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Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead Paperback – 12 Mar 2013
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"If you loved Sheryl Sandberg's incredible TEDTalk on why we have too few women leaders, or simply believe as I do that we need equality in the boardroom, then this book is for you. As Facebook's COO, Sheryl Sandberg has first-hand experience of why having more women in leadership roles is good for business as well as society. Lean In is essential reading for anyone interested in righting the injustice of this inequality" Sir Richard Branson, Chairman, the Virgin Group "Sheryl provides practical suggestions for managing and overcoming the challenges that arise on the "jungle gym" of career advancement. I nodded my head in agreement and laughed out loud as I read these pages. Lean In is a superb, witty, candid, and meaningful read for women (and men) of all generations" Condoleezza Rice, Former U.S. Secretary of State "Sheryl Sandberg brilliantly explains how she believes women must put themselves forward if the gender gap is ever to be closed - I agree, but I would add women should not only lean in, but also stand up and cheer." Martha Lane Fox "Eleanor Roosevelt once said, 'No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.' With stories from her own life and data carefully researched, Sheryl Sandberg reminds women that they have to believe in themselves and reach for opportunities. More women than men may need that advice, but I'd bet that both genders would profit from this very well-done book" Marjorie Scardino, Former CEO, Pearson PLC "For the past five years, I've sat at a desk next to Sheryl and I've learned something from her almost every day. She has a remarkable intelligence that can cut through complex processes and find solutions to the hardest problems. Lean In combines Sheryl's ability to synthesize information with her understanding of how to get the best out of people. The book is smart and honest and funny. Her words will help all readers-especially men-to become better and more effective leaders" Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO, Facebook
A provocative and inspiring work on overcoming the obstacles facing women on the path to leadershipSee all Product description
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Key tips: 'sit at the table' (ie put yourself forward and don't hold yourself back - 'what would you do if you were not afraid?"); be aware of gender stereotyping and explain why you are going to negotiate before you do negotiate - but don't fail to negotiate (men negotiate naturally and it is expected of them); 'make your partner a real partner' (and, for example, don't go in for gatekeeper behaviour at home and ask him to step aside and let you do it when he's making a mess of things - let him do it himself and learn); generally in finding a job look at the growth potential of the company (as the author did with Google) and think what you can offer an employer that the employer actually wants/needs; and on living your life understand that time is a scarce resource and you can't have or do it all - the whole essence of the thing is trade-offs and decisions.
So, there's a lot of interest here; and the book gives every appearance of being well researched as well as full of personal material. The author tells us in the afterward that she has a co-writer; and that even so writing the book has taken out of the time she spends with her husband. This also has the ring of truth - but it does to some extent underscore the idea that the author is something of an exceptional human being.
I would recommend cross-checking her thinking against the recent book The XX Factor by Alison Wolf. That carefully explains that there are three life styles for women today - one fot the top 1%, another for the remainder of the top 20%, and a third for the other 80%. Sandberg is definitely part of the top 1% in that grouping. So perhaps her thinking is not entirely for everyone....
Recommended to: All women who care about their work, professional life and career satisfaction and all men who care to play their role to make it a better world. Together we can make the difference.
It does highlight inequality in many areas which still exist between men and women in the work place today as well as at home and wishes for women to accept each others choices and for men to step up on the home front but also be free to choose a more unconventional path.
Sheryl highlights the fact that we still have too few women on the top levels in management and in politics and believes addressing this gender gap will lead to a more balanced society with more choices.
She hopes more women will "lean in" and give it all before deciding to step back rather than to "pre decide on how to manage motherhood" as they wont have as much to go for by the time they have kids and could be coming back to an interesting/challenging job.
It can't be repeated too often that we women must know our own history. Living perpetually in the present, believing that we are just emerging from a feminist Dark Age and are well on the way to equality is part of what ails us. Each generation of young women thinks they are the first to be properly liberated -- and it takes until middle age to realise that in fact the old oppressions are still oppressing in the old way, and that previous generations kicked against it just as we do.
The single most useful thing you can do as a feminist is to educate yourself about the feminists who have gone before. And there are many, many more than you think.
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