Last week, I spent time with my family between South Florida visiting my parents and Palm Desert visiting Greg's parents. It was a busy week of travel, however it gave me the opportunity to read Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg's new book, “Lean In-Women, Work, And The Will To Lead.”
You would have to be hiding under an enormous rock with no access to any media to miss the frenzy around this book lately. A lot of the frenzy has to do with who Sheryl Sandberg is and the position she holds at Facebook but also the fact that she's speaking out rather candidly about women at work. There is the argument that it's easier for Sandberg to manage a family and hold a high powered position at Facebook because she has access financially to the best resources available for childcare. Having said that, Sandberg makes some valid points in this 182 page book that I feel women could benefit from reading. It's a quick read and if you're eager to learn some tips on how to better manage your life and business as a woman or your clients are women in the workforce, I highly recommend grabbing your own copy.
Sandberg clearly had a team of researchers behind her gathering significant stats about women, men, children and work. For this reason alone, it's a good resource to have on your bookshelf if you serve women business owners or women in the corporate world.
In chapter two, Sandberg writes about the “Imposter Syndrome” that women feel in professional settings. I agree with this and have often written and spoken about this to women's groups over the years. It's time for women to accept the leadership role in every aspect of their lives and ask for what they want and need.
Sandberg shares her thoughts about how women typically look at their careers as a ladder in which you climb each step one-by-one never skipping a rung. I agree that growth and advancement opportunities do not always present themselves one step at a time in an orderly fashion. You need to recognize an opportunity when it arrives and be ready and willing to jump off the ladder and leap into that next level of success.
Sandberg deals with the “having it all” myth head on that women are plagued with today. Her statistics in these chapters about involving your partner in childcare and the effects this has on children are quite compelling. If you've been following me for a while, you know how I feel about women asking for the support they need in every area of their lives. You can do it all but not all by yourself.
Here's where I feel Sheryl Sandberg missed the mark with her book. She fails to effectively consider the woman who's a single parent with no partner to lean on so she can lean in. The facts are there and well supported but the bottom line is women need tips and tools-a “how to” in order to make the changes she suggests.
There is the argument that she misses the mark by not touting entrepreneurship or business ownership as a way forward for women who desire more freedom, independence and control over their income but that's not the world she lives in. Obviously, I believe entrepreneurship is a viable answer for many women who desire to “lean in,” having been a woman entrepreneur for over 21 years, however it would be foolish for me to think that all women will quit their jobs and immediately start their own business.
Bottom Line: We are living in a world that is being transformed daily by all the opportunities available for women. The key is to consume as much information as you can as a woman and make choices that fit the life you want and deserve.
Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.
© 2013 Joy Chudacoff
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