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Embracing Ambition

“This book reads like a series of short, poignant stories, captivating my imagination and causing me to travel to a place of deep reflection. I found the book both affirming and validating. It affirmed that we as women are not alone in our journey, and we should more intentionally share our experiences and connect more.”

– Sequetta F. Sweet, Ed. D.
Assistant Professor of Organizational Leadership, Stockton University

Research AND Storytelling?
Hell yes!

It was like Meghan was speaking directly to Jenny.
When Meghan Rehbein started her presentation at a conference, Jenny’s head started nodding along with her findings. What Meghan had identified through her research on women’s leadership was five pillars that all women CEOs would encounter during their careers.
Jenny just kept nodding along. Not only had she experienced these things before during her career, but she could see how valuable this information would be to aspiring women leaders looking to get into the C-suite. 
The result is Embracing Ambition, the book. From this initial research, Jenny enlisted the participation of 11 other women CEOs from across North America to write their first person experiences of what it feels like to lead. 

About the Pillars

Meghan’s research, the backbone of this book, is based on five key pillars; common threads across the experiences of many women leaders. These five pillars can be defined as:

  • Perception Barriers
  • Embodied Roles
  • Embracing Challenge
  • Glass Cliff Assignments
  • Visionary

The thesis of the idea is this: we can, and must, do a better job of preparing women for leadership so that they may more skillfully navigate the obstacles they will inevitably encounter. Meet the women behind the stories within each pillar here and listen to their podcast episodes on the Underdog Leadership Podcast to learn more. 

Perception Barriers

…that feeling that people don’t “see” you in the leadership role. AKA Imposter Syndrome. The Chapters:

Boxes’ by Onomo Ako: Imagine your life where people define who you are before you start speaking.

Listen here for more.

‘Trust’ by Delphine Haslé: What to do when your work friends are now your employees.

Listen here for more.

Interim’ by Meghan Rehbein:  The moment I owned my leadership role vs. just performing it to be seen.  

Listen here for more.

Embodied Roles

…when you lose track of your personal and professional identities, accepting the false reality that you
must “always be on.” The Chapters: 

‘Dignity’ by Justine Hendricks: At the root of empowerment, you can create space for dignity. Listen here for more. 

‘The System’ by Janet Donovan: You are the system that you must uphold. Listen here for more. 

Embracing Challenge

…when you say yes to something you know absolutely nothing about. How hard can it be, right? The Chapters:


‘Ambition’ by Sherry Schaefer: Overcoming objections is a core leadership life skill. Listen here for more. 


‘Identity’ by Heather Bach: Life is full of experiences that help us grow if we choose to learn the lessons. Listen here for more. 

Glass Cliff Assignments

…when you are the “last chance” candidate for an organization with questionable finances because
literally no one else would want the job. The Chapters:


‘Failing Forward’ by Mojdeh Cox: The healing journey begins when you forgive yourself for missing the red flags. Listen here for more. 


‘The Gallery’ by Olinda Casimiro: “What are you doing here? And, not accepting ‘no’ for an answer. Listen here for more. 


….when all you see is potential and upside, even though the people around you can’t understand your vision. The Chapters:


‘Collective Vision’ by Heather Nelson: As a leader, find and hold a vision that is important to you. Listen here for more. 


‘Now What?’ by Carley Schelck: Giving myself permission to step outside the rigid definition of CEO. Listen here for more. 


‘No Right Way’ by Jenny Mitchell: Would you rather lead ‘the right way’ or be confident leading your own way. 

Listen here for more. 

Authors of Embracing Ambition

Order your copy of Embracing Ambition