Review: The Little Black Book of Success

This month I am sharing The Little Black Book of Success by Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood and Rhonda Joy McLean. The three dynamic and successful black female executives created The Little Black Book of Success with the intention of sharing their strategies to help all black women, at any level of their careers, play the power game—and win.

The Little Black Book of Success is a step-by- step corporate playbook that I always have handy in my Marc Jacobs work tote simply because I need help daily navigating office politics. From learning how to “manage up”, encouraging dialogue with my manager and setting work expectations/boundaries, this gem of a book has been a godsend for me. I’ve learned over the years that just having raw talent and working hard won’t be good enough in the workplace. Not only do you have to go the extra mile, you also should carry yourself in a manner that exudes confidence and professionalism while simultaneously controlling your emotions in the workplace. The Little Black Book of Success is teaching me how to climb the leadership ladder and to become a VIP in and out of the workplace.

Chock full of “MAMAisms” and mantras, The Little Black of Success provides hacks to make your experience in the office more enjoyable. Check out my favorites excerpts below to get a sense…

Chapter 2: To Attain Victory, Stay Positive: pg. 9

  • I release the past and now allow myself to be filled with positive thoughts
  • I deserve the best and welcome it into my life
  • I see the good in everyone
  • I accept for myself all the good things that life and work have to offer
  • I am worthy and deserving of new challenges that come my way
  • I am in the process of making positive changes

Chapter 10: Always Have a Plan of Action and Follow Through: pg. 34

  • It’s important to find discipline to keep a record of all that we do. It’s the only way we grow and advance to the next level. If we take what we do for granted, then others will do too, and then we wonder why we’re stuck in the same position doing the same thing. Since your goal is leadership, your action plan is an important tool. So no excuses. Start creating one today. At the end of every day, week, or month, whatever makes sense to you, write down your accomplishments and compare them to the goals you have set for yourself. 


  • There’s no time like the present
  • You don’t get any dessert until you all eat all your food
  • Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today
  • Plan your work and work your plan
  • Don’t just talk about it, do it!

Although The Little Black Book of Success resonated with me and provided great takeaways that I can use within the workplace, I did notice that the text could’ve been a bit more tailored for millennials who are in corporate. I found the book to be old fashioned when describing how to dress in the workplace and how to go about finding mentorship or a professional “coach.” When reading this book, I suggest that you focus on specific chapters that give tips on how to navigate through office politics and how to build skills within your craft. 

Happy reading and let me know of your thoughts in the comments below! #DomsBookClub