1. Before reading KNOW YOUR POWER, what did you know about Nancy Pelosi’s life or career? Did you discover anything that surprised you?
2. Speaker Pelosi writes in the Preface, “The skills I acquired as a homemaker and mother have been invaluable to me. These same skills are transferable to many other arenas in life, including the United States Congress.” What skills does Speaker Pelosi refer to? What kinds of “mom skills” do you think can become “job skills?”
3. Speaker Pelosi touchingly recalls the encouragement of her mentor, Sala Burton, to run for Congress. Do you have someone in your life that has encouraged you to follow your dreams?
4. What does the book’s title mean to you? As a woman, of what do you think your power is comprised? How do you wield it?
5. Speaker Pelosi discusses how she and her fellow female representatives pushed out the “old boy” attitudes that, until very recently, were pervasive among her male colleagues in Congress. In what other sectors of working life—corporate America, academia, etc.—does sexism still exist? Can it be overcome?
6. What roles do women occupy, or have they occupied, in your family? Did you have older female relatives who worked while raising a family?
7. In the book Speaker Pelosi offers much advice for women; what did you think of it? Does she write about anything with which you might disagree?
8. What are some of the more memorable anecdotes Speaker Pelosi shares, whether from her Congressional career or other aspects of her life?
9. Of the ways her mother helped support the political career of Speaker Pelosi’s father, she says of her mother, “She, too, was a public servant. She was not paid, and she held no elected or appointed position, but she considered it part of her duty to contribute what she could,” [page 22]. Discuss the yin and yang of marriage, the compromise and teamwork it
requires. How did Speaker Pelosi and her husband balance out his career with hers? Was it surprising to learn that Speaker Pelosi didn’t run for office until her five children were grown?
10. Do you have female role models? Who are they, and why are they such important women for you?