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Road to Power: How GM's Mary Barra Shattered the Glass Ceiling
Laura Colby

Retail Price: $29.95
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Format: Hardcover, 192pp.
ISBN: 9781118972632
Publisher: Bloomberg Press/Wiley
Pub. Date: March 9, 2015

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

Follow a pioneer's journey from factory floor to CEO

Road to Power is the story of how Mary Barra drove herself to the pinnacle of a company that steers the nation's wealth. Beginning as a rare female electrical engineer and daughter of a General Motors die maker, Barra spent more than thirty yearsbuilding her career before becoming the first woman to ever lead a global automaker. With $155 billion in sales and 200,000 employees,GM is widely considered to be a proxy for the U.S. economy, making Barra's position arguably the most important corporate role a woman has ever held. This book describes the personal character, choices, and leadership style that enabled her to break through the glass ceiling.

52-year-old Mary Barra was named CEO of General Motors in 2013, only people outside of the company were surprised. She had done everything from working on the factory floor to overseeing manufacturing, from improving union relations to paring down bureaucracy, and from running human resources to helping drag the company back from its 2009 bankruptcy. This book details each step of her career, and the lessons she learned along the way.
  • Learn how Mary Barra's willingness to take on diverse assignments helped steer her career trajectory
  • Examine the fine details of Barra's management style and her ability to relate to colleagues
  • Discover the qualities and experiences Barra had that drove her to lead this male-dominated profession
  • Study the valuable lessons Barra learned at each stage in he rprofessional life, and why they stuck with her throughout her journey to the top
Barra is most certainly a pioneer for women in business, but she's also a living lesson as to how far the right outlook, skills, and drive can take you in your career. Road to Power explores the talent and the mindset that got her all the way to thetop.


"Fascinating ... It's a must-read for those who want to understand more about Barra's rise."
—Detroit Free Press

With a journalist's keen eye for fascinating details, Colby's biography shows how Mary Barra found her fascination with cars, developed her leadership style, and maneuvered through the corporate obstacle course to the very top of a challenging, changing industry. Barra's compelling story is sure to help women everywhere gain the confidence to reach higher.
—Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School professor and best-selling author of Confidence

Mary Barra may have been under the radar nationally, but she for many years was excelling in every position to which she was assigned at GM. As Laura Colby so well documents, Ms. Barra is well prepared for every challenge and may well emerge as one of the most effective leadersin this storied company's history.
—Mary Sue Coleman, President Emerita, University of Michigan

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About the Author

Laura Colby is a reporter at large for Bloomberg News in New York, covering women in the global economy and education. Prior to 2013, she was the managing editor of Bloomberg Markets, the monthly global finance magazine. Laura has also worked for The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and the International Herald Tribune.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Dodge’s La Femme: Women and Cars1
1The Firebird: A Childhood Dream7
2The Red Chevette: Driving Lessons15
3The Fiero: Trial by Fire23
4Chevy Blazer: Groundbreaking Laws35
5Chevy Malibu: Expanding Vistas43
6Buick Skylark: a View from the Top51
7Oldsmobile Intrigue: Hearts and Minds63
8Buick Le Sabre: Fixing Hamtramck71
9Chevy Avalanche: the Road to Ruin81
10The Volt: Shocked into Action87
11Chevy Cruze: ‘No More Crappy Cars’97
12The Chevy Cobalt: End of the Honeymoon107
13Cadillac Escalade: Climbing Back121
14Buick Encore: Finding the Next Mary Barra135
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