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Ilene Gordon
Doubling Down: The Secret Sauce for Dual-Career Families
Doubling Down: The Secret Sauce for Dual-Career Families is a game plan for every couple—be they married or committed life partners, gay or straight—who want to excel in big careers, sustain a loving relationship, and also raise happy children who grow up to be successful adults. Doubling Down is also a call-to-action for industry to reshape corporate culture to accommodate today's families and the workplace of the future.
Gordon and Bluestein, former CEOs of multiple international organizations, pair expert know-how with streetwise experience in this indispensable guide for couples–or singles–looking for success in dual-career roles. Married for more than 40 years, the duo share tips they have learned and applied in their own lives–covering all the necessary bases, from money management to travel hints, to help readers thrive in dual-career tracks. Gordon and Bluestein heavily emphasize breaking free from traditional gender stereotypes as well as balancing personal intimacy and professional achievement, but their commonsense approach never loses sight of the complexity that comes with climbing the corporate ladder while maintaining a healthy family life at the same time.

Structured as a memoir and playbook, Doubling Down relies on personal anecdotes and established research, with the authors summarizing each section with easily digestible “lessons”– such as proven ways to gain international experience in the business world without sacrificing family time, a warning to couples against putting one career “on the back burner” in support of another, and a persuasive explanation of the importance of forming separate professions and identities. The meticulous advice on starting a family in the midst of a prosperous career may feel beyond the reach of some readers who lack the resources available to the authors, but their view that “[h]aving a family makes you better at work” is refreshing.

That thinking and some of Gordon and Bluestein’s other counsel is invitingly unconventional in a corporate environment, such as their “48-hour” rule that calls for spending at least 48 hours at home on weekends before heading out on another business trip. Such creative solutions will be welcome to readers eager to prosper in business without sacrificing their home lives. Personal photographs lend intimacy to the writing, and the guide’s advice continues right into the retirement years (which the authors term as a “rewiring”). Methodical but personal, this unorthodox guide dares to establish new approaches to having it all.

Takeaway: Invaluable guidance for readers seeking concurrent success in career and family life.

Great for fans of: Jennifer Petriglieri’s Couples That Work, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans’s Designing Your Life, Matthew Kelly’s Off Balance.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A