Lean Out

The Truth About Women, Power, and the Workplace
Narrated by: Misty Wells
Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (71 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Girl gangs reigning terror at Facebook, narcissistic overlords at Google...this is the backdrop of Lean Out, which takes listeners on the journey of Marissa Orr, a single mom of three trying to find success in her 15-year career at the world’s top tech giants. Orr delivers an ambitious attempt to answer the critical question: What have we gotten wrong about women at work? 

“This book is a must-read for insights on the impact that reversing systemic gender biases can have on creating more diverse, healthier workplaces for both women and men.” (Joanne Harrell, Senior Director, USA Citizenship, Microsoft) 

“This book will make you think differently about what it will take for women to succeed at the highest levels in American business.” (Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Growth Officer, Publicis Groupe)

Lean Out offers a new and refreshingly candid perspective on what it’s really like for today’s corporate underdogs. Based on both in-depth research and personal experiences, Orr punctures a gaping hole in today’s feminist rhetoric and sews it back up with compelling new arguments for the reasons more women don’t make it to the top and how companies can better incentivize women by actually listening to what they have to say and by rewarding the traits that make them successful. In Lean Out, Orr uncovers:

  • Why our pursuit to close the gender gap has come at the expense of female well-being.
  • The need to redefine success and change the way corporations choose their leaders.
  • The way most career advice books targeting professional women seek to change their behavior rather than the system.
  • Why modern feminism has failed to make any progress on its goals for equality.

More than 50 years since the passage of the Equal Pay Act, the wage gap still hovers at 80 percent, and only five percent of CEOs in the Fortune 500 are women. Today, rising up the ranks in many companies still often means cutthroat, win-at-all-costs tactics, where being the loudest voice in the room is more important than being the person with the best ideas for moving the company forward. Not surprisingly, most women don’t want to play this game. An everyday working woman with a sardonic sense of humor, Orr is an endearing antihero who captures the voice for a new generation of women at work. Lean Out presents a revolutionary path forward, to change the life trajectories of women in the corporate world and beyond. 

©2019 Marissa Orr (P)2019 HarperCollins Leadership

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What listeners say about Lean Out

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  • 12-18-19

Couldn’t finish it

I was curious, and I do believe that the author had some negative experiences and that there is plenty of politics and cliquish behavior in corporate America among men and women alike, and she got the short end of the stick a few times. That’s all worth sharing.

However, when she starts theorizing and drawing conclusions about thoughts and behaviors, there is so much unsubstantiated and erroneous conjecture that it becomes whiny fiction. She may be an expert in some things, but definitely not in social science research. (I’m trained in that.) She should stay in her lane, write the auto biographical narrative and share the facts as they occurred, yes. That’s fair perspective. But once she shifted gears it became intolerable. By the time I got to the halfway point I had to stop.

If you have experienced a lot of political frustration at work, her experience will feel very validating, which is fine, but be wary of accepting her theorizing beyond that.

Unless you are looking for someone to commiserate with, don’t waste your time with this book

5 people found this helpful

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Validating and Inspiring!!

Heard her on a couple podcasts and her message, stories and research felt like they were specifically validating my thoughts and feelings about the struggles and complexities of corporate America, especially as an introvert. Definitely agree our outdated corporate institutions need to be flipped on their heads, questioned and updated!!

Wish Marissa narrated the book, though. Marissa - Please narrate your own book, so much better to hear you reading!

2 people found this helpful

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Inspiring

Great book and different view for those that thought “Lean In” had all of the answers for women in the workplace. Invigorating viewpoints and a great basis of data to support her thoughts. Inspiring.

1 person found this helpful

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Timely, meaningful, for all professionals

This book is for men and women who are interested in developing a truth-oriented, effective working environment. For those who, like me, felt an inward cringe at the shrewish requirements of Lean In, I highly recommend this refreshing and data-based perspective on being a strong professional woman who remains true to herself without apology. My noncanonical career desires and irritation at being dubbed as one “lacking ambition” were explained so clearly in this book that I fairly shouted “amen!” every few pages. Thank you, Marissa Orr. I think and hope that this is the beginning of a game-changer. P.S. I often thought throughout that I’d love to see you collaborate with Brene Brown.

1 person found this helpful

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Sour Grapes, not Feminism

I have been waiting for this book to come out since it has been marketed as a feminist manifesto for non-alpha females. It’s not. It’s a thinly veiled gripe session against Google, and it’s hard to tell if the author’s bruised ego has a message of women’s empowerment since every chapter is just a litany of grievances committed by the tech giant.
I was too distracted by the narrator’s diction (think book report reading in front of 6th grade class) and SUPER specific, author-specific examples (e.g. the “power hungry, narcissistic manager named Barry”) to be inspired.
Take away: it’s okay to be a Hufflepuff, just don’t go work for Slytherins.

3 people found this helpful

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Not for me...

Writing a book is no small feat, and I certainly haven’t gotten half-way through writing mine. I have experienced some things the author chats about and I can certainly empathize, but it was (to me) a bit like pages and pages of complaining. Maybe she needed to do that for herself, and that’s fine, it just became tiresome for me and I couldn’t finish it.

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I’m not dysfunctional

This book had an amazing eye-opening impact on my perception of successful women in corporate America. As someone who’s aspiring to get to a C level I find materials and analysis of others authors vital to my personal journey. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this book! I can finally put a finger on what is it that cause so much internal struggle every time I adopt men behavior and try to Lean in.

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interesting book, but not very practical

I liked this book at the beginning but the more I listened the more it seemed like the author is talking about what is wrong with everyone else's ideas instead of her own. I also didnt think that the conclusion that the world should change to suit everyone is idealistic. Instead of offering ways work within the world that exists, the author blames people who work within the system and insist that the whole system change. I thought some of the points were interesting, but it wasn't very helpful.

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Good Read

Wow what a refreshing storyline!! I felt disappointed with Lean In and this answered all my question as to why I felt so disappointed. I have been trying to fit into a script and expectation of others and I wondered why I wasn’t satisfied. Great book to help you stop, think and re-evaluate what you really want.

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Game changer

Wow this book made me reconsider ALL of the past career advice I have gobbled up from self-gel books. A MUST READ for anyone who feels out of place in the workplace or for anyone who has suffered from “faking it until they were making it.“