Avid reader of classics and fiction, history and well-written genre novels. Music lover and huge audiobook fan.
I initially refused to consider reading this because I find business books boring and underwritten -two ideas, two hundred pages. Most would make a reasonable serious business journal article at best. This book is not a lot different, lots of ego and anecdotes, but also some very useful perspectives and ideas that would have made a nice substantive article.
That said, I agree with much of what Sandberg says and I agree with her general point on how badly things are going for working women in our country relative to their potential to have more fulfilling and more meaningful careers whether at home or at the office depending on their ability to negotiate more manageable work loads in the home and the office. I salute her for standing up and saying so and for her commitment to being a feminist when so many women are willing to take the fruits of the women's movement but unwilling to fight anyone other than themselves.
I enjoyed the book, but it could have been an article….
Say something about yourself!
Sandberg does a great job of exploring the issues that have surrounded women in the workplace. Many of my female coworkers found this book very helpful and enlightening. As a man, the first have of the book was enlightening to me as well.
But in the second half of the book Sandberg attempts to make a prescription for a more balanced family through work sharing. Her mistake is that she identifies the professional responsibilities of the man and the woman, but the home/family responsibilities of only the woman. She completely omits all of the responsibilities that most men shoulder at home, acting as if they spent their evenings watching TV and weekends out golfing. No credit is given for work like tending the lawn and landscaping, building and repairing fences, maintaining and repairing automobiles, cleaning the pool, handling insurance, tending to the electronic world that the family relies on, and dozens more. In my household all of this requires hours every day. But in her book there is no mention of any of this.
Warning to women readers - take the time to find out what your husband is doing now before asking him to take 50% of what you are doing. He may have 50% of his own house work to share with you in return.
This is an easy read with a little of everything... stories, statistics, and facts about women in the workforce. Women don't think about how they might be limiting their choices, like not accepting a new job or challenging responsibilities because they might want to start a family someday. They're giving up on compensation increases and experience because they don't know how being a mother with fit in with a demanding job. This bias applies to all women, not just those who are mothers. When a man is assertive, he's ambitious. When a woman is assertive, she's a bitch. The author gives many examples of when men are view positively while women are negatively given the same circumstances. This book makes you stop and think about your own bias. It is not a book about how to fix the workplace. It's a book to prompt people to have conversations.
I generally appreciate a book that sets out to empower women in the workplace. Unfortunately the stories are more depressing than inspiring, and Sandberg's advice is paltry and limited-- essentially her best advice is to ask for a raise, be assertive, but don't stop being nice, because as you assert yourself people will dislike you for your power.
I feel that I could have gotten her main points in about 1/7 of the time that it took to get through this book. Overall I found Sandberg's examples repetitive.
I don't need someone to tell me that women are not getting equal treatment over and over-- I heard this already in Feminist Studies in college. I would like to know how do we make inroads given the playing field, and case studies of women both who tried to buck the system and failed-- and those who tried to buck it and succeeded.
I also felt that Sandberg's examples were often cliche's or quotes from others that I was already familiar with. I've already read Tina Fey's book-- I don't need you to quote her in yours. I wish she had more academic or empirical research as opposed to exclusively personal experience and anecdotal. There were only a few points that introduced new ideas in the field to me-- and for the most part they were depressing: women actually shy away from hiring other women, when women are in higher positions, this decreases the chances that more women will rise to high positions in that company, when women ask for raises they often get them. I wish she had cast a broader net with her supporting detail. I also wish that she had drawn conclusions then that were less repetitive -- or for those repetitive sections trimmed the book down to a more concise read.
The truth is Sandberg is leveraging her position to create a property she can sell-- and hasn't put in the dedicated research that would be necessary to make this truly awesome regardless of how business famous the person writing it is.
This book is not about characters. Audible -- get with it.
I was really hyped to listen to this book by Sheryl Sandberg especially with all the media and publicity surrounding it. I must say I was disappointed. There was nothing new introduced. Most of what was said, our parents taught us already. I was looking for more insight on how women are breaking the glass ceiling and what styles of leadership are women executives using to get ahead. What is takes to be a women climbing the corporate ladder.
Making the world better one review at a time.
Far from a dull book about women in business, “Lean In” is about women’s final push for equality at work and at home. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg paints a compelling portrait of the women’s movement as it stands today. Sandberg pays homage to how far women have come, and articulates where women need to go to make it all the way.
This book is organized into chapters that bring to light some of the common mistakes women make, such as choosing not to “sit at the table” at work, asking strangers to be their mentors, “leaving before they leave” by allowing future family plans to impact how far they advance in their careers and attempting to “do it all” when they have partners and spouses who are willing and able to assist.
While the message of this book seems tailored to women, Sandberg stresses that these lessons are equally important for men to learn. She sympathizes with the plight of men that they are expected to be the primary breadwinners of the home, thus reducing the time they have to spend with their children. If women and men could be equal partners at home, Sandberg suggests, men would enjoy equal opportunities for childrearing and women would not be cornered into feeling they must “do it all.”
What keeps this book interesting is Sandberg’s willingness to share her own personal anecdotes. Her experiences will make you laugh, cringe and applaud. She tells one story about meeting the speaker of the house, who belittles her by patting her on the head, telling her she is pretty and asking if she is a “pom pom girl.” Sandberg indignantly replies, “I study too much for that!”
Narrator Elisa Donovan reads this book with conviction and emotion. Her performance is so convincing that if I didn’t know better I would have believed that Sandberg herself did the narration.
Whether you are a working woman, a working mother, a stay-at-home mother or a man who loves one, this book is for you. It will open your eyes not just to women’s fight for equality, but also to men’s. This book will make you a better mother, father, woman and man.
Powerful, motivation, inspiring. I have since "Lean In" at my work. Which happens to be in estimating of construction work, an all boy's club. I am the only woman estimator in my company and I could relate to so many of what Sheryl was talking about.
I don't have any yet.
She made it hard for me to stop listening.
Yes, I normally do not read or listen to books, but this one I could not stop listening to.
Very good memoir and useful advice.
I found that Elisa had an engaging voice and style. However, for a book from a woman who is an industry leader, Elisa's voice did not portray a seasoned professional....she sounded like a young woman just out of college....
Sheryl Sandberg is insightful and very accomplished. Her book solely deals with careers that have been male dominated and are beginning to shift. Unfortunately does not address non-corporate sexism that exists in every industry.
Sandberg does a great job exploring the issue and raises most of the arguments on all the sides. While I understand that her thesis is "how do we get more women to pursue leadership roles?" I felt that she formulates an argument that let's working moms off the hook in regards to their infants.
She tells stories about important women pumping breast milk during conference calls and she mentions how many women, herself included, did things differently when they had a second child, but she doesn't explore this change of heart in depth. Why did these women take their entire maternity leave the second time, why did they unplug the second time?
Sandberg's messge, in the face of this question, is to be selfish if you want to be. She supports every woman's decisions whole heartedly and never wags a finger at anybody.
I wish she told younger women like me and my friends that the infancy is precious and short lived. That the baby needs mama in a very raw, instinctual ways. Women need role models who say "enjoy the baby while you can, then go back to work". We need voices who say "don't be afraid to relish in motherhood for a few months then get back on the tread mill." We need permission! Too many women are putting their infants in institutions like daycare or stranger care. They are missing out on that incredible bond and time of life for both mom and baby that lasts for the first 6 months.
This book is about ambition and how you can have it all...even if she says you can't have it all, that's still what she's selling. It's not a book about life, it's a book about career. It doesn't teach hard lessons that are out of your control, it doesn't tell you what you don't want to hear. It says any decision you make is the right one, you do have control and you can make it happen - even if you regret it later, miss soulful opportunities or are too distracted by work to experience all that life has to offer.