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Required Reading: Ignoring unwritten rules of business like a viper in the dark


Unwritten Rules: What Women Need to Know About Leading in Today’s Organizations

By Lynn Harris

Amazon Books (self-published); $24.95 (CAN)

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In the introduction to her first chapter, author Lynn Harris repeats the story about a new CEO of a Fortune 500 company who walks into his first senior management meeting and asks: “Where are all the women?” And, in fact, despite “decades of efforts”, to quote the recent Catalyst report, the number of women in top positions is declining, not only in Canada but worldwide.

Harris offers a number of reasons for this in her new book, but clearly the one she believes women need to focus on is learning the unwritten rules of the business world. “A lack of understanding of the organizational environment and its unwritten rules is an ignorance you simply can’t afford,” she writes.

“It’s like having a snake in the room with the lights turned off – you never know when you might trip over it or get bitten, sometimes fatally.”

Harris, a Montreal, QC-based executive coach, says her purpose behind writing Unwritten Rules was to “turn on the light,” reveal where the snakes are hiding and teach women how to manage or to avoid them altogether.

For more about the book and how to order it, visit

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