What Lean In Said To Me

I’m not prone to book reviews, but ever since I finished Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In a few weeks ago I’ve been meaning to write a public recommendation.

Did the book change my life? No. It hasn’t changed how I manage work/life balance or how I negotiate my relationship. But it raised three issues in such a refreshing manner that I have to recommend it.

1) Go Faster

Sandberg’s voice is incredibly refreshing as she discusses the pros and cons of the difficult decisions she’s faced. Where many business books focus on winning and how to get there, Sandberg takes her time and shares her uncertainty in a way I found courageous. She also offers a wonderful compass when weighing difficult choices – choose the opportunity that offers the largest and fastest opportunities for growth.

2) Constantly Improve

How does the COO of Facebook consistently improve herself? She and Zuckerberg meet weekly for candid discussions about what they could be doing better. This is a simple and brilliant idea that now myself and my co-founder are doing ourselves.

3) Know Your Bias

There is so much research on gender discrimination and I’ve read some of it before, but Sandberg brings it up in an informative and non-threatening way. By framing all that businesses and managers have to gain by adjusting their processes to find gender-balanced approaches, Sandbergs done something no other feminist work has achieved: moved me to change my day to day practices.

In short, go read Lean In . I’ll look forward to discussing it further when you do.