Seducing the Boys Club, by Nina DiSesa

Book 42

I put down the Mailer book, good as it is, when I saw Seducing the Boys Club, by Nina DiSesa at the Library Used Book Store. I opened it to a random page in the middle, thinking it would be lame chick lit. But it was insightful. Damn.

DiSesa is a leader in the advertising industry, which I understand to be the worst of the cut-throat old boys’ clubs. So there are some awesome and shocking stories of inappropriate behavior in the workplace. The foul language alone made me cringe. I am happy to say that there were few anecdotes that really hit home for me.

There is, however, some good advice to be had. The theme is that women should stop trying to be men and use their strengths. “Reading the room” is a great example. DiSesa tells a story about asking a team how a client meeting went. The men all thought it was fine. The women in the room knew that it wasn’t fine. The client was unhappy and extremely close to dropping them. The men had been listening to what the client was saying. The women were reading the body language. The women were right and they saved the business.

She defends the concepts of “seduction” and “manipulation”, saying that these are not bad words. They describe how to get people to do what you want them to do, which we all do every day. There are plenty of variations of the advice: “make them think it was their own idea”.

DiSesa has a line that she says we are to tattoo to our wrists:

“Men like women who like them”.

It is so simple and so true. [Note: My mother wants you all to know that people like people who like them. The insight should not be limited to gender roles.] And I am not good at pretending that I like people, so I really should get this tattoo.

There aren’t many revelations here, but DiSesa set out to write a business book that reads like a novel. She succeeded in that.

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