LEAN IN:- Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by by Sheryl Sandberg
Do you want to know how a working mom became the CEO of a multibillion dollar company? Sheryl Sandberg served as the CEO of Google and later as the COO of Facebook. She did so while being a loving wife and mother to her 2 children.
How did she do it? How did she maintain a
successful career while taking good care of her family? You will learn that and
more from this book.
The Leadership Ambition Gap
Women should assume more leadership roles. In the modern times, women can get the same level of education. Whyis it then that institutions are mostly run by men?
Research shows that millennial women are still hesitant to go for leadership. They would not consider themselves as self-confident, visionaries, and risk-takers.
Some would argue that there is greater purpose in life than climbing the career ladder. But women have the ability to excel both at home and at work.
Working mothers need help from institutions
to understand their multiple roles. They also need help from fathers to do
equal responsibilities in child care and housework. This is so that women can
be good mothers and competent professionals as well.
Sit at the Table
Gender stereotypes limit women from reaching their full potential. But aside from this, women also struggle with self-doubt and low self-confidence. It is often that women underestimate themselves.
When a woman receives recognition, she feels like a fraud. She feels like she doesn’t deserve it. Sheryl Sandberg felt it when she was labelled top 5 most powerful woman by Forbes magazine. She could not feel proud of the compliments that her colleagues give.
Women are doubtful and unconfident when facing an opportunity. Often, they feel like they do not have the abilities to fulfil it. Padmasree Warrior, the CTO of Cisco, turned down many good offers because she thought she is not fit for the role.
She learned to “fake it til you make it”.
This means that even if you are full of doubt, you should grab the opportunity.
Instead of declining, you must commit yourself and learn while doing the job.
Success and Likeability
It is a common idea that when a woman excels in her career, she has bad temper or unhappy personal life. A woman is disliked if she focuses on reaching the goal instead of pleasing everyone. Even so, women should not be discouraged.
Successful women are a minority that’s why it’s easy to ridicule them. If there are more women leaders, things will change for the better.
When Sheryl met with Mark Zuckerberg for her first performance review, Mark commented that she should refrain from trying to please everyone.
Mark Zuckerberg said, “When you want to change things, you can’t please everyone. If you do please everyone, you aren’t making enough progress.”
If you are getting the same negative
comments from people, it’s okay to be upset. But you have to move on and keep
doing your job.
It’s a Jungle Gym, not a Ladder
The traditional model for success is a ladder. But in the modern age, it has transformed to a jungle gym. The internet has opened many opportunities for everyone.
You don’t have to wait for changes in the company hierarchy. You can switch careers or take a break and still, you can reach success. This is very beneficial for working mothers who needs to give time for their children.
Sheryl became CEO of Google and COO of Facebook. But she didn’t plan that out from the very start. When she graduated from college, she just has this vague and cliché idea to change the world.
After finishing business school in 2001, Sheryl turned her attention to the Silicon Valley. Despite of the tech bubble burst, Google is thriving. Sheryl had the opportunity to be the “general business unit manager” of Google.
Only six years after, she became the
company CEO. She did so while being happily married with two kids. Sheryl
continues to fulfil her dream of changing the world.
Don’t Leave Before You Leave
As early as college, women are thinking about the compromises they have to make in their career. That is, in order to take care of the family.
Women don’t realize that they don’t really have to leave. They can choose to lean in to their careers. Having a family is not a hindrance in reaching the most senior positions. Raising children should be a motivation to stick on the job.
On her 6th year as Google CEO, Sheryl was offered to be the CEO for the start-up LinkedIn. But sheturned it down because she wants to have a second child. She feared that she couldn’t keepup with the demands of a new job and a new baby.
Fortunately, when her second child is
already 7 months old, Mark Zuckerberg asked her to be the COO of Facebook. Her
first 6 months at Facebook had been very challenging. But as the year ended,
Sheryl knew she made the right choice.
Make Your Partner a Real Partner
Men should fulfil their share of responsibility at home. They should also take care of the kids and do household chores. It’s time to redefine the meaning of becoming a partner, a husband and a father.
“It’s not about biology, but about consciousness.” Fatherscan learn to be nurturing as well. It is up to the mothers to let go of some task and let fathers do it on their own.
If women more encouragement at work, men need more encouragement at home.For example, mom should let dad change baby’s diapers. She must not hover. Eventually, dad will learn the right way to do it.
There are 28 successful women in the
Fortune 500 CEO list. 26 of them are happily married. These women have
supportive husbands who share equal responsibility with them. If more women
would have the same support, more women will excel and become leaders.
The Myth of Doing It All
No one can do it all. Not even working mothers. They give their best effort for their career and their family. Working motherscan do so perfectly but only up to a point. But that’s okay.
The secret to being a good working mother is to focus on what really matters. Dr. Laurie Glimcher, a college dean, ignores tasks such as folding linens and tidying up the closet. After all, they are not as important as taking care of the kids.
Working moms should also remember that “Done is better than perfect”. They don’t have to aim for perfection. Sherylused to work 12 hours daily before having her first child. She received calls and attended meetings even on her maternity leave. That is why Sheryl changed her routine on her second pregnancy.
She went back to the regular 8 working
hours. She learned to maximize her output while at the office. She leaves at
9am so she could nurse her baby before going to work. Then Sheryl goes home at
5pm so she can put her baby to sleep.
You learned that women have the power to lead. Women have the power to assert themselves. The negative view of society about professional women will change if more women will become leaders.
Mothers need the help of fathers in nurturing the family. Institutions need to be more understanding of working moms. Being both a mother and a professional is challenging but it can be done.
Choose to lean in. You don’t have to compromise your career. Believe in yourself that you can do it. You have what it takes to be a good mom and a good leader.