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

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But now I know how to take a deep breath and keep my hand up. I have learned to sit at the table. Sandberg quotes other powerful women sharing their own insecurities, including a wonderful anecdote from Virginia Rometty, the first female chief executive officer of I. So she told the recruiter she would have to think it over. She followed up with a commencement address to the Barnard class of Both went viral. Figure out what you want to do before you meet with the people who can hire you.

Head lice are an all-too-frequent and upsetting part of parenting, but when Sandberg discovered her two children had them, they were all flying to a business conference on the corporate jet of John Donahoe, the C. Moreover, given her positions first at Google and now at Facebook, it is hard not to notice that her narrative is what corporate America wants to hear.

For both the women who have made it and the men who work with them, it is cheaper and more comfortable to believe that what they need to do is simply urge younger women to be more like them, to think differently and negotiate more effectively, rather than make major changes in the way their companies work. She also notes a McKinsey study showing that while men are promoted based on potential, women get a leg up based on past accomplishments.

Indeed, this is the part of the book that still gives me pause. I believe that personal motivation is an incredibly complex thing, molded by our internal will but also strongly influenced by the parenting we receive, the peer group that surrounds us as we grow, the educational opportunities we get, the connections we make, as well as the expectations and prejudices of those around us. Sandberg agrees, at least in part. She cites more than a dozen studies that underline the obstacles women face. One of the most compelling, though 10 years old, still rings true.

Two professors wrote up a case study about a real-life entrepreneur named Heidi Roizen, describing how she became a successful venture capitalist by relying on her outgoing personality and huge personal and professional network. When a woman does well, people like her less. Most of us want to be liked. Sandberg admits that she has undermined her own accomplishments for fear that others would be turned off. She tells a concise story to illustrate her point: At her first performance review with Zuckerberg six months into her job at Facebook, he told her that her desire to be liked by everyone was holding her back.

Instead, she advocates asking people both senior and junior to you for specific advice to solve a problem. This will engender much more productive relationships than a simplistic, general plea for mentoring. Sandberg stakes out controversial ground on this point as well.

She acknowledges that this is difficult but makes a convincing case about how necessary it is if women are going to pursue demanding careers. She gets that the majority of working women must struggle to meet monthly expenses and to put food on the table. She acknowledges that she is preaching to the privileged few who have the education and the connections to make it to positions of power.

I became depressed for a long time.


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Now I have a great work even though it doesn't pay well because my husband understood my needs and started to support me full-heartedly. Wouldn't that be better if it happens to every woman? I believe that's the reason Sheryl wrote the book. We have to help change the world so that our sisters and daughters don't need to go through the same thing. Men will also benefit from women who are happy because they can fulfill their desire to work and achieve. This book is a great conversation starter. You might want to read it with your partner, and talk about the issues you have always wanted to bring up and couldn't.

View all 6 comments. Little story: In my previous department we all got nicknames, all of them meant to be very descriptive of the person but also really positive. They were brainstormed and then voted on, which actually was a really fun team-building. Of everythin Little story: In my previous department we all got nicknames, all of them meant to be very descriptive of the person but also really positive. Of everything that I am, they picked Bossy as my most descriptive quality, thought it was funny and in some twisted way thought they were doing me a favour as well.

Boys are seldom called bossy because a boy taking the role of a boss does not surprise or offend. As someone who was called this for much of my childhood, I know that it is not a compliment. The stories of my childhood bossiness are told and retold with great amusement. On one hand it is ridiculously sad that society is still where it is, and on the other hand I kept nodding so hard and sometimes I felt like I was hit by alien attack.

That's the impact some chapters had on me. Aliens, here, right now, in my head! Similarly to Quiet by Susan Cain, I just felt that it was important for me to read this book. What i liked about this book, is that it isn't a let's-sit-all-together-and-whine about the situation. Sandberg gives you some insights into our own brain, and how we are often doing this to ourselves as well.

For me, she did so especially in the first few chapters. The later chapters are more about families and kids, which is a bit less applicable to me now. Instead of feeling worthy of recognition, they feel undeserving and guilty, as if a mistake has been made. How silly is that? I sometimes even feel like that on Goodreads. Aren't I lucky? View all 26 comments. This is a great start on this particular conversation, but Sandberg leaves out two large groups of women; women of color and women who are not wealthy.

When you are worried about how you are going to pay for today, it is difficult to take the plunge especially if you have others who are dependent on you. I applaud Sandberg for wr This is a great start on this particular conversation, but Sandberg leaves out two large groups of women; women of color and women who are not wealthy.

I applaud Sandberg for writing this book in the most authentic way she may know, but in order for me to give her a standing ovation I need to feel included. View all 4 comments. Sandberg is far more likeable than I expected and I appreciated her self-deprecating sense of humour, honesty about her insecurities and enthusiasm for supporting other women. I nodded along quite a bit when she talked about crying at work been there, done that and was happy to see her dismantle the guilt-trip fallacy that is "women having it all".

Sadly, Lean In is corporate feminism with an extremely narrow focus that excludes most women. Corporate feminism is t 2. Corporate feminism is the idea that if we put enough women in CEO positions then that'll trickle down to the rest of the gender. Sadly, it just doesn't work that way. Sandberg is at least self-aware enough to acknowledge how privileged she is but that still blinds her a little.

Some of these issues are briefly touched upon, and I emphasise "briefly" a lot there, but it's just not enough. For example, Sandberg talks about finding good mentors because studies have proven how effective they are in maintaining morale, seeking promotion and so on, but no solid solutions are provided. I don't expect Sandberg to do so because that's tough enough for any one person to do, but it's disappointing to see this book going on the right track then suddenly swerve off course.

It's clear that Sandberg understands, or is at least aware of racial issues in the corporate machine and the huge disparities in race and gender present in CEO and COO positions. Her frequent use of footnotes backs that up. That's what makes it all the more aggravating when she just doesn't go into these issues further.

She makes a lot of sensible points, particularly the issue of internalised patriarchy and how women are more prone to doubting their abilities than men, but once again, the solutions are few and far between. I wish it was as easy as just bucking up and demanding my seat at the table but the numbers aren't in my favour.

Sandberg acknowledges her privilege but doesn't seem to understand that not all women can lean in because we're leaning on too many other women to help us deal with the load. She praises Marissa Mayer, who became CEO of Yahoo whilst heavily pregnant then built a daycare centre for her son in her office, and declares that we must band together and support other women instead of criticising them like Mayer was. She does this will conveniently omitting Mayer's decision to ban working from home and demanding everyone come into the office to work.

These women weren't given the option of personal daycare like Mayer allotted for herself, and remember the USA is the only country in the developed world without fully paid maternity leave. Childcare costs, one of the big barriers to women remaining in the workplace, was totally ignored in favour of the "sisterhood" argument to support Mayer.

Feminism doesn't need to suck up to women in power; it needs to hold them accountable and make sure we all get a fair shake. The book isn't bad, it just feels like an extended TED Talk, which it essentially is. It's a disjointed but readable mish-mash of memoir, feminist tract and business guide, and there are admirable points in there. I just can't support a fallacy that claims if we support the women at the top then soon we'll all benefit.

Real life doesn't work that way. Lean in, Sheryl! Right on top of all those unpaid interns who must come from privileged families in order to be able to afford such an opportunity. This is why corporate trickle down Lean In feminism is a con. View all 15 comments. Mar 11, Lena rated it it was amazing Shelves: business.

While this book by the COO of Facebook is ostensibly about women in the workplace, it's really about subconscious cognitive biases. A majority of Americans may consider women and men to be equal on the surface, but the fact that women still lag significantly behind men in both pay and leadership positions points to the fact that there is something else going on. In this book, Sandberg does an excellent job at shining light on exactly what is standing in the way of full equality. She offers many e While this book by the COO of Facebook is ostensibly about women in the workplace, it's really about subconscious cognitive biases.

She offers many examples, both personal and from referenced studies, that highlight why women who start even slightly ahead of men out of college rapidly fall behind when they enter the workforce. Some of these are systemically entrenched gender biases that favor men, such as identical resumes being rated as more qualified when they had a man's name on them than they were when they had a woman's name on them, while others are ways women limit themselves as they make choices about their careers.

I suspect those who criticize Sandberg as blaming women for not being more successful have not actually read this book. While she does tackle head on behaviors she's seen women engage in, such as failing to apply for promotions at the same rate as men because they rate themselves as less qualified even when they aren't, choosing to take on less responsibility to leave time for a family they hope to have someday, and draining energy on the judgment battles between moms who work and moms who stay home, she also addresses the jaw-dropping sexism she's battled from her time in government to meteoric rise in the tech industry.

Even the New York Times was guilty of minimizing her accomplishments when they attributed her success to luck and mentoring, factors that impact men just as much but are hardly ever mentioned when male success is profiled. This book is a manifesto designed to get both women and men to recognize that women's equality has badly stalled and how we are all the worse off for it. Despite that, it is not remotely preachy or militant in tone. Sandberg is immensely approachable, laying her own struggles bare as examples and making it clear that one of the most powerful businesswomen on the planet is fighting the same insecurities and doubts as the rest of us.

Her personal stories are some of the richest parts of the book; she gives stress a new definition as she relates the tale of bringing her two children onto the Ebay corporate jet along with a bunch of other Silicon Valley execs only to discover mid-flight that both her kids had lice. In addition to outlining the problem and addressing the multiple facets of it, this book is also full of actual, practical solutions. Becoming aware of subtle gender biases can go a long way towards eliminating them, and she gives numerous examples of how institutions who are committed to changing the status quo have made a real difference in this area both in general behavior and also corporate policy such as family leave.

In addition, she provides women with a wealth of insight about how we can help create these changes by actively "leaning in" and taking a seat at the table at work, and being willing to expect more from our partners at home rather than assuming we have to or are the only ones who can take care of that front.

Changing such deeply entrenched dynamics is not going to be easy - the fact that Sandberg herself was caught engaging in a subtle form of gender bias while giving a talk on gender bias shows how pervasive the problem is. But by choosing to tackle the problem head on in such an approachable and pragmatic fashion, Sandberg is providing an excellent example of of just how it can be done.

View 2 comments. Although this book is certain to help many women, I gave it 4 stars because some of the advice has already been shared in similar books perhaps without as much research and statistics to back things up but still It is a 15 minute long speech that basically sums up her most pertinent points in this book. This isn't necessarily a book on how to climb the career lad Although this book is certain to help many women, I gave it 4 stars because some of the advice has already been shared in similar books perhaps without as much research and statistics to back things up but still This isn't necessarily a book on how to climb the career ladder, as some might think, it offers some advice for your "home life" as well especially about picking the right partner.

I am glad she wrote this book and that it is getting so much attention because we women need to hear these things. Ms Sandberg is actually not blaming anyone. She is simply sharing the current situation and suggesting ways we can solve existing problems.

In a perfect world we would not need any books to discuss the "situation" but the reality is women have more education and less leadership roles. What are we going to do about that? I liked this book and I am also hosting a blog giveaway to share "the message". View all 3 comments. May 11, Afsheen rated it did not like it. This book is terrible on all levels. It is written at a level beneath anyone who might hope to achieve the type of success she discusses.

And the message is wrong. I consider myself a woman who is successful in the workplace, but not because I act aggressive like a man-- rather, because I recognize my strengths and weaknesses and behave accordingly. That should be a human way to succeed--not man vs. I don't want advice from a woman who is so oblivious of her actions that she supposedly ne This book is terrible on all levels. I don't want advice from a woman who is so oblivious of her actions that she supposedly needed her executive assistant to tell her that she should own her accomplishments, not belittle them.

And, all of the obvious statements in her book are lifted from headlines we have all read in the past 2 years; putting then in sentence form and then publishing doesn't make it new or compelling. And the main problem with this book: she is blatantly promoting herself, constantly. I could go on and on, but I've wasted enough time with this thing. What a joke. View all 9 comments. Sep 18, Tim D'Annecy rated it did not like it. Putting aside critiques of her belief in corporate feminism, Sandberg's book reeks of unspoken privilege.

Her message for women to transcend difference in the workplace through top leadership positions leaves behind many women who do not have the social agency, time, education, or good health to follow her example. The whole time I was reading this book, all I could think of was, "Who is her nanny? Does she have the agency to do the things Sandberg talks about? Can her nanny afford a nanny to ta Putting aside critiques of her belief in corporate feminism, Sandberg's book reeks of unspoken privilege. Can her nanny afford a nanny to take care of her children?

By only focusing on upper-class white educated women with substantial support networks, the book's recommendations are easy: bust ass, get a calendar to schedule home and work, and place the burden of childcare on your nanny. For anyone else outside this spectrum, it creates a path to success that is not only impossible to follow, but shaming to those who cannot. If you're looking for a good weekend read, pass this one up. View all 10 comments. Mar 13, Amy rated it really liked it. I went into the office today to find that one of my female managers sent this book to me as a surprise gift along with a thank you note for being a role model and mentor to her in her career over the years.

She has two young girls like I do, and in my career field that is still rare. She and I have shared the trials and tribulations of having a career and simultaneously loving and hating it, traveling, being married, being soft but hard as nails when needed, and love, love, loving being a mommy I went into the office today to find that one of my female managers sent this book to me as a surprise gift along with a thank you note for being a role model and mentor to her in her career over the years.

She and I have shared the trials and tribulations of having a career and simultaneously loving and hating it, traveling, being married, being soft but hard as nails when needed, and love, love, loving being a mommy too. I am so touched by her gesture today and grateful to be surrounded by her and the rest of my leadership team who are willing to grow and transform our business with me, along with our inner selves where the real power resides to keep the journey in life fun, xo.

View 1 comment. Aug 06, Katie rated it really liked it Shelves: women , business.

Sheryl Sandberg

Interesting that I chose to read this book right around the time when I decided to lean OUT big time. Prior to March , I had a great job doing interesting work for mostly wonderful people, but that job happened to exist in NYC - aka the most expensive city in the country - and for all the job's plusses, "financially rewarding" it was not. Post March , everything changed. I had my first baby - a sweet, adorable bundle of baby boy joy - and upon crunching the numbers, I realized that post Interesting that I chose to read this book right around the time when I decided to lean OUT big time.

I had my first baby - a sweet, adorable bundle of baby boy joy - and upon crunching the numbers, I realized that post-tax and post-nanny, it didn't necessarily pay financially, at least for me to work. Would you work full-time for that amount of money? No thank you. That, paired with a rather inconveniently timed move to Boston, left me a stay-at-home mom who now spends her days singing "The Wheels on the Bus" at baby music class, playing with the parachute at baby-and-me class and doing downward dog while blowing kisses at baby yoga class instead of going to meetings, writing proposals and managing budgets.

It'd be nice to end that previous paragraph with a " I miss the brain power involved, I miss being around adults, I miss solving problems What's a young professional gal to do?! Still, her message isn't one of an out-of-touch, idealistic celebrity boss - she's not Gwyneth, and this isn't Goop. The stats in Lean In aren't anything that someone with an interest in women's studies wouldn't have encountered, but they're upsetting to read, particularly given how numerous they are.

Most interesting to me is the case study where a successful woman was profiled, and a focus group gave her horrendous ratings on things like "would I be friends with this person," "I'd like to work with this person," etc. The exact same profile was given to another focus group, only this time the woman's name was changed to a man's.

You probably aren't surprised to hear that this fictitious man got rave reviews for his business savvy, his drive, his success These are also the people who don't think racism is a problem anymore, either. This book made me imagine what my life would be like if I don't go back to work - and if I do. So, while I can see myself running board meetings and accepting Time's Person of the Year award, I - and millions of others - struggle with the reality of what life would be like with two parents working, and the thought of it makes me hyperventilate.

The chaos! I am emphatically not a fan of chaos.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg – review

After a long day of work, household duties still would need to get done, and while it's not glamorous, someone has to be sure that a healthy dinner is on the table every night and that all members of the household are bathed on a somewhat regular basis and that the dirty laundry gets washed and folded. Since my husband works crazy long hours, that someone would be How some people do it, I have no idea.

One of the women I respect most from my job is a C-level executive, has three great kids, works out, always looks impeccable in super chic clothes, cooks AND reads and is on Goodreads! For the life of me, I don't know how she does it. I'm no closer to arriving at the answer - my answer, the one for me and my family - than I was when I started this "review," which is more a blog entry than an actual assessment of the book. I suppose, being a businesswoman, Sandberg can appreciate that economics necessitates that either choice - staying home or working - will result in the diminishment of something else, be it family time, a skyrocketing career, sleep I'm just not sure what I want that something to be yet.

View all 13 comments. May 19, Susan rated it it was ok. Question: When is a book not a book? Answer: When it has 37 footnotes by the 24th page. Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg is nothing more than a thesis paper thinly disguised and marketed by the publishing company as the next "it" book for women. Why, you ask? The reality is that most women are never going to get the opportunity to work in a Fortune company as an executive.

Now that's not to say that women won't have opportu Question: When is a book not a book? Now that's not to say that women won't have opportunities to work in large or mid-size corporations. Let's face it. Most top level jobs are already taken, and if the company is worth its salt, the chance for advancement is slim because those at the top like their jobs and tend to stay, especially when the company is well established and appreciates their staff.

So what kind of message is Ms.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg - Animated Book Review

Sandberg sending to the average American woman? On the surface, I can't quite figure it out. Perhaps we need to dig a little deeper here. If her book is merely a dissertation on the battle between the sexes and the inequality of paychecks, then sadly, the author is really behind the times and she hasn't told us anything that we haven't already heard. However, if she is saying that we, as women, will never be happy unless we occupy every top level executive position in the country, well then, I beg to differ!

What if our mothers decided they didn't want to be our mothers and just wanted to climb that corporate ladder, then where would we be? What if I don't want to be a top level executive at a Fortune company? Can't I be happy doing exactly what I am doing right now? What if I don't want to be a leader? What if there are other women who don't want to be leaders? Is being a leader the only road to happiness?

I think not. I have a lot of will and ambition, but my desires don't necessarily point me in that direction.

Lean In Book - Lean In

But, let's take this a little further. Sandberg says on page 10 Kindle version that she "would never advocate that we should have the same objectives. Many people are not interested in acquiring power, not because they lack ambition, but because they are living their lives as they desire We each have to chart our own unique course and define which goals fit our lives, values and dreams. She says on page 10 Kindle version "If we succeed in adding more female voices at the highest levels, we will expand opportunities and extend fairer treatment to all.

Also, while I thank her for supporting us in making choices, but then tell us in the next breath that we, as women, should all be leaning into our careers to level the playing field just seems to send out a mixed message. And, let's not even talk about the underlying subtext of the "you should be doing it this way because this is the way I did it, I know it works, and you will be successful and happy if you do it this way.

To circle back around to the very beginning of my review, this entire book reads like a master's thesis paper for one of Sandberg's Harvard classes. While I can appreciate the fact that she loves to "rely on hard data and academic research" page 9, Kindle version , some of us would have just preferred her thoughts on the subject backed up by her real life experiences.

The footnotes is a little excessive and limits the audience from any opportunity to flush out the details, not to mention the loss of flow while reading due to constantly having to flip back and forth between the book and the footnotes. How are we as the readers suppose to know if these thoughts are really hers or those that were referenced? And, who really has time to read through, in depth, all of these footnotes, including researching the sources of those said footnotes?

Certainly not myself. Now, I will admit that there are some principals in this book that can be followed and adapted to fit every women's life. Note: It took until almost the last couple of chapters to find some kernels of wisdom.



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