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

by Sheryl Sandberg

Other authors: Nell Scovell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,5471104,978 (3.79)59
In "Lean In", Sheryl Sandberg -- Facebook COO and one of "Fortune" magazine's most powerful women in business -- looks at what women can do to help themselves, and make the small changes in their life that can effect change on a more universal scale. She draws on her own experiences working in some of the world's most successful businesses, as well as academic research, to find practical answers to the problems facing women in the workplace.… (more)

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English (108)  Japanese (1)  French (1)  All languages (110)
Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
Marc Benioff gave this to me at Dreamforce 2013 and it's taken me until now to finish it. It has given me pause to look at my own behavior and also think about situations in which I've worked with strong female leaders in the past. It's also provided some backdrop for looking more deeply at the dynamics in my current organization.

I'll be giving it to my eldest daughter (currently 14) and I hope some interesting conversations will arise from it. ( )
  Jeffrey_G | Nov 22, 2022 |
Statistics. Blah blah. I wasn't empowered but I am 50 so I don't think I am the audience. Ms Sandberg seems to be someone who needs to control her environment and women are her new project. I honestly do hope it empowers women to feel confident about there successes. I couldn't finish it. ( )
  debbie13410 | Oct 22, 2022 |
Is Lean In the best thing ever for women or an attempt to sabotage their success? It's neither. Lean In is a book with a target audience. That target audience is not all women or even all working women. The target audience is professional women who are financially secure and want to grow in their career. I believe that many parts of the book have value for those outside that narrow target, but those in the target audience will get the most value of it.

Criticizing the book for not applying to all women or not taking on itself the full burden of feminism is unfair. We don't criticize authors for writing for narrow audiences most of the time, but when the topic is about the choices we make as women, it seems we women are often eager to tear each other apart rather than stepping back and saying, "This isn't for me, but that's okay."

That said, if you're in the target audience, want to be, or interact with women who are in the target audience, whatever your gender, you should read this book.

I went into this book with some trepidation. Sandberg tends to come on strong, and this is a sensitive topic for many women. I once had an opportunity to talk with Sandberg about my career, and I came away impressed but more than a little intimidated.

The book is more gentle, although still passionate. First and foremost, the book is not about telling women that they must sacrifice their families on the altar of career. Far from it. Rather, Sandberg is saying that if you are a woman who is passionate about your career, it is up to you to lean in and resist the cultural and internal pressures that would cause you to, as she puts it "leave before you leave". The gap in career growth between women and men is larger than can be attributed to the amount of time women with careers spend out of the workforce. Women start refusing opportunities to grow because they worry about what will happen when they do have a family.

The heart, in my opinion, of Sandberg's message, is that you'll deal with that when you get there, and often you'll find that if you push yourself toward growth, especially if it's growth in a career or position you are passionate about, you'll find the energy and resources to make the right decisions for you as your life circumstances change.

Although Lean In does not prescribe life choices, it is targeted toward women who want to grow into leadership positions in their careers. This is not because Sandberg discounts other life choices. This is a group that she personally sees as struggling and whom she feels she can help. Or, to put it another way, Sandberg does not think that those who choose other paths, such as being a stay at home mom, are doing anything wrong. However, she does passionately feel that those who choose to give up on their career and would have preferred to not do so are making a huge mistake.

What makes this book so valuable is that Sandberg acknowledges, both through research and personal experience, that the behaviors that hold women back often come from legitimate concerns. A woman who has both children and a high power career is seen in a negative light; a man in the same position is seen positively. A woman who is successful is perceived as less nice (and vice versa); men can be seen as both nice and successful. Women disproportionately take on the work of both house and child care, even when both parents work.

Sandberg offers tips, some small and some large, for dealing with these issues. For example, she points out that women are perceived negatively if they describe their own accomplishments, but if your accomplishments aren't known, they won't be recognized. One group of women leaders she knows got around this by praising each other -- sincerely, yes, but also intentionally. This allowed them to be seen as both nice (they were praising others) and successful (others were praising them). Note that these tips, small and large, are mean to compliment wider scale societal and legal changes to improve the lot of women, both at home and abroad. Sandberg does not want to imply that change is only up to individual women. However, she does make it clear that she believes individuals have an important role to play in their own success.

One of the more controversial claims that Sandberg made is that if a woman wants to have a successful career, she needs to pick a partner who will support her in that desire. Her partner should be someone who is willing to take on a fair proportion of the burden of home life and willing to make life changes to support the woman's career. This partnership should not be one sided; the woman should be supportive of her partner too, as their life circumstances change. However, the woman's partner needs to have the attitude that the woman's career is important. Sandberg makes the important point that many men want to be more involved with their children, but the same pressures that push women out of careers push men out of the home.

Overall, Lean In is about helping women understand their own role in developing their career. Sandberg does not dictate choices, but she does passionately provide guidance to those who want to sit at the table of leadership. ( )
  eri_kars | Jul 10, 2022 |
A good how-to for the somewhat-privileged to use their privilege to grab more privilege. I didn't yell at it as often as I thought I would. ( )
  leahsusan | Mar 26, 2022 |
This is my first book in this genre. Leadership, especially for women. come to think of it this my first book after a very Successful woman in Silicon valley. That. is coming from someone who has read plenty of biographies about men and other self help books ,written mostly by men and about men. That goes on to make the point on why read this book. You don't have to agree with everything what the author says . And there is a chance you are already happy and successful in your career ladder. But , as woman we always have few extra battles to fight no matter the position we are in compared to our peers from opposite. gender. So it makes more sense for us to learn from our predecessors in the industry and stand on their shoulders to reach higher. This books nudges you in that direction.

Read the book and Start sitting in that table. ( )
  RupaliP29 | Feb 11, 2022 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sandberg, Sherylprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Scovell, Nellsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Donovan, ElisaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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TO MY PARENTS for raising me to believe that anything is possible AND TO MY HUSBAND for making everything possible
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I got pregnant with my first child in the summer of 2004.
I wish I were strong enough to ignore what others say, but experience tells me I often can't. Allowing myself to feel upset, even really upset, and then move on - that's something I can do.
One of the things he (Mark) told me was that my desire to be liked by everyone would hold me back. He said that when you want to change things, you can't please everyone. If you do please everyone, you aren't making enough progress. Mark was right.
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In "Lean In", Sheryl Sandberg -- Facebook COO and one of "Fortune" magazine's most powerful women in business -- looks at what women can do to help themselves, and make the small changes in their life that can effect change on a more universal scale. She draws on her own experiences working in some of the world's most successful businesses, as well as academic research, to find practical answers to the problems facing women in the workplace.

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Œuvrer pour que plus de femmes accèdent au pouvoir , qu'elles bénéficient des mêmes opportunités que les hommes , qu'elles osent s'affirmer et assumer leurs choix : autant de défis qu propose Sheryl Sandberg dans un livre percutant , plein d'énergie et d'humour , à partir de son expérience personnelle .
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