Kathleen Ralls
Most Recent Book Title
Take Her Word for It: Sports Cultivate World-Class Leaders
Book Description
Women athletes of all ages have an incredible capacity to be dynamic leaders who can choose between taking a step back to see the big picture or leading with curiosity and creativity.
In Take Her Word for It: Sports Cultivate World-Class Leaders, Kathleen Ralls, PhD, looks at how lessons learned in sports provide women the essentials necessary to be effective team leaders. After spending almost two decades as a high school teacher and athletic coach, Ralls speaks to emerging and established professional women who aspire to examine leadership and personal and professional growth in a new way.
Through personal stories, research, and interviews with Olympic, collegiate, and other highly competitive athletes, Ralls raises questions about how women can work together to create space for those who feel like their unique, inclusive leadership is often overlooked. Those questions include:
Do you need permission to lead?
How do sports encourage voice empowerment?
What are the benefits of not always leading?
Inspired by the women athletes she competed against, coached, and taught, author Kathleen Ralls’ Take Her Word for It: Sports Cultivate World-Class Leaders gives readers the empowerment to love themselves and their unique voices; freeing them to use a variety of leadership styles.
Location (city/state/country)
Lowell, MA
Author bio
Kathleen Ralls, PhD, is an award-winning educator, sports coach, and Fulbright Scholar. Her doctoral research focusing on gender equity, sports, and voice empowerment led her to create Kathleen Ralls LLC, a female empowerment and leadership training organization where she acts as executive director. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an MAT in secondary education and teaching from American University, and a PhD in leadership and education from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Kathleen began her career as a sportswriter before finding a passion for teaching and coaching. A lifelong learner, she has visited over twenty countries and conducted research on four continents. Kathleen is an avid athlete who has completed more marathons than pull-ups.
Professional Speaker Topics
Walk On
I defended my PhD with the plan to pursue a new career path in higher education. The pandemic had other plans, however, and I pivoted into a new and exciting career path.

What Does Time Mean to You
If you are tired of running somebody else’s race, you are not alone. Mapping a unique course and setting your own pace both personally and professionally can be both exciting and scary.

Take Her Word for It
Title IX research has connected female athletes with an increase in academic and professional success. In my doctoral research I took a different approach in seeking ways that sports encourage greater voice empowerment.

Seeing the Big Picture
Every team needs that member who identifies the knowledge gaps and has the drive to develop the missing skills needed for success. This kind of give-and-take leadership is beneficial on big and small teams to reach full potential.

Empowering the Reluctant Leader
We all know that person who has all the earmarks of a leader but is reluctant to showcase them. Maybe they are not sure how to function in a world that more often rewards the extrovert. How do you help them engage their potential?

Being Kind and Kicking Ass
If you think that taking the lead means talking first, talking the longest, and talking the loudest, think again! Many leaders use social instincts to effectively communicate great ideas, attitudes, and team norms in ways that provide space for greater participation and team growth.
  • Kathleen Ralls

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