The WISE Book Club chose Abby Wambach’s book, Wolfpack, and I was stoked because **ABBY WAMBACH clap clap clapclapclap** and also because the book has been on my list.
In true Abby Ferri form, I procrastinated on reading it. Today is Sunday, book club is Tuesday… I have the physical copy of the book, so I knew it would be a quick read compared to the other books ambitiously chosen by the club! I was worried club members would think this was a silly pick, and that it wasn’t worthy of our time.
I was drawn to the book this morning, and read it in less than an hour, mostly while doing squats, lunges, and going up and down the stairs in my house (I’m a multitasker). I’m SO GLAD the club chose the book and that I chose the book today. Abby’s messages are relayed mostly in analogies of her experience as a soccer player (of course), and they resonated with me. I wasn’t a star athlete at all, but always a utility player and loved to make the assist. Whether it was setting up another player, literally with a set on the volleyball court, or making a nice pass on the ice for another player to score a goal – I always enjoyed being in the background. I even had a nickname in volleyball as part of the “back row patrol.” We were an essential part of the team to ensure the hitters would get the nice set so they could smash it. Shout out to coaches Theresa and Julie from middle school and early high school in Bemidji, MN – you still impact my life!
The book brought so many memories up that I hadn’t thought of in a long time. It was a reminder for me to bring that team aspect to work and other initiatives, and reach out to reconnect with some past teammates. If you don’t play sports, the book will hit you differently. Regardless, I think the book is an essential business read, keep it on your desk, and pick it up when you need a boost.
I love that Abby starts the book with a quick story about her being asked to do a speech, but not make it too focused on women. The flipping of the script she describes is exactly what’s making many feel uncomfortable in the workplace right now – would anyone ask a man to not make his speech so focused on men? No! Men have been the default leaders and speakers, and that is a silly question. I’m sure some of you bristle at the fact that Abby Wambach even wrote this book. If that’s you, I suggest you actually read it, it’ll only take an hour. As Abby said in the opening chapter, the book is for men too. As a leader in ASSP’s WISE common interest group, I have spent a lot of time educating people that WISE is open to all and that I personally do not hate men – I even put this last point in my keynote at the 2019 VPPPA Conference.
The concepts of vulnerability in leadership that are woven throughout the book remind me of Brene Brown, and if you have her books piling up on your shelf, just read Abby’s book real quick instead, then listen to some of Brene’s podcasts to keep exploring these ideas.
Have you read Abby Wambach’s book? What did you think?