Ladies (and men!), listen up. Everyone should move Lean In to the top of their reading lists ASAP. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first and even thought it might be a little dense, which I’m embarrassed to admit. The book was not only exciting and informational, but totally eye-opening. With a perfect balance of solid research and personal anecdotes, Sheryl Sandberg explores women in the workforce and why we need more women in higher positions of power. She covers a range of topics that apply to women at all points in their careers with an emphasis on balancing work and family. If you think it sounds boring, I promise it will change your entire view on career dynamics. What makes it so interesting is that Sandberg’s experience is completely relatable despite her incredibly successful career.
One of my favorite parts was the discussion about imposter syndrome. Sandberg writes of a speech she heard in college, “She explained that many people, but especially women, feel fraudulent when they are praised for their accomplishments… Despite being high achievers, even experts in their fields, women can’t seem to shake the sense that it is only a matter of time until they are found out for who they really are—imposters with limited skills or abilities… Every time I didn’t embarrass myself—or even excelled—I believed that I had fooled everyone yet again. One day soon, the jig would be up” (p. 28). Who knew there was an actual name for that? Another piece of advice that I really took to heart was the idea of overcorrecting your weaknesses in order to find middle ground. For example, shy people will have to feel like they’re constantly talking in order to say enough, or quiet people will have to feel like they’re shouting to have the perfect volume. Sandberg also touches on the importance of women helping women, backing up her claim with former secretary of state Madeleine Albright’s quote, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women” (p. 164). I believe in her cause wholeheartedly and hope that just as many men will learn from her ideology as women. As she writes in her book, it is the only way that society will finally become equal, both in the workplace and at home.
I could go on and on because I’m so passionate about women’s rights, but I’ll let you read it for yourself because this book is amazingly intelligent and a worthwhile read. Go pick it up this weekend! TGIF.
PS – How do you like the new design!?