What We're Reading: Lean In


I know I'm a little late to the Lean In party, but I'm so glad I decided to make an appearance! Honestly, several times while reading Lean In, I kept thinking to myself, "Okay, Sheryl Sandberg SERIOUSLY needs to get out of my head." She touched upon so many of my own thoughts, concerns, hopes and goals that I'm almost convinced she wrote this book specifically for me.

That's what's so cool about Lean In as both a book and a cultural phenomenon -- knowing that there are lots of ladies out there that have felt, are feeling, or will at some point feel the same way I do. Sheryl dives right into many common workplace themes that we've seen for years and years, breaking them down and essentially empowering women everywhere to thrive in both their professional and personal lives. To me, the true beauty of this book is the sense of camaraderie it brings out among women as a whole. It also makes me want to be best friends with Sheryl herself. Still working on that part!

While I'm pretty sure every woman will connect to various sections of this book in different ways, listed below are some of my personal takeaways from Lean In:

Don't be afraid to take the lead and sit at the table
“…feeing 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."

"Taking initiative pays off. It is hard to visualize someone as a leader if she is always waiting to be told what to do."

It's okay to get emotional
"Sharing emotions builds deeper relationships. Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about. To really care about others, we have to understand them -- what they like and dislike, what they feel as well as think. Emotion drives both men and women and influences every decision we make. Recognizing the role emotions play and being willing to discuss them makes up better managers, partners, and peers."

Don't forget about your personal life
"People often pretend that professional decisions are not affected by their personal lives. They are often afraid to talk about their home situations at work as if one should never interfere with the other, when of course they can and do."

Nobody's perfect all the time
"Another one of my favorite posters at Facebook declares in big red letters, 'Done is better than perfect.' I have tried to embrace this motto and let go of unattainable standards Aiming for perfection causes frustration at best and paralysis at worst."

Let yourself accept success
"Owning one's success is key to achieving more success."


Sheryl Sandberg is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Facebook. She has appeared on Fortune's 50 Most Powerful Women in Business list and Time's list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. 

To learn more about Sheryl and Lean In, visit http://leanin.org/

Follow Sheryl on Twitter: @sherylsandberg