Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead – Sheryl Sandberg (2013)

book448With this new work promotion comes leadership, and as a reminder to myself, I decided to read Sandberg’s Lean In book. This was really a pretty good book with the usual chapters covering the role of women in the workplace (although it’s hard to believe that “women in the workplace” is still an issue in the U.S. in the twenty-first century as we are).

So, there was some treading of familiar ground but there were also some new pieces of information which I picked up. Here are some of the notes I made whilst I was reading if any of you are in a similar situation:

  • About young women choosing to leave the workforce in such high numbers: “My generation fought so hard to give all of you choices. We believe in choices. But choosing to leave the workforce was not the choice we thought so many of you would make.” Judith Rodin, President, Rockefeller Foundation and first woman to serve as President of an Ivy League university.
  • Opportunities are rarely offered; they’re seized.
  • Increasingly, opportunities in the workplace are not well defined, but instead, come from jumping in to something. That something (if done well) then becomes her job. (True that.)
  • You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way round.
  • The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.
  • Employees who concentrate on results and impact are the most valuable team players. Teams need goals to aim for.
  • Being risk averse can lead to stagnation. An analysis of senior corporate management appointments found that women are significantly more likely than men to continue to perform the same function even when they take on additional new duties.
  • Women only apply for jobs if they meet 100% of the criteria listed. Men apply if  they think that they meet 60% of the criteria listed…
  • Women need to shift from thinking “I’m not ready to do that” to thinking “I want to do that and I’ll learn by doing.”
  • Lean in at the conference table. Lean in and be counted among the players.

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking that they don’t have any.          Alice Walker

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