Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Sheryl Sandberg
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.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2018-08-16
The Facebook chief operating officer and Fortune top-ranked businesswoman shares provocative, anecdotal advice for women that urges them to take risks and seek new challenges in order to find work that they can love and engage in passionately.
Reviewed: 2018-07-30

After reading this book I don't understand the complaints made against the book. I wish that this book had been available sooner, since it felt reassuring that a woman in Sheryl Sandberg's position could feel the same way I feel in business. We need more women helping other women to get to the top of the corporate world.

Reviewed: 2017-09-11
3.5H
Reviewed: 2017-01-31
Lean In is a great book for people that want to understand what life is like for women (and mothers) in the white collar workplace. It's a fantastic book for that, actually, though Sandberg acknowledges that it doesn't speak to the experiences of women from many other walks of life. That's fine, as long as the reader is aware of it. This shouldn't minimize the importance of Sandberg's message, however. She does an excellent job of describing the ways in which traditional gender roles bring both men and women down, whether that be in the home or the workplace. And not only does she call attention to these problems, she offers viable solutions. Sandberg is eloquent, and the writing is at once intelligent and easy to read. There's a reason Lean In is required reading for Gender Studies students everywhere.
Reviewed: 2017-01-02
Directed towards a very small group of women Book made headlines and news because it was Sheryl Sandberg. It was all the rage: how could women advance in the work place? How could they balance family life? What did they have to do to get it?
 
I really wanted to like this book, but found it hard to relate to. How many people can meet with people like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook or Sergey Brin of Google? How many can name drop Meg Whitman (formally of eBay)?I would like to see a no-name developer or engineer walk into any of the above's offices and talk to them like Sandberg does.
 
How many have partners or spouses who are able and willing to commit time and effort to be equal in household chores, child raising, committing to the family, income, etc? How many are raising children in the situation Sandberg describes: most of her anecdotes, if not all involved married heterosexual couples. I wouldn't be surprised if they were all or mostly white either. Nothing wrong with that, but single/divorced or gay/lesbian parents all face different challenges and I would imagine many, if not all of the couples Sandberg describes can afford extra help in the form of nannies, cooks, drivers, household staff, etc.
 
Which is not to say there isn't interesting information and things to think about--such as when to stand up, when to negotiate for salaries, finding a way to manage 2 working parent household with children, etc But I could only skim most of the book because I couldn't say really gave me food for thought.
 
An interesting premise but I find it hard to believe a lot of women would be able to really utilize the advice Sandberg provides with the same or similar results. Pick it up from the library if curious.
Reviewed: 2015-11-28
I wanted to like this book. Actually, I wanted to love this book. But I didn't. I am all for more women in leadership. I love my job and feel businesses need to continue to cultivate diversity in all areas, including diversity of thought. I am a wife, and mother, and have been in leadership my entire career, so I thought this book would be amazing and inspirational. I hoped it would be one I could recommend to my peers. Unfortunately...

This book showed me that I think, and often act, like the men Sheryl Sandberg has worked with throughout her career. Rarely did any of her stories or perspectives resonate with me. I would read her anecdote, pause, and think, "Huh. Do most women in business feel that way? I have never had that thought." Or, "I can't believe that was her reaction. I would have lost respect for her in that moment." If most women have similar thoughts, feelings, and reactions, it's no surprise that they struggle to achieve high levels of leadership success.

On the flip side, it did help me gain perspective on how some of my female peers might feel in the workplace. I can possibly use this to encourage differently, or help other women leaders work through some of their career stallers and provide an alternate point of view.

Overall, too much hype and a let-down for me. Men, if you read this book, do not assume every woman feels, thinks, or acts this way. Please and thank you.

TL:DR--I might be a man. Or Sheryl Sandberg is a big baby.
Reviewed: 2015-11-23

If I could give this book a score better than 5 stars, I would. It is one of the best books I have ever read, and the best, bar none, on being a woman in the workplace, whether it be at home or in an office. Sheryl touches on so many subtle yet very relevant things that are happening and tells you how she recommends you work through them. She encourages people of all genders to work as a team and to help each other make a more equal world. She doesn't put anybody down and this book should be read by all genders so we know how to make a better future. I can't thank her enough for writing this book. It was a joy and very informative to read.

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