Hidden among the cliche, name-dropping, political-career-foundation-building bulk of this book are legitimate lessons for women and men. A few valuable aspects:-The importance of leaning in, grabbing opportunities.-The importance of family and culture in creating the foundations for success (including the segment in which she - GASP - stresses the importance of two-parent families in raising children.The above represent less than 10% of the book, and would be better suited to an article rather than $20 publication.Now the problems:-The book begins with endless statistical victimization. Although she contradicts herself on this point a couple times - she clearly endorses the quota-esque view that until 50% of CEOs are women, 50% of men stay home to raise the kids, and 50% of world leaders are women -- we will inherently be a sexist, victimized society.-Never does she acknowledge that differences in % representation of men - or in an individual woman's interests and capabilities - may actually represent inherent differences in what men and women want to do with their lives; actual differences in how people are wired.-Strangely, she continually makes women feel that if they do not want the same things she wants in life - and if they do not want to pursue an aggressive executive career - then there is something wrong with them. This is indicative of a broader lack of perspective that there may even be an industry to work in outside of technology/social media - or even that there may be companies that are not incredibly successful, multi-billion dollar enterprises.-There are continual complaints about the cost of child care and how that impacts the ability of women to have children and careers. Her prescriptions are always based on how a vaguely defined "they" need to do more to pay for child care and provide more financial benefits for women. This is highly advisable as a recruiting and retention tool for companies that thrive on creativity and the ability to attract talent. Absolutely.-However, she seems oblivious to the cost of these services to the people who actually pay for them. She even acknowledges that, in her family life, she lets her husband pay the bills while she'd rather organize kids parties. I was surprised to see how blithely she lets her inattention to financial details slip out. Perhaps this is why she can so eagerly demand that the male-dominated corporate society pay for more and more benefits so that women AND men can continue to live convenient lives without paying the full cost of what they consume. Frankly, as you can tell, this is just a case of knee-jerk liberalism vs economic conservatism here. If you're a liberal who thinks that there is always OPM to finance your adventures, you'll be fine with this. If you're fiscally conservative, you'll reel back a bit at all the expenses she want other people to commit to.-Most importantly, if you run a business that is less successful than Facebook or Google - and if you have to meet payroll by selling product rather than selling stock - you may be a little more circumspect about her demands.-This issue seems out of place in a book that is largely positioned as a self-improvement book. In these passages, she's reverting to blame-the-man mode and blame-society mode. My reaction was that this is the worst possible advice and mindset to give women. It was strange to see a "self made" woman with so much to teach other women reverting to this approach.-Creating absurd, horrible caricatures of men to prove her points. This is perhaps the most annoying and frustrating aspect. She uses examples like the man who brags about playing soccer the afternoon his child was born. This, and examples like it, are overplayed throughout the book. Its like... this is what we are fighting against, girls! She counters with a few sensitive-man examples, to show us how men can recover and improve. Perhaps these examples are applicable in some working class culture where men still demand that women do the cooking - ok, that would be fair. But her continued railing against 1950s sexism (her words) seem increasingly out of date as the book progresses.-Ultimately, if you are the type who is prone to engage in the drama of ongoing race/sex struggles against oppression that you don't think is any different from a hundred years ago, you will gloss through all this nodding your head in fury against The Man.-However, if you're looking to succeed in a society that is largely fair and presents opportunities everywhere - you will have to skip through all of this to get to the productive part of the book - Where she actually provides wisdom and examples on how to Lean In.
One final item:Crying. I'm sorry Sheryl. I don't care if Mark Zuckerberg gave you a hug. You're being purposely melodramatic and foolish to equate an executive "crying" over a humanitarian tragedy versus you crying because someone was saying nasty things about you at the office. I tear-up at a funeral, or on 9/11, or an SPCA commercial. For you to equate this type of "crying" to your reaction when someone at Facebook told someone you were a B**** or whatever is narcissistic and for those prone to be offended, offensive.Women: Do not cry at this sort of umbrage in the office. Lean In -- don't get sad, don't get even - Get ahead. Sheryl is not doing you any favors with this advice.You should read the book. (Incidentally the Audio narrator is horrible - she's like 15). But you should understand the context, and then remedy the damage by reading a book by a business leader or world leader. Condoleeza Rice, Martin Luther King, and Clarence Thomas had to endure much greater injustices than Sheryl Sandberg. You should juxtapose their struggles and advice against hers.
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.
Book nerd for life!
The entire story! Sheryl was open and authentic, honest and forthright. She gave us information about her path as well as suggestions for how women can do it better. An official favorite.
Highly recommended, for women AND men.
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.
I have never been a fan of reading, but I am trying to change that.
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....
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.
I enjoyed listening this new audio book. No doubt that it is very inspring as I can related to the topic as a womon profressional. However, I found that overall content was too similar with Knowing Your Value by Mika Brezenzinski. I expected more original and different from someone like Sheryl I guess.
Once I got passed the first Chapter, I this ranks as excellent information that I will utilize.
Yes, every manager male or female will benefit.
No however I wish Brene Brown had hired her for her books.
I resonated with the information.
Format and the context were well defined and flowed.