Friday, June 28, 2013

Book #9 - Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Our women's network at the office chose this book for our first book club meeting so I decided to join in the fun and read it.  To be honest, I had seen an interview with Sheryl Sandberg previously that had peaked my curiosity, but I just hadn't made the time to check it out before.  This was also the first full book I read on my kindle.  As a side note, I enjoyed reading from the kindle more than I thought!  Definitely going to be doing more of that in the future!

I had some mixed feelings about Lean In.  She included lots of personal examples and stories along with a multitude of facts and stats from various studies and research.  The only problem is that her field isn't exactly like everyone else's field so many of the personal examples didn't fully translate to other fields of work.  I did like her chapter on sitting at the table.  I agree that sitting at the table is very important.  It speaks volumes without saying a thing.  The other chapter I really enjoyed reading was titled "Don't Leave Before You Leave".  She was explaining that often women get ahead of themselves and rather than focusing on their career and potential advancements they may think ahead to having a family and not take advantage of current opportunities because of what they see for themselves in the future.  This is a tough one.  I won't say that I have ever past up an opportunity or stunted my advancement in the company due to being too future oriented, but I do think A LOT about adjustments that would need to be made in my current situation when I get to the point of having a family.  That being said, this chapter was truly insightful and beneficial for me.

At our book club, some of my colleagues brought up great points about how Sheryl seems to be insistent upon success being equal to a top leadership position in a company.  Our group addressed the fact that some women (and men) feel success is middle management.  That is the ideal goal for them.  It was the collective feeling that Lean In pushed women to feel like only the top leadership positions were worthy accomplishments. 

Overall, I thought the book was good.  There were plenty of interesting viewpoints and ideas to think about.  I didn't love the writing style, but I did enjoy the material that was presented.  I'll have to check out her TED talk because I have a feeling I will like her better as a speaker than a writer. 

Have you read Lean In?  What did you think?

Andrea :)


  1. Sounds like an interesting read. I thought the same thing about the Will Smith movie a few years ago. It seemed to have the same message: to be successfull you had to make it to the top and be rich. I think success is in the eye of the beholder. You could work at your job for 20 years and never get a promotion but you had a lot to offer the company or organization.

  2. Sounds interesting! I've definitely not done things with my future family in mind. If I was single, I'd probably be looking for a job with better advancement opportunities and more money. But I know that the beauty of my current job is that I'll be able to have a flexible schedule and/or work from home when I have a baby. But I don't think it's a bad thing to think about the future. It's all a matter of priorities.

  3. I keep hearing good things about this. It isn't the type of book I normally think to pick up, but I do think it's one I'd really enjoy and appreciate. Hopefully I can make time for it soon!

  4. Read this one! Found it very interesting and liked her analogy that "climbing the career ladder" was more like a "jungle gym"...moving left, right all around while moving "up". Her stories had a few laugh out loud moments that were pleasantly unexpected. Enjoyed it overall. ~Michelle H