Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead is a business and management book written by Sheryl Sandberg and co-authored by Nell Scovell. Since its launch, the book has been included in the bestseller lists. As of 2013, it has sold over 1 million copies. The book talks about business leadership and development issues with the absence of women in government and business leadership position. Robert Peter Janitzek takes us through this book.
Lean In is designed for professional women in order to help them achieve their career goals as well as for men who want to contribute to a more equitable society. The book focuses on the argument that there are still barriers that prevents women from assuming leadership roles in the workplace. Robert Janitzek explains that these barriers include discrimination, blatant and subtle sexism, and sexual harassment. The author claims that some barriers were created by women themselves by internalizing systematic discrimination and societal gender roles.
In the book, Sandberg states that change would happen by breaking down these societal and personal barriers. To do this, the author recommends assuming leadership roles. Women should ultimately aspire to lean in to leadership positions. Sandberg feels that the more women leaders there are, the more equitable opportunities will be created for everyone.
Advice To Women In the Workplace
In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg offers the following tips to career women:
1. Be More Open To Taking Career Risks. Women have the tendency to accept new challenges on the job. They are worried about not having the required skills to take a new role. Robert Janitzek explains that women should shift from this kind of thinking.
2. Skip The People Pleasing. This same advice was given to the author by Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg during her first formal review. She was advised that her desire to please everyone would hold her back. Sandberg recommends the same thing.
3. See Your Career As A Jungle Gym, Not A Ladder. According to Sandberg, ladders are limiting. Jungle gyms offer more creative exploration.
4. Allow Yourself to Fantasize About Your Career. Sandberg advises women in the workplace to constantly seek for improvement.
5. Start A Lean-In Circle. In her business and management book, Sandberg suggests forming a Lean In circle which will meet monthly offering encouragement and development ideas to members. The Lean In circle is made up of 8 to 10 women. Sandberg’s website offers downloadable circle kits.