Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of the Facebook and has recently written a marvellous book on ‘Women at Work’ titled LEAN IN.
I read the book and was spell bound not just by the way Sheryl Sandberg has written the book but also with the wisdom she imparts throughout those 180 pages of Lean In.
I read on internet that Sheryl’s book is making waves in the international market and thus decided to give it a read. I had barely read about first 30 pages and I knew why it is a bestseller and why it deserves to be one.
Lean In is a great book for every woman, whether she works outside the home, inside the home or even if she doesn’t work at all. This simply written book is a gospel for women who want to succeed but hold back due to their inner fears and ‘leave before they actually leave’.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book while going through the various anecdotes that Sheryl has mentioned in the book and the several snippets she provides from her own life. It is nice to see how comfortably Sheryl has opened up about her own life, kids, her fears and her determination to succeed.
One knows for sure that Sheryl has had it all – research assistant at the World Bank, management consultant at McKinsey, six and a half years at Google where she quit it at the post of VP Global Online Sales and Operations and now more than five years at Facebook as Chief Operating Officer. Reading about her life and how she made the choices that she made is indeed inspiring and a learning in itself.
Sheryl’s book is a feminist book but it is not an anti-men book and that is what I like about it the most. Throughout the book, Sheryl Sandberg points out how there is still a visible paucity of women CEOs across the world and in other leading positions but not once she holds men responsible for this. She actually does not get into this kind of debate.
She just explains how we women can make the most of our potential by believing in ourselves and by ‘sitting at the table’.
The phrase LEAN IN is used extensively in the book and implies that women must LEAN IN, come forward and raise their hands when they are at work.
I would say this is a MUST READ for every woman and particularly for women who find themselves at the cross roads of managing a home and work.
Lean In is full of wisdom and I have picked up some of my favorite lessons from the book. Here we go:
1. Choose The Right Partner – When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated, and ambitious. Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home. These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier.
2. Don’t Leave Before You Leave – We women often leave before we actually leave. How many times it happens that we give up on an opportunity thinking that we might not be able to handle the job pressure or we might not be able to give time to this demanding job because of my family or because my baby or just because I would be planning a baby by then? Sheryl says that unless that stage comes, do not give up on any great opportunity.
3. Don’t Have I-Will-Do-It-Myself Attitude – Sheryl points out that many of us have the habit of doing things by ourselves. We tell our spouse to do something, he does it wrong and from the next time onwards, we take it upon ourselves to do it. Stop this. Let him do it. So what he does it wrong. Let him make mistakes and learn. He will eventually do it right and you will get a helping hand.
5. Don’t Try To Please Everyone – Again this is one piece of advice that is applicable to everyone but more to women. We always get in the mode to try to please everyone and that is what that takes us back.
7. Lean In and Sit At The Table – This is the most important lesson that one gets from the book. Women need to Lean In more towards their work. They need to get involved and they need to learn to sit at the table. Sheryl points out that in meetings, men generally sit at the table while women sit a little away from the main table. Women need to shed the apprehensions and need to come forward!
In my opinion, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In is a great and a must read book for women. If not for anything, read it for your daughter so that we see a change 20 years from now!
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