Leaning in – a few additional thoughts

My friend Emily January, who blogs at The Bookshelf of Emily J, recently reviewed the book “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg. Emily does her normal wonderful job of summarizing her thoughts on the book and offering her opinion. Since she attracts a great audience, she elicits a number of thoughtful comments. Rather than repeat her write-up, I encourage you to check it out by hitting the enclosed link at the end of this post.

I shared with Emily I would read the book and share my thoughts. Emily and others have felt the book is a great conversation starter, but were looking for something more in-depth. They also felt the book is geared toward women who have choices and not necessarily for those who cannot afford to lean in at their jobs or they will be fired. I had heard the latter concerns as well. Hear are my few thoughts.

I agree the book is not in-depth, but I do find it of value in pushing women (and men) to advocate for themselves. I like Sandberg’s using examples where she encourages women to sit at the table when they gravitated toward the side chairs in a conference room. I like that she seeks her partner out to do more, as raising a family and working in a stressful, travel filled job is hard. I like that she speaks of career progression as more of a jungle gym of moves rather than a ladder upward. I like that she acknowledges that it is OK to move after giving a job a fair chance and benefitting from the experience.

And, I like her noting that you have to disconnect from work, otherwise you will burn out and be less effective. The quote from Colin Powell on this is priceless where he notes there are times when the job can be very time consuming, but there are times when it is not. When it is not, use that time to go be with your family. Don’t feel like you have to be present at work after hours when it is not needed.

However, I do agree that book is written more for women (and men) who have choices and a better education. Also, for people with jobs that can be done from home on occasion, it is a better guidebook. For those women who work tirelessly in jobs they are not fond of, or in jobs where you could be fired if you don’t show up or are routinely late, it is less applicable. I do think there are takeaways for those women and men, but these folks need to be more mindful of when they choose to lean-in.

I think it is a good read for women and men. It will definitely start the conversation. Now, link up with Emily’s post and offer comments. I would appreciate any thoughts here as well.

http://thebookshelfofemilyj.com/2014/05/07/women-at-work-leaning-in/

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4 thoughts on “Leaning in – a few additional thoughts

  1. Well said and summarized! In my own religious culture recently, I’ve seen the efforts of women wanting to be ordained called “leaning in.” It was an interesting comparison. I suspect we could apply this concept to anything, especially since it involves both sexes, as you pointed out. Both men and women need to balance their lives.

    • Thanks Emily. I think leaning in could be a term for advocacy for yourself. With college students, they are teaching them to advocate. What I also found neat, when I tutored some 5th graders a couple of years ago, they were teaching them to advocate. The balancing part is critical, but hard to do.

  2. i left your post and emily’s and hugh’s (re: discrimination) on the screen for several days until i finished a dash through the province! there are times when one can hurriedly grasp the essence of a post, and there are other times when they should be read with no distractions! reading while on a bus on a winding road while violent movies or raucous music distracts most of the passengers, i wait until Life throws on the brakes and i can savor the reading material!

    • Thanks Z. I love how you can so vividly describe the jostling, distracting bus ride. Thanks for your comment. I hope you have a nice rocking chair or glider that lets you put on soft light and drink your favorite adult beverage while you relax, read and reflect. Have a great weekend. BTG

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