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Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead [Deckle Edge] [Hardcover]

Sheryl Sandberg
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,985 customer reviews)

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Best Books of the Month
Best of the Month
Amazon's editors selected this title as a Best Book of the Month, and Amazon's Sara Nelson talked to Sheryl Sandberg about gender politics in the office, her success (and self-doubt), and her legacy. Read more.

Book Description

March 11, 2013

Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl 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.

Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TEDTalk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.

In Lean In, Sandberg 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. She recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of “having it all.”  She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home. 

Written with both humor and wisdom, Sandberg’s book is an inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth. Lean In is destined to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can.


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, March 2013: Anyone who's watched Sheryl Sandberg's popular TED Talk, "Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders," is familiar with--and possibly haunted by--the idea of "having it all." "Perhaps the greatest trap ever set for women was the coining of this phrase," writes Sandberg in Lean In, which expands on her talk's big idea: that increasing the number of women at the top of their fields will benefit everyone. Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, encourages women to challenge the common workplace assumption that "men still run the world." She asks men to be real partners, sharing in the family work that typically leads to a woman's decision to stay home; she asks women who expect to start a family soon not to check out of work mentally. Sandberg's critics note that her advice may not resonate with the masses: The Harvard-educated exec can afford a veritable army to help raise her children. But Sandberg's point--which affects all of us--is that women who have what it takes to succeed at the highest professional level face many obstacles, both internal and external. Lean In is likely to spur the conversations that must happen for institutional changes to take place at work. --Alexandra Foster

From Booklist

*Starred Review* If Facebook COO (and first-time author) Sandberg succeeds, it will be because she’s made us mad—and more than willing to act. With no small amount of self-deprecating humor, a massive quantity of facts and research, plus a liberal dose of very personal anecdotes, Sandberg forces each one of us—woman and man—to reexamine ourselves at work and in life, using a unique filter. Are we more concerned about being liked than succeeding? Do we think of our career as a series of upward ladders rather than a jungle gym? Do our authentic selves—and honesty—show up in business? In short, every single undoing of a woman’s career is examined thoughtfully and with twenty-first-century gentleness and exposed with recommended remedies. Her colleagues act as advocates for her theme: lean in, or take a risk and drive change for us all. And though there are no solutions offered, except in the formation of communities around the country and (we hope!) around the world, there’s tremendous reenergy in feeling that, thanks to Sandberg, the world just might be a different place. --Barbara Jacobs

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (March 11, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385349947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385349949
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,985 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1,046 of 1,108 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something to think about March 14, 2013
Format:Hardcover
I had heard some of the buzz about this book before I picked it up. Usually I don't do reviews, but I like reading what other people say about books. I'm writing this because I think some of the reviewers are missing what is significant (at least) to me about the book. Of course, Sheryl Sandberg is priviledged. No one in my family would even dream of going to Harvard. There are no doctors in my family. I don't make millions a year. I'm single with no children. Basically I could disregard half of the book. HOWEVER, the other half really struck a cord with me. I've also been criticized for being too direct -- something that is not considered negative for a man. It made me think about how I approach meetings. Do I speak up? Do I wait for someone else to ask a question so I won't have to? Do I sit at the table? Do I have a voice that says I'm not qualified? Am I an imposter? Thinking about these questions made me realize that I can be passive about my career choices. There's a young man in my department who is new to the industry and training for his new position. Every meeting he speaks up. Even though some of his questions and comments are boarderline embarrassing, I guarantee upper management knows who he is. It doesn't bother him at all to ask those questions. It's an interesting contrast to all the women just sitting there.

The best message to take from this book is to 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.
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541 of 584 people found the following review helpful
By m.z.
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am a long-time admirer of Sandberg, especially after her inspiring TED talk. But there was one topic so blatantly omitted from "Lean In" that I almost thought the book hadn't downloaded completely: women entrepreneurs. There is not a single full sentence, let alone paragraph or chapter, devoted to this mushrooming class of women who have decided to take control of their own fate, instead of joining in the Sisyphean task of changing power dynamics from the inside out that Sandberg advocates. Elementary buzz words (from Sandberg's own industry no less) like "innovation," "invention," "entrepreneurship" and "disruption" are virtually non-existent, nevermind promoted. Instead, the book is focused on increasing women in positions of power in "governments, corporations, academia, hospitals, law firms, non-profits...[and] research labs." That about sums up Sandberg's scope. "Lean In" reads like an instruction manual on how to run on a hamster wheel of corporate or traditionally defined success when, ironically, she leads a company founded on the exact opposite of these ideals by a visionary college dropout who wanted to upend the world order (for better or worse). Her book is written squarely for women (like her) who possess the admirable patience and perseverance to log decades working for men like Mark Zuckerberg, and, perplexingly, not a call to arms for women to become the next Mark Zuckerberg.

With the power of technology, innovation, and education, the model she advances is becoming- and arguably has become- obsolete. Her approach already feels outdated and it's hard to see how "Lean In" will inspire a revolution.
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809 of 892 people found the following review helpful
By XH
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I want to set the record straight for those who claim that Mrs. Sandberg's advices don't apply to "underprivileged" women - I consider myself "underprivileged" and I found this book incredibly relatable and inspiring.

Why do I call myself "underprivileged":
1. I came to the U.S. when I was 22 years old, speaking broken English. Today, I still feel that my options are limited because of my English :)
2. I don't have any family connection in the U.S. When I arrived the U.S. for the 1st time in my life, I didn't have any friends.
3. My parents are no where near the term "privileged". They don't have money, power, or connections.
4. I didn't graduate from prestige schools like Harvard - I wish I could. But I am still proud of my 2 Master's degrees in science. I earned them through hardworking. I had to work a full-time day job + a night job + going to school full time so that I could pay for the out-of-state tuition, support my parents and my brother, and keep my legal status

Today, I am a senior manager in IT industry- not nearly as sucessful as Mrs. Sandberg. But you can see why I relate to her in many ways:
1. Like Mrs. Sandberg and her husband, my husband and I are full-time working parents with 2 young children
2. Like Mrs. Sandberg and her husband, I plan kids' parties and my husband manages family finances. My husband and I divide our family duties
3. Like Mrs. Sandberg and her husband, my husband and I insist on having dinners with our children everyday and share the favorite part of the day and the worst part of the day - cannot believe they do this too!
4. At work, I always sit at the table - just like her
5.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Good read to get a different perspective.
Published 47 minutes ago by siva
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
Excellent book! Gift it to your mothers, wives, and daughters for Christmas.
Published 8 hours ago by Reviewer
3.0 out of 5 stars Encouraging read for in the workforce
Many chapters about being socially acceptable while taking care of work/children and not squandering big goals and work advancements. Read more
Published 21 hours ago by Heather
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read! Sheryl really shares her experiences in a ...
A wonderful read! Sheryl really shares her experiences in a way anyone can relate to. I think the controversy around her book is healthy. Read more
Published 22 hours ago by Nightingale
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
As a man who works in a corporate setting, I think that her viewpoints are very valid and it's helped me understand or at least be more perceptive to some of the difficulties women... Read more
Published 22 hours ago by Mason
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good read
Published 1 day ago by darsabra2013
5.0 out of 5 stars truly authentic and inspiring
This book has given a lot of things to work for myself and those i work with and mange. Thanks.
Published 1 day ago by Linhie Linhster
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book for everyone!
Published 3 days ago by J SCHLACHTENHAUFEN
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing! I recommend this to all my girlfriends, especially my younger ones!
Published 3 days ago by jenna m rawski
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a must read for both men and women ...
This is a must read for both men and women. Sheryl has combined her real life experience with extensive research to make her point that we're all guilty of sexism and not stepping... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Jeffrey S. Raizen
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A New Era For Women in the Workplace?
Thanks Jay - you covered them. I'm all for equality, but not for fulfilling a quota for equality's sake. It doesn't make the workplace playing field an equal place. I'd rather see a woman become a CEO because she had the talent and skill for the job, not just because she was a quota objective.... Read More
Mar 17, 2013 by Jeremy |  See all 8 posts
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