Lean in

Lean in

Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Book - 2013
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Sheryl Sandberg -- Facebook COO and one of "Fortune" magazine's most powerful women in business -- 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. She draws on her own experiences working in some of the world's most successful businesses, as well as academic research, to find practical answers to the problems facing women in the workplace.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385349949
Characteristics: 228 pages ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Scovell, Nell


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Feb 11, 2019

Must read if you are a professional in the workplace. Really important if you are a female, but good for everyone really.

laurendouglass Jan 30, 2019

It took me awhile to get to this book.  My pile of stuff to read, whether physical or digital, is always huge and I kept thinking, "I'll read this later, maybe in the Fall." 

It is possible I wanted to put off this book because I was too busy reading all the opinion, commentary and arguing that folks were having about the book when it was released.  And if you have put it off, or decided not to read it because of this overload of bickering, please pick it up now or reconsider because it is excellent.  I shouldn't have waited so long.

To all the critics that said Sandberg was too rich/powerful/white etc. to write this book, I say, "Well, did you actually read it?"  Sandberg acknowledges over and over that, yes, she is rich, and powerful (although reluctantly, that's one of the passages I liked the best) and white etc. and that many women (and men) aren't, and yes, not every woman has the advantages and leverage that she can use in her personal and professional life.  She readily admits that and says emphatically that things will not change until more women (and sympathetic men) are in positions of power.

But then she goes one step further and says, even though all this is true, women at all levels can and should commit not only to advancing the cause of all women but to being fully present and committed to their careers.  To Lean In as she puts it.

If you haven't read the book that last sentence probably sounds patronizing and simplistic.  Most women that work outside the home are fully present and committed to their careers and they still may experience bias and discrimination in the work place.  Leaning In doesn't make that bias magically disappear.  But what I like most about the book is that she gives example after example from her own life, and from other women she has worked with, that show just how profoundly small, subtle changes in behavior can hold women back and broadcast to those they work with that they don't want to lead.  I also appreciated the fact that Sandberg readily admits that even though she is the COO of Facebook she still experiences doubt, suffers from the Imposter Syndrome, and feels guilt.

I also very much like the way she handles the omnipresent Mommy Wars, the supposed conflicts between mothers that work inside the home raising families and managing households and mothers that work outside the home.  Sandberg's anecdotes and stories reconfirm my belief that the Mommy Wars are mostly created by bloggers and broadcasters as a way to boost ratings and traffic.  And that most mothers, regardless of where they work, are simply trying to muddle through and give their kids a good life, while experiencing doubt, guilt and fear of being perceived as a bad parent or as "just a stay at home mom."  I especially loved the chapter where Sandberg admits that she is intimidated by the mother who points out that Sandberg didn't dress her son in green for St. Patrick's Day.  In that same chapter she also acknowledges that the same woman volunteers hundreds of hours of her own time volunteering at their children's school, something that Sandberg can't do, and she is greatful for the woman's efforts.

Lean In certainly isn't going to change the world overnight, but it is a much better book and philosophy than I thought it would be.

Aug 04, 2017

I sincerely enjoyed reading Sheryl Sandberg's book, Lean In. Sheryl addressed so much of what women go through when trying to build a thriving career. Her tone isn't judgmental or condescending towards women or men for that matter, but simply passionate about the subject.

I know that some other reviews about this book made it a point to point out that Sheryl had a privileged background. Well, I'm a Black woman and did not grow up privileged; but I still appreciated her perspective on women pursuing their careers unapologetically. Lean In is definitely a book that I'd encourage any woman in the workplace to read if they desire to grow and excel in their careers.

Jun 02, 2017

I really enjoyed this book because it verbalized a lot of what women struggle with and things that I have struggled with myself. I also completely disagree with JSmom - this is exactly what we shouldn't be doing. We shouldn't marginalize other womens' accomplishments. I agree that it is different for a woman coming from a privileged family versus one that did not and also for someone who is a visible minority or a different sexual orientation. However, Sheryl has still had a very successful career and is a remarkable woman. Just because she was perhaps privileged, it does not make her any less talented or less capable. Just because you have certain struggles in your life, doesn't mean that everyone should have those struggles. Those who struggle less should help those who may struggle more which is exactly what she is doing. Plus, the proceeds from the book go to a non-profit, not into her pocket.

Ultimately I think this is a great read that hopefully inspires many women and men to work towards equality together.

Nov 22, 2016

Reading this nonsense book is a total waste of time. Another privileged person who started from the top takes credit for hitting a home run.

By using family connections, she landed under the wing of Larry Summers at Harvard. Once you have the email address; @harvard.edu, it is fair winds and following seas.
Imagine never having to worry about affording food, clothing, shelter and the very best medical care. Of course, you can have it all with a nurse, a nanny , a cook and housekeeper whose services will set you back a mere $200.000 a year. This is a woman of privilege and buying this stupid book only makes her richer. If you must read it, borrow it from the library.

Oct 02, 2016

Sheryl Sandberg gave a commencement speech about leaning into careers, and then decided to expand that into this book. The book is a balance between research and personal experiences, and Sandberg gives practical solutions to problems in the workplace. Sandberg is an incredibly successful business woman, and she shows that it is possible to have a career and family at the same time. Her advice is for everyone to stop being afraid that focusing on career will mean the rest of your life suffers because it is possible to find a balance. There are times she seems blind to the economic struggles a lot of women face, and that’s really the only complaint I have about this book.

TSCPL_LissaS Jun 01, 2016

I originally avoided reading this book based on headlines of social media articles, because I didn't think I wanted to Lean In. That strategy for evaluating my reading choices wasn't very well informed. Luckily, I was challenged to read the book for the library's podcast, and I really enjoyed both the practical feminism and the recommendations for ALL people to help bring awareness to issues that affect women in the workplace.

LoganLib_Adults Apr 12, 2016

Enlightening and easy to read - lots of 'aha' moments. I'd particularly recommend to young women, but great for all ages to help unveil self-limiting assumptions. I found the second half less compelling that than the first half, but 'lean in' ladies!

Apr 01, 2016

A very good for both men and women. There is a lot to learn from this about working parents, Sheryl has put a lot of examples from her daily life and other people's experiences. A great read all the way to the end.

britprincess1ajax Nov 07, 2015

I really enjoyed LEAN IN. The advice may not be universal, but it is heartfelt and comes from a noble place. Sheryl Sandberg speaks from the position of a fairly privileged white working mother because she is one. She is sharing her experience; it would be unfair to judge her for being exclusionary because she didn't address single women, visible minorities, or low-income women. She addresses this fact a few times and is almost apologetic, but she cannot walk in someone else's skin. She is simply telling her own tale and I find it remarkably interesting. She consistently says that she knows her path is not the same as everyone else's, nor does she say it has to be. In fact, one of the final chapters addresses women supporting women, no matter what their choices may be. I think her points are great and made in a wonderful anecdotal fashion, and it is women like her who make me proud to be a feminist.

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