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: 2020-10-06
Sheryl Sandberg eloquently details why everyone should question the status quo, and how we can all facilitate career progression for women, not just for the sole benefit of having women in positions of power, but also in order to benefit corporate America as a whole. Her prose is insightful, encouraging and at times exciting. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in promoting the equality of the sexes for everyone.
Reviewed: 2020-09-20
I really wanted to like this but ... I was arguing too much to finish.
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: 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.
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