My Journey from CEO Wife to CEO Life, and How to Survive
Reviewed by Barry Silverstein
Here is the inside scoop on living with a senior business executive—and forging your own way in business, too.
Amusing and engaging, Donna Yost’s Pumptitudechronicles the author’s experiences as a CEO’s wife—and a CEO herself.
Donna Yost’s life is far from ordinary. She has gone from being a career woman to marrying and being the life partner of a CEO to running her own small business. Along the way, Yost has learned a lot about balancing her personal and work lives, managing a household, and operating a business.
In a book steeped in humor and humility, Yost shares her many stories, demonstrating that a positive attitude enables her to face almost any challenge. Whether fixing an overflowing backyard pond before her husband returns home or making a sudden trip to China to confront a manufacturer who is illegally producing a trademarked, patented product, Yost seems to take things in stride.
While the author presents as very much her own woman, she also displays a realistic perspective on what it takes to have a successful marriage with a CEO. “CEOs are hard to be with,” writes Yost, “so the people they love need to show them they are there through it all.” The book invests quite a bit of time in honestly and openly discussing the pressures of being a CEO’s wife, including decisions to keep the peace and even act as a subordinate when necessary. Independent-minded women may chafe at this notion, but Yost also shows herself being cunning rather than conciliatory. Her insights into how to deal with the CEO psyche compensate for any power she may seem to surrender.
The second half of the book switches gears and discusses how Yost took an idea her husband had and turned it into a viable business. Here the reader gets a real sense of the author’s personal growth as she hires and manages employees and begins to understand, from an owner’s perspective, what is required to run a business. Yost also shows an ability to apply the lessons she learned from watching her husband in action to her own leadership in business. At the end of the book, the author includes several stories of other successful women—a nice addition that extends the book beyond the constraints of a business autobiography.
Pumptitude is positive, uplifting, funny, and well written. Yost is a natural storyteller who conveys relevant messages in each anecdote. The physical appearance of the book is impressive as well; the striking pink and black dust jacket and hardcover, along with glossy interior pages and a liberal use of color photographs, raise this book above the ordinary in terms of its look and feel.
Pumptitude is likely to be most appealing to a somewhat narrow audience: women whose husbands are CEOs. Still, this is a book that should be enjoyable to read for anyone who wants the inside scoop on living with a senior business executive—and for those women and men who want to maintain a healthy relationship while working in their own business.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have his/her book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Review make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255