Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg has firsthand experience of why having more women in leadership roles is good for business as well as society. Ms. Sandberg states,” I’m writing this book for any woman who wants to increase her chances of making it to the top of her field or to pursue any goal vigorous.”
Lean In, rehashes action plans and data developed in the 1970’s and 1980’s to support women trying to break through the workplace barrier to success and adds a modern twist (These action plans will be new to younger women). Sandberg updates helpful advice on overcoming the fear that is the root of most of the barriers women face in the workforce at all levels. The shocking information shared is that not much has changed for women at work since the 1950’s.
Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential. She digs deeper into these issues, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women.
Fear is the root barrier for women, the fear of not being liked, making wrong choices, drawing negative attention, over reaching, being judged, and fear of failure. The above fears compound the holy trinity of fear, being a bad mother/wife/daughter/friend, resulting in a phenomenon known as the Imposter Syndrome. You learn overtime to shake the feeling of self-doubt. You begin to understand these feelings are distortion and that this lack of confidence can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Positive self-talk and good feedback will help you recognize reality from the distortions the people around you reinforce.
The best message taken from this book: be aware of what is going on in the workplace. Take the opportunity to change the inequality. Don’t wait for someone to “fix” things for you. When opportunities present themselves jump on them if it’s what you want. Take control.
We give this book a thumbs up for recommended reading.
Lean In Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2013.