marketing, teamwork, and fulfillment in the Girl Scouts. The Girls Scouts has shaped the lives of more than 50 million alumnae alive today. Eighty percent of American female senior business executives and business owners are former Girl Scouts. In March 2012, the Girl Scouts will celebrate their 100th anniversary. Tough Cookies captures the essence of this iconic organization and the principles that have allowed them to build and sustain a 100-year-old organization.
Under current CEO Kathy Cloninger's leadership, the Girl Scouts has transformed and enhanced its ability to develop leadership in young women. Tough Cookies outlines the rise of the Girl Scouts, this recent and dramatically successful shift, and lessons that are applicable to make any business or organization a success.
- An inspiring story of the Girl Scouts founding, along with leadership and business lessons that can be applied to organizations of any size
- No other organization compares to Girl Scouts in size, experience, and resources devoted to developing leadership skills
- Publication coincides with the 100-year anniversary of GSUSA
What can your business learn from the Girl Scouts?
Praise for Tough Cookies
"Tough Cookies makes it clear how badly we need more women in leadership today—and offers a compelling road map for getting where we need to be. If you care about the future, read this book."
—Ilene H. Lang, President & CEO, Catalyst
"Remarkable and essential! In Tough Cookies, Kathy Cloninger draws on a rich blend of personal experience, wide-ranging research, and on-target insight to show how to tap America's most valuable potential resource: the leadershippotential of girls. I can't think of a better resource for the Year (or the Decade) of the Girl."
—Sally Helgesen, coauthor of The Female Vision and author of The Female Advantage
"Guided by a transcendent mission and Kathy Cloninger's courageous leadership, the Girl Scouts have transformed themselves for a new century. Tough Cookies is a compelling story of organizational renewal—told from the inside—that will serve as an inspiration for all leaders everywhere."
—Willie Pietersen, author of Reinventing Strategy
"For the millions of former Girl Scouts who continue to live the Promise, Tough Cookies touches our hearts. For the millions who are just learning about the Girl Scouts, this book helps chart a bright future."
—Frances Hesselbein, President and CEO, Leader to Leader Institute; former CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA
"Tough Cookies shows what vision, courage, and an unflinching dedication to mission can accomplish. Kathy Cloninger makes it clear that the Girl Scouts—and girls—rank high among our nation's treasures."
—Johnnetta Betsch Cole, PhD, President Emerita, Spelman College and Bennett College for Women
"Kathy Cloninger has captured the excitement and boundless promise of the transformation of Girl Scouting. If you want to know how to make a great (and irreplaceably valuable) organization greater, this is the book for you."
—Connie Lindsey, Executive Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Northern Trust
About the Author
Kathy Cloninger is the CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA). She is a recognized expert on, and advocate for, girls' and women's issues and a recognized leader in the not-for-profit sector. She serves on boards of the National Human Services Assembly of the National Council for Research on Women, American Humanics, and Leadership 18. She was named an NPT Power and Influence Top 50 by the NonProfit Times in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
Table of Contents
1 Leadership out of Balance 1
2 How I Got Here 15
3 Talk Less, Listen More 37
4 A Logical Conclusion 57
5 Facing the Brutal Truths 73
6 "Trust Me, This Is Going to Work" 91
7 What to Keep, and What to Let Go 113
8 Oh, Yeah? Prove It! 131
9 Shaking the Money Tree 145
10 Girl Scout, Phone Home 157
About the Author 169