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If you don't think you have the right and "the right stuff," why should anyone else think you do?,
This review is from: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (Hardcover)
This book and its author have received so much attention in recent weeks that just about everything that can be said about them has already been expressed. So, I have decided to explain this book's relevance to me. Although there are more than a dozen reasons, I shall briefly discuss only three.
First, I am married to a woman who divides her time almost equally between a career and her personal life. We have a daughter who left a highly promising career as a corporate executive to concentrate on raising two young children. We have ten grandchildren (five female) who range in age from six to 21. I am self-employed and continue to work full-time. These are among the dimensions of my life and Sheryl Sanberg has much to say about each of them that is of substantial value to me. There were times when I felt as if she had written this book for me and that leads to my second point.
Although Sanberg cites many sources that have provided information and insights of value to her, this book is primarily a personal account such as Whitney Johnson's Dare, Dream, Do rather than a more general commentary such as Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique and Gloria Steinem's Revolution from Within or, more recently, Anne Kreamer's It's Always Personal, Lois Frankel's Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office, Mika Brzezinski's Knowing Your Value, and Emily Bennington's Who Says It's a Man's World. Sanberg's book comes as close as a book can to being a transcript of her comments during a private, personal conversation with her reader. I could almost hear her voice as I proceeded from one page to the next. By the time I finished reading it the first time, I thought I knew at least as much (if not more) about her as a person as I did about her as a C-level corporate executive.
Finally, to an extent no one else had previously done, she reconfirmed what I realized many years ago: Perfect balance of one's personal and professional lives -- if it were possible, and it isn't -- would almost certainly guarantee failure in both. Adjustments and modifications are constant because life tends to be messy and unpredictable. Living is not a zero sum game. Success (however defined) is possible in any and all dimensions: work, family life, personal life, community...or, if you prefer, mental, physical, emotional, spiritual. They are not separable. Rather, they are interdependent...for better or worse. Variable balance really is possible if these conditions are met: all dimensions are nourished, they are mutually supportive, expectations in any one are bold but within reason, and there is a willingness to make sacrifices and concessions to resolve conflicts.
Sometimes we are juggling oranges, on other occasions, hand grenades. As master jugglers such as Sheryl Sanberg remind us, the secret is in the toss but first you have to get into the game.