I’m starting a new feature this week to focus on the many books that are out there on politics, social media and the intersection of those worlds.  I’m excited to recommend as my first selection a new book by my friend and mentor, Gloria FeldtNo Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change the Way We Think About Power and Leadership.

I remember talking with Gloria a year or two ago and wondering aloud why women so often wait to be invited to the leadership table.  There are so many powerful women in many fields, it just seemed odd that we’re not very good at just taking what we want — a skill that many men have had no problem mastering.

Her new book explores this phenomenon and gives some excellent advice on how we can step up to the plate of leadership, including lessons on understanding the history of power, having the courage to stand up for our sisters, and learning to be unafraid as we make our way to our place at the leadership table.  Not easy stuff, but then gaining power is never easy.

Her words come from a place of hard-earned experience — which is exactly why I’m going to do my best to take her advice to heart!

Gloria recently met with a group of women here in the shadow of the nation’s capital to talk about her book, and explained one of her reasons for writing it — the fact that all doors are open to women now in every life path, but women still are the minority in all places of power.  She concedes that there are still roadblocks for us, but ponders whether women are partly to blame for holding back or being afraid to chase after the power positions.  There is plenty of food for thought for all women, regardless of which wave of feminism you belong to or whether you call yourself a feminist at all.  There’s something to be said for not taking ‘no’ for an answer and following her road map to power!

One of my friends has already been inspired by Gloria’s words and her time with us.  Kim at I’m Not the Nanny, in her post I’m Still a Feminist, Dammit!, wrote about her drive home after our meet-up:

At that moment, I felt like I was more than a mother, more than a wife. Those roles make me who I am but they don’t define me. I felt proud of who I was and my journey of how I became the person I am now.
I could be all of those things and still be a feminist!

How right she is!  Gloria’s words were plenty of food for thought for all of us.  And I’m glad I was able to hear her talk about how all women can get back on the path to claiming their own power.

You can come and be inspired by Gloria Feldt and her new book No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think about Power, too.  She’ll discussing her new book at Busboys & Poets at 1025 5th Street NW, DC . on October 13, 2010 from 6:30-8:00pm.  I hope to see you there.  I received a complimentary advance review copy of the book from Gloria, but I will never recommend a book I don’t like regardless of whether I paid for it or not!