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Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead Kindle Edition
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|Length: 244 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
Within a week of finishing it, I stood up to a male coworker who was minimizing and deflating everything I said in a meeting in front of my manager and colleagues. Pre book I probably would have just let it go and been deferential even though I knew I was right. I didn't back down on my position, but I remained calm and logical, and was still friendly. He on the other hand became angry and raised his voice. I asked him why he was becoming so emotional about he topic, and that question disarmed him completely. He said "you're right, I'm sorry." Later he came to my office and apologized again. I know he didn't like it, and I don't think his apology was sincere, but I know I at least gleaned some respect from him and my colleagues.
I later noticed in another meeting in which a female coworker and I were presenting, several male audience members kept interrupting us despite the fact that we were supposed to be teaching them the material. I finally stepped in and said "gentlemen, thanks for your insights but we're going to hold questions and comments until the end." They shut up.
I have finally recently been selected to attend a conference across the country with a select few other employees. I attribute this selection to my newfound confidence in my abilities and contributions to the organization, and I attribute that confidence to this book!
I think every working woman should read this (especially working mothers), and possibly more importantly, every manager, male or female, should read this book.
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.
That’s what she advises women to do in this book which she calls a “sort of feminist manifesto.” She makes a case for leaning in, for being ambitious in any pursuit. “Don’t stand back,” she admonishes, “lean in, go for it, keep your hand up, sit at the table. Take risks, choose growth, challenge yourself, and ask for a promotion (with a smile on your face, of course). Don’t wait for power to be offered , take it!”
First and foremost, according to Sandberg, “women are hindered by the barriers that exist within themselves.” We women, she says, have been influenced by gender stereotypes, introduced in childhood and reinforced throughout our lives. Therefore, we internalize negative messages such as it’s wrong for women to be outspoken and aggressive. Being firm and strong violates unwritten rules about acceptable social conduct. Instead be “pretty like Mommy and smart like Daddy.”
THE MYTH OF DOING IT ALL
Sandberg knows that women can’t do it all, although she has tried. At Google, she would lock her door and use a breast pump during conference calls.
She quotes Gloria Steinem who said it best: “You can’t do it all. No one can have two full time jobs , have perfect children, cook three meals a day, and be multi-orgasmic ‘til dawn.”
CHOOSING A HUSBAND
Sandberg says that husband “Dave and I have had our share of the bumps on our path to achieving a roughly fifty-fifty split, but I do have a husband who is a real partner.” She advises that “if you want a fifty-fifty partnership, establish that pattern at the onset.” That partnership will model behavior for the next generation.
Those men do exist. My Bob (Stapleton) took personal pride in my accomplishments, encouraged me 100 percent, and sometimes put on a pot of beans when we needed something to eat. It all started after I had spent all night stuffing envelopes on a mailing for a woman candidate. Next morning, at the breakfast table, Bob said “Sweet baby, if you’re going to spend your life in other people’s campaigns, you might as well run yourself.” With his support, I did run, and won a seat in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, where I stayed for ten years.
My Bob has been gone two years, and life is tough without him.
In conclusion, I leave you with this thought which, in my mind, summarizes the content of Sheryl Sandberg’s book: A man of quality is not threatened by a woman of equality.
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