“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg is one of the most inspiring books I have ever read. Every chapter title already gives a huge portion of wisdom. We begin with: What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid? A sentence that also nicely sums this book up. And Sandberg explores many important topics beyond that. Success and Likeability: If you’re popular and nice, you can’t possibly be competent enough to be good at what you do. To quote the book, “Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively for women. When a man is successful, he is liked by both men and women. When a woman is successful, people of both genders like her less.” Or if you’re too aggressive, you will be described as bitchy. Fair, isn’t it.
It’s a Jungle Gym, Not a Ladder: this chapter explores how there’s more than one way to get to the top and how you have to look for jobs where you grow and the company grow fast and that gives you a sense of purpose. Don’t focus on career levels and be aware that sometimes instead of jumping for higher position, you might have to take riskier options.
“I hope you find true meaning, contentment, and passion in your life. I hope you navigate the difficult times and come out with greater strength and resolve. I hope you find whatever balance you seek with your eyes wide open. And I hope that you – yes, you – have the ambition to lean in to your career and run the world. Because the world needs you to change it.”
My favorite chapter was about communication.And that it’s not just me who is afraid of speaking honestly in a professional environment. Lean In nicely listed those fears: fear of not being considered a team player, fear of seeming negative or nagging, fear that by speaking up, we will open ourselves to an attack. Moreover, in the same chapter she discussed how we should always bring our whole selves to work and it’s ridiculous to think that people have a professional self they can adapt from Monday to Friday because obviously it doesn’t work.
I love how this book is written. It’s very personal and all the examples come from her own life. She’s authentic and she’s helping by breaking the myths many people seem to believe in. And I think this is what we should be focusing on more, on being more authentic. Moreover, like Sandberg states in the last chapter… Too often, we believe only one woman is allowed to ascend the ranks in the company and this leads to being ignored, undetermined and even sabotaged by other women. Or by men. How about we start thinking in “us” and not “them”.
1. I recommend this to all women who want to grow in their career and in general if you read this book, it will make work life much easier for you.
2. Be authentic and seek out your own truths.
3. Short (well 240 pages) and extremely to the point. Full of advice that after 5 years is still as relevant as ever.
Have you read this? Thoughts?