Lead From The Outside is a self-help book come memoir that was written by American politician Stacey Abrams and published in 2018 by Henry Holt and Co. It is an ambitious, stimulating, entrepreneurial handbook that is practically written in such a way that will make all marginalised groups of individuals knuckle down and realise their dreams.
This book isn’t some whimsical iteration of such expressions as; ‘You can do anything you put your mind to‘ but rather it acknowledges the struggles and prejudices that certain individuals face in professional circles and presents useful, dynamic methods of circumventing these seemingly insurmountable obstacles and effecting real political and professional change.
When I first saw Stacey Abrams present her enlivening TED talk on YouTube; 3 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Do Anything, I experienced such inspiration that not only made me vow to become more productive in terms of my personal ambitions, but also made me hungry to consume more of her works, hence why I decided to read this book.
Stacey Abrams made history by becoming the first minority leader, Republican or Democrat to become elected in the 2018 Gubernatorial elections in the state of Georgia. The level of ambition that no doubt spurred on such a remarkable feat certainly carries in the stirring tone of her book.* Lead From The Outside is written in a practical no-frills way that is extremely purposeful and hands-on. To this end, there are even participatory exercises at the end of every chapter, to add to the sense of involvement this book possesses in abundance.
Abrams presents her argument concisely and incites not only the black community to action but also other ethnic groups and the LGBTQ+ community. As someone who is more right-brained and artsy, I admittedly found it difficult at times to remain wholly invested in the nitty-gritty bits that require a competent level of business acumen for you to really appreciate. Let’s just say I didn’t do too well in my Business A Levels, I was too busy obsessing over French conjugations.
That’s not to say that this book was purely technical terms pertaining to balance sheets and political jargon, there are a load of principles and ideas that can be applied across a wide spectrum. Abrams also expands on less career-orientated subjects such as her upbringing and her experience as a romance novelist. These personal accounts were endearing but not solely anecdotal, meaning they were instrumental to the focus of her book, which I did enjoy.
Lead From The Outside is a fantastic resource for those typically repressed people that have been deeply institutionalised into believing that they can’t have big ambitions. This book will open your eyes to the non-traditional routes that will enable you to strive for more and achieve big.
*still to be considered remarkable even in modern day Western society