HGTV Co-Founder Susan Packard Debuts New Business Book For Women

By Carly Harrington
The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.

For women to advance in business, they need to approach the workplace like a game by knowing the rules to win.

Susan Packard, co-founder of HGTV, outlines those rules in her debut book, “New Rules of the Game: 10 Strategies for Women in the Workplace,” which she hopes will serve as a tool kit of behavior and strategies to help women rise into leadership positions.

“I’m delighted with the quick response it’s getting. There’s something in it that’s resonating and that makes me very happy because we have to have more dialogue around women in business and that is what this book intends to,” Packard said Monday at a luncheon celebrating the book’s launch.

The event at The Orangery was hosted by Ken Lowe, chairman, president and CEO of Scripps Networks Interactive, and Dee Haslam, CEO of RIVR Media.

The book, released earlier this month, is in Amazon’s Top 20 books for women in business and has been among editor’s picks, Packard noted.

It offers tips and inspiration from her own 30-year career and that of other senior level executives including Lowe, Regal Entertainment Group CEO Amy Miles and University of Tennessee Women’s Athletic Director Emeritus Joan Cronan.

Packard got the idea for a book from a friend who had written several business books and suggested she tell her story.

“I sat back and thought, ‘What are the unifying thoughts around why I was successful?’ That idea developed into the book and this concept, which I call gamesmanship. Gamesmanship is a set of behaviors and it’s an attitude that can help you advance,” Packard said.

While written for women, about half the chapters are also applicable to men who are on the same career path. Additional resources are included at the end of the book.

“When you read this book, you’ll find that it’s really practical information that I wish I had many years ago,” Haslam told the group.

“It’s applicable to so many things I’m dealing with today.”

Haslam touted Packard’s ability to connect with people and build great relationships, adding she was excited for her daughters, who are early in their careers, to read the book.

One of the biggest take-aways Packard hopes for readers is what she calls “creating your biggest fan club,” which she described as building “a network of people that will support you in your career and it’s built on trust.”

“For women, it’s more important because as we go up the ladder, success and likability are negatively correlated,” she said.

Packard points to the image on the cover of the book, which uses the chess piece of the queen, the most powerful piece on the board because it can move in so many directions.

“She’s the only one who can do that. I think it’s a great metaphor for women and how agile we are and another argument for why we should be in senior leadership,” she said.

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