Monday, December 30, 2013

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

I received this book from a friend. The same brilliant friend that sent me The Warmth of Other Suns, one of the best books EVER. The beginning of the year seems like a convenient time to implement new things. So I decided to see if Mrs. Sandberg’s career advice would be worth implementing since I’ll be heading back to the office in 2014 having had a 2 week vacation to think it over.

I’m glad I got to the book when I did. It discusses workplace dynamics from a fresh perspective, that of a woman to women and that of a person under 50. The tips on career progression, mentoring, presence, showing emotion, working with men, and taking risks are not repackaged versions of what was written 20 years ago. This content is fresh and it’s about the now.

Starting with Chapter 7, the discussion shifts to women that plan to have children and women that already do. Sandberg speaks in depth on balancing family responsibilities with a partner so that you don’t have to choose between family and career. She encourages women who plan to have children to avoid derailing your career because you think you can't do both.

The author briefly touches on men that are negatively impacted when choosing family obligations over long days at the office and she also urges men that in order to see this shift in attitudes towards women, they have to be conscious of what’s happening.  

For a woman that’s married with kids, or plans to be in the near future, its a thorough read from cover to cover. But for me, a woman without a spouse or children, I benefitted from Chapters 1 through 6 and didn’t get much from the rest. There are 45 pages devoted to the topic of women with families and the two chapters that remain after that are more or less observations and summation. 

This book is necessary but I believe it’s ahead of many workplace realities. That is, of course, unless you work for a company like Facebook which Sandberg does. But the only way to change that is to either wait on some people to retire, or continue the conversation. Sandberg encourages the latter.

You can join the conversation at and

UPDATED 2/3/14: Looks like Lean In will become a movie. Hmmmm,  I’m not sure I can envision it. Get more details here.

Affiliate Links
Lean In on Amazon

Lean In: For Graduates on Amazon


For info on Alaskan halibut fillets Capt Jacks Alaska said...

The book is short and interesting. It's appropriate for any professional (man or woman) because it makes a point that isn't frequently made about women at work: part of the problem is internal. Women sometimes hold themselves back or discourage other women unknowingly. Sandberg's writing makes her feel honest and approachable.

Shannon @ Reading Has Purpose said...

This one didn't come across to me as a book to be recommended to anyone. I was only able to find part of it useful. But if Sandberg were to write another book that fell into this genre, I'd read it.