Leaning in: What we can learn from Sheryl Sandberg

Leaning in: What we can learn from Sheryl Sandberg

I am probably one of the last people to read this book, but I had heard so much about it that I wanted to find the time to read it throughoutly instead of just skimming it or reading in diagonal while doing a thousand other things. Because it is worth it! I picked up “Lean in” from Shery Sandberg right before dinner and could not put it down until I fell asleep about on the epilogue in the early morning hours. You may agree or not with what she says, but her writing sure is captivating. I loved her way of ‘teaching’ scientific findings and research through stories of real people, anecdotes that have happened to her or friends of hers.

Sheryl Sandberg is the COO – Head of Operations – at Facebook and she wrote the book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” last year to stand up and make her voice heard. To me the best sentence or the most important learning is this:

“Until women have supportive employers and colleagues as well as partners who share family responsibilities, they don’t have real choice. Until men are fully respected for contributing inside the home, they don’t have real choice either. Equal opportunity is not equal unless everyone receives the encouragement that makes seizing those opportunities possible.

I guess this phrase is key to understanding her argumentation. She encourages women to take a step forward and to take part in the game of our global economy, but she also encourages men to be equal partners to their wives and to take part in the game of our families and households.

I would say that her book is made up of 11 different lessons that could be read one at a time, they are not inseparably connected but it does make sense to read them in their order. She gave a great TED Talk on the subject, it sums up most of the topics in the book:

What did I take home from the reading? I am currently working in a startup where there are increasingly more women, and I am happy about that! I am not looking at applicants and discarding men, but I do try to find an equilibrium, because I believe we can benefit from the two sexes. During the first year of our existence I was the only women and even though more women have joined our team in administration, sales, marketing and even production, development is still an all-male team. In our Board of Director’s and Executive Team, I have not been joined by another female yet. But, we’re working on it and Sheryl’s advice surely will help.

1. Don’t be afraid to do anything you set for yourself (obviously the same goes for men). Ambition and ambitiousness should not carry a negative connotation for anyone.

2. Sit at the table. Take opportunities, don’t hide out and don’t underestimate yourself!

3. You cannot be liked by everyone. Accept criticism for what it is: an opportunity to receive feedback, to over think yourself and to rise!

4. There is never only one right way to go. Take a job for the opportunity and chance to grow it is!

5. Be honest and seek advice from the ones that surround you. With a lot or few experiences alike.

6. Make your Partner a real Partner: Be equals in work, household chores and childcare.

7. Done is better than perfect.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

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