3e7ca008d4c414cd209747bbfc94f649e58565a0_254x191Here’s something you don’t hear every day: I applaud Sheryl Sandberg and I’m really enjoying her book! Our media and society, men and women alike, have been SO quick to judge someone who they thought was picking on women for not always aspiring to the corner office of a major corporation. But if you actually take the time to read “Lean In,” you’ll read just how supportive Sheryl is of all women, no matter what decisions they make with their lives and careers. She is merely urging us to think hard about what we really want, ask for help and go after what we deserve.

The COO of Facebook shares personal stories of her struggles and successes, uses research to shine a light on incredibly unfair gender differences, and offers practical advice to help women achieve their goals. The book challenges us to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what we can do, and serves as a rallying cry for us to work together to create a more equal world.

I highly recommend this compelling, hilarious, blunt book and have posted some excerpts below that I hope both women and men will give some thought to:

“Less than six months after I started at Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and I sat down for my first formal review. One of the things he 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.”

“In many cases, women need to be more open to taking risks in their careers. Of course, there are times in life when being risk averse is a good thing. But in business, being risk averse can result in stagnation.”

“People often pretend that professional decisions are not affected by their personal lives. They are afraid to talk about their home situations at work as if one should never interfere with the other, when of course they can and do. I know many women who won’t discuss their children at work out of fear that their priorities will be questioned. I hope this won’t always be the case.”

“From an early age, girls get the message that they will have to choose between succeeding at work and being a good mother. By the time they are in college, women are already thinking about the trade-offs they will make between professional and personal goals.”

“Women rarely make one big decision to leave the workforce. Instead, they make a lot of small decisions along the way, making accommodations and sacrifices that they believe will be required to have a family. Of all the ways women hold themselves back, perhaps the most pervasive is that they leave before they leave.”

“There are many powerful reasons to exit the workforce. Being a stay-at-home parent is a wonderful, and often necessary, choice for many people. Not every parent needs, wants or should be expected to work outside the home. In addition, we do not control all the factors that influence us, including the health of our children. Plus, many people welcome the opportunity to get out of the rat race. No one should pass judgement on these highly personal decisions. I fully support any man or woman who dedicates his or her life to raising the next generation. It is important and demanding and joyful work.”

 

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  • Thanks, Kate. I could not agree more. I have yet to start reading Lean In, but I’ve watched several interviews and a half hour CNN show about Sheryl. Your comments are in line with many who have actually taken the time to read the book. I wonder if all the criticism came from folks who only read excerpts? I love that she is putting her energy into supporting women through the http://www.leanin.org web site. I can’t wait to start reading.