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WORKING STRATEGIES A COLUMN BY AMY LINDGREN

Books offer moms ideas about work, life

Parenting, leadership among topics authors cover.

Friday, May 10, 2013 - 12:01 am

Looking for something a little more substantial than flowers to offer the women in your life this Mother’s Day? The following books will provide guidance and new ideas for moms both in and out of the workforce.

Parenting Without Borders, by Christine Gross-Loh, Penguin Group, 2013, $26 (also available as an e-book). Gross-Loh unintentionally launched an examination of international parenting styles when she and her husband moved with two preschoolers to Japan, where they lived for five years and brought two more children into the family. As a Korean-American who was raised by first-generation immigrants, Gross-Loh was startled to discover how much of her parenting style was based on culture rather than science. She also learned that good outcomes are possible even when very different methods are used.

In writing her book, Gross-Loh visited five countries and interviewed parents from seven more, giving a somewhat rounded view of practices rooted in a variety of traditions.

The Work/Life Balance Planner, by Ann Kepler, Huron Street Press, 2013, $18.95.

While not directed specifically to women, most of the chapters have special relevance for the caretakers in a family, including sections on multigenerational households and the impact of career and job changes on one’s family.

Information about relocating, finding a place to live and weighing the decision to retrain offer more context than most “balance” books, which lean too heavily on time-management strategies for my taste.

Women Lead: Career Perspectives from Workplace Leaders, by Tracey Wilen-Daugenti, Courtney L. Vien and Caroline Molina-Ray (editors), Peter Lang Education, 2013, $36.95. The editors of Women Lead combine survey and study results with anecdotal information gleaned from 200 interviews with female leaders. The resulting 11 chapters provide compelling ideas on topics ranging from networking to education to self-employment, always with a focus on success strategies for women.

Personality Power, Shoya Zichy, AMACOM, 2013, $16.95 (also available in audio and e-book formats). As any workplace observer knows, there are more personality typing systems than you can shake a stick at. And yet, we never tire of asking: Who am I? For mothers in the workforce, the question can be overwhelming, filtered through the multiple lenses of their roles as parent, spouse, teamworker and boss.

In Personality Power, Shoya Zichy offers a 10-minute self-assessment to define one’s profile and ways to leverage personal strengths in various settings. If the mom on your list likes to explore her personality (and the personalities of those around her) she’ll enjoy this book. But look out: She may use the assessment to “type” you as well.

Amy Lindgren owns Prototype Career Service, a career consulting firm in St. Paul. She can be reached at alindgren @prototypecareerservice.com or at 626 Armstrong Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102.