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About Lean In: Women, Work, And The Will To Lead Pdf
Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In is a massive cultural phenomenon and its title has become an instant catchphrase for empowering women. The book soared to the top of bestseller lists internationally, igniting global conversations about women and ambition. Sandberg packed theatres, dominated opinion pages, appeared on every major television show and on the cover of Time magazine, and sparked ferocious debate about women and leadership. Ask most women whether they have the right to equality at work and the answer will be a resounding yes, but ask the same women whether they’d feel confident asking for a raise, a promotion, or equal pay, and some reticence creeps in. The statistics, although an improvement on previous decades, are certainly not in women’s favour – of 197 heads of state, only twenty-two are women. Women hold just 20 percent of seats in parliaments globally, and in the world of big business, a meagre eighteen of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook COO and one of Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women in Business – draws on her own experience of working in some of the world’s most successful businesses and looks at what women can do to help themselves, and make the small changes in their life that can effect change on a more universal scale.
I highly recommend this book. As a single mom near the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder, the negative reviews would have led me to believe ‘Lean In’ wasn’t for me and that only an elite few could relate. To the contrary, I found that Sandberg lends a clear, relevant, necessary voice to issues of leadership and equality for women and men and understanding for parents working in and out of the home.
It’s a quick yet engaging read. She’s the first author I’ve read who shared what may be our generation’s earlier view of feminism – yep, good, done, thanks – and the fear I always had of being labeled a feminist. But I am.
The issues she raises are important. The inequality, far reaching. Sandberg makes excellent points on this being an issue of equality for both sexes. I have a son in college – I want his options wide open.
Several years ago I had to start from scratch, to put my public university master’s to work waiting tables and then claw to get back into a professional position. Somewhere in there, I chose to lose my voice. I became afraid. I need this job. But what would I do if I wasn’t afraid? It’s an excellent question.
My choices have been different from Sandberg’s yet the book still resonated with me. I look forward to participating and taking a seat at the table.
Lean In is a call for leadership, an invitation to participate in creating a society that values women, mothers, men, fathers, and in which women value and support each other and ourselves. Bravo, Ms. Sandberg, and thank you.
I’m Leaning In.
I feel sad that so many people criticize Sheryl’s book WITHOUT reading it. When I told my husband that I was reading “Lean In”, he said, “Oh…, but people say it’s for only rich elite women who can afford full time nannies.” That is a result of malicious rumors.
I’m not a businesswoman and my background is very different from Sheryl’s, but I agree with almost everything she says in this book. I have struggled with the same things for the last 50 years. I’m not competitive and I never wanted to become a big shot. But, I wanted to work and when I did a good job I wanted to be recognized. I wanted to continue working after I had a baby even though my husband made 5 times as much as me and financially didn’t make sense to hire a nanny. I thought I was selfish to feel sad about not working. I became depressed for a long time. Now I have a great work (even though it doesn’t pay well) because my husband understood my needs and started to support me full-heartedly. Wouldn’t that be better if it happens to every woman?
I believe that’s the reason Sheryl wrote the book. We have to help change the world so that our sisters and daughters don’t need to go through the same thing. Men will also benefit from women who are happy because they can fulfill their desire to work and achieve.
This book is a great conversation starter. You might want to read it with your partner, and talk about the issues you have always wanted to bring up and couldn’t.
Little story: In my previous department we all got nicknames, all of them meant to be very descriptive of the person but also really positive. They were brainstormed and then voted on, which actually was a really fun team-building. But while most people did indeed get some amazing nicknames, my final one was… ‘Ms Bossy’.
After hearing that, I remember heading to the toilets for a good cry, which is something I hardly ever do (when there are no books/movies or music involved that is). Of everything that I am, they picked Bossy as my most descriptive quality, thought it was funny and in some twisted way thought they were doing me a favour as well.
So when I read the following quote, I was already sold:
”When a girl tries to lead, she is often labelled bossy. Boys are seldom called bossy because a boy taking the role of a boss does not surprise or offend. As someone who was called this for much of my childhood, I know that it is not a compliment. The stories of my childhood bossiness are told (and retold) with great amusement. “
I had many mixed feelings while reading this book. On one hand it is ridiculously sad that society is still where it is, and on the other hand I kept nodding so hard and sometimes I felt like I was hit by alien attack. That’s the impact some chapters had on me. Aliens, here, right now, in my head!
Similarly to Quiet by Susan Cain, I just felt that it was important for me to read this book. Not that I have CEO ambitions (far from it, I actually really dislike managing people, which makes the whole ‘bossiness’ an even bigger conundrum!) but as a working woman it still struck a chord with me.
What i liked about this book, is that it isn’t a let’s-sit-all-together-and-whine about the situation. Sandberg gives you some insights into our own brain, and how we are often doing this to ourselves as well.
For me, she did so especially in the first few chapters. The later chapters are more about families and kids, which is a bit less applicable to me now. Nonetheless, she made me think, and made me realize a few things about myself I didn’t really know. There were many alien lightning attack moments, but the most striking one for me was the paragraph about ‘feeling like a fraud’:
“She explained that many people, but especially women, feel fraudulent when they are praised for their accomplishments. Instead of feeling worthy of recognition, they feel undeserving and guilty, as if a mistake has been made. Despite being high achievers, even experts in their fields, women can’t seem to shake the sense that it is only a matter of time until they are found out for who they really are – impostors with limited skills or abilities.”
So true. No matter how many good performance reviews, no matter how often peers tell me they like me on their project because they’ll know that it’s in good hands with me – I still think I will be ‘discovered’ some day for the imposter I am.
Sometimes when people to ask me to send an old study to them, there is a part of me that doesn’t want to. Not because I don’t like sharing, but because I’m convinced it’ll be wrong. I would love to re-look at all the data just to make sure I didn’t do anything stupid in the first place. How silly is that?
I sometimes even feel like that on Goodreads. It’s is a mystery to me why people would follow me, or ask to friend me out of the blue, or like my reviews.
Really, I’m not a smart person and I don’t understand literature at all, I’m just a robot who puts random words behind one another and somehow so far I have regularly managed to trick people into thinking that my review makes sense.
Aren’t I lucky?
About Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead Author
SHERYL SANDBERG is chief operating officer at Facebook, overseeing the firm’s business operations. Prior to Facebook, Sheryl was vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, chief of staff for the United States Treasury Department under President Clinton, a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, and an economist with the World Bank.
Sheryl received a BA summa cum laude from Harvard University and an MBA with highest distinction from Harvard Business School.
Sheryl is the co-author of Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy with Wharton professor and bestselling author Adam Grant, which will be released April 24, 2017. She is also the author of the bestsellers Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead and Lean In for Graduates. She is the founder of the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to build a more equal and resilient world through two key initiatives, LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org (launching April 2017). Sheryl serves on the boards of Facebook, the Walt Disney Company, Women for Women International, ONE, and SurveyMonkey.