Book Review: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.
Lean in by Sheryl Sandberg is an amazing book. If you haven't read it, i recommend that you do so Asap.. You’ll be amazed at the gems in this book and you’ll also get an outlook of Feminism that will allow you keep your Boyfriends and Bras…. Win-Win right?
This post is part of a blog series where I am reviewing books written for women, by women or about women in celebration of International women’s month. You can check out the other posts on my blog here…
The aim of the book
The book is not about becoming a CEO or top 10 business tips that made Sheryl succeed at Facebook and Google… Housewife, Career woman, business woman, mummy, grandma… whatever it is you identify with, there are tips you can pick out of this book that will help you with whatever it is you want to succeed at.
I have written this book to encourage women to dream big, forge a path through the obstacles, and achieve their full potential. I am hoping that each woman will set her own goals and reach for them with gusto*. …
*Note: sections like the above are direct quotes from the book.
Amazing Tips on Communication
Effective communication starts with the understanding that there is my point of view (my truth) and someone else’s point of view (his truth). Rarely is there one absolute truth, so people who believe that they speak the truth are very silencing of others.
LET. OTHER. PEOPLE. TALK . TOO… Yes I am shouting.
Ask for what you want
Don’t be afraid to ask,” even if it seems like a long shot.
Studies show that men ask for things a lot more that women do… even when the men are unqualified and/or do not deserve whatever it is they are asking for. It was like Aunty Sheryl was dragging my ear and speaking to me directly.
There are a lot of us that are either afraid of No or feel so undeserving that we don’t bother to ask. At the end of the day, we are only doing ourselves a disservice. At the end of the day,
you have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around.
Even the bible says
Ask and you shall receive.
But feeling confident — or pretending that you feel confident — is necessary to reach for opportunities. It’s a cliché, but opportunities are rarely offered; they’re seized. With confidence, you might need to fake it till you make it. Seriously, I’ve just realized that almost everyone is a fraud, so I try not to feel too bad about it.
Imposter syndrome is real guys. Everyone has it. Including your Badass CEO.
Here is a definition of leadership you can paste on your bedroom mirror:
Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.
Sheryl explains how people who go ahead and grab opportunities are seen as the next leaders.
It is hard to visualize someone as a leader if she is always waiting to be told what to do. there is no perfect fit when you’re looking for the next big thing to do.
If you decide to sit in one corner, as quiet as a lamb, waiting for the plate to be brought to you, then don’t cry WOLF when someone less qualified than you is made your boss. This seems unfair to introverts and phlegmatics like me, but apparently there are ways we can also grab the bull by its horns.
I know that my success comes from hard work, help from others, and being at the right place at the right time.
In case you were confused, Here's a definition you can run with:
A feminist is someone who believes in social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
Now throwaway those journals with their big words and fancy grammar.
Work Life Balance
when it comes to integrating career and family, planning too far in advance can close doors rather than open them. Often without even realizing it, the woman stops reaching for new opportunities.
I am a super planner. At first I disagreed with this point until I perused the book again. Just because you are planning for the future doesn’t mean you should ignore the present and start living in the future.
Fine you might get married or pregnant on the job, but don’t use the time you are supposed to be working to start babysitting your imaginary husband or baby before they come.
What I am arguing is that the time to scale back is when a break is needed or when a child arrives — not before, and certainly not years in advance.
Given life’s variables, I would never recommend that every woman lean in regardless of circumstances.
Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for anybody. You can marry, give birth, die or quit tomorrow, but since you don’t know what tomorrow holds, Live today to the max. Life happens and tomorrow life might just force you to Lean back. And that’s OK.
It seemed like if this extraordinary woman couldn’t make it work, who could? …
This is why it is good to share your story, you might be just one person, but someone else is looking at you and saying, if she can do this then I can too.
Even if mothers are more naturally inclined toward nurturing, fathers can match that skill with knowledge and effort.
Changing Diapers isn’t ingrained into DNA. Your husband can learn too! Ensure you marry someone who is willing and able to be a partner to you. We all need to encourage men to lean in to their families. Which leads me to her points about marriage.
My career and marriage are inextricably intertwined.
I feel almost every successful woman says this. I used to think it applied only to African women, as we mostly live in a very patriarchal society. However, I was wrong, this is applies to all women round the world, at least for now.
When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated, and ambitious. Someone who values fairness ….
Sheryl gives relationship advice too! See why I call her Aunty Sheryl. Lol.
The image of a happy couple still includes a husband who is more professionally successful than the wife. If the reverse occurs, it’s perceived as threatening to the marriage…
But seriously, who sold this idea to us? That your husband must be doing better professionally than you to have a happy home. I’m sure it’s the same people that sold the idea that your husband must be taller than you to have a perfect wedding picture. Probably the marketing guys in Mad Men. That’s what it is, a Picture, not reality.
Even after finding the right guy — or gal — no one comes fully formed.
Manage expectations… nobody is Perfect. Even you…
If you want a fifty-fifty partnership, establish that pattern at the outset.
This is pretty self-explanatory. One African proverb says something about not putting the meat that is too big for your throat to swallow into your mouth. Go Figure.
We need more men to sit at the table … the kitchen table
Some men will have heart attack at this line.
HAVING IT ALL.
Having It All. Perhaps the greatest trap ever set for women was the coining of this phrase.
Preach Aunty S.
Because no matter what any of us has — and how grateful we are for what we have — no one has it all. Women should learn from Icarus to aim for the sky, but keep in mind that we all have real limits. Trying to do it all and expecting that it all can be done exactly right is a recipe for disappointment. Perfection is the enemy. Superwoman is the adversary of the women’s movement.
Done is better than perfect. If I had to embrace a definition of success, it would be that success is making the best choices we can … and accepting them. Instead of perfection, we should aim for sustainable and fulfilling
I am paying them for the quality of their work, not for the hours they work.
My motto for my next corporate gig… quality over quantity.
Single employees know that they, too, have every right to a full life.: Let no one tell you that you have to stay back in the office because you don’t have husband to go and cook for.
Difference between Men and Women
There are differences between men and women both in their behavior and in the way their behavior is perceived by others
This is a statement that a lot of people misunderstand so let’s correct it now. Men and Women should be treated equally. It doesn’t mean we are the same.
Staying quiet and fitting in might still be the safest path. But this strategy is not paying off for women as a group. Instead, we need to speak out, identify the barriers that are holding women back, and find solutions. Talking can transform minds, which can transform behaviors, which can transform institutions.
She also spoke on mentorship, motherhood, Ambitions, being liked, helping other women out, equality, the board room and many other things that I didn’t include.
I picked up this book at point in my life where I was in the middle of so many career decisions and was terribly confused. I had to decide on getting a job, then what kind of job, starting a business or going freelance, sitting at home or just giving it all up to look for a rich Alhaji to procreate with.
I honestly haven’t made a decision ( I also didn’t find a rich Alhaji) but I know that whatever I decide on, I have a group of women cheering me on to be the most badass, most successful and most happy woman I can be.
Have you red this book?
What tips stood out to you most?
What was your best story or the observation that took you by surprise most?
Also, what would you do if you were not afraid?