Iam pleased to announce our April 2013 Theme and Indie Business Book Club pick: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
If you are an IBN member, click here to join me in our private Facebook book club group, and request to join in the upper right.
For the past few years, IBN has hosted Business Book Club, a fun and convenient way for IBN members to grow together in business and in life. This month, we're excited to add a theme to complement the book we're reading. Lean In was chosen because it's timely and addresses issues that important to IBN members from all walks of life.
Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.
Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TEDTalk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.
In Lean In, Sandberg digs deeper into these issues, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. She recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of “having it all.” She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home.
Why This Is Important
This topic is near and dear to my heart. Early in my career as an attorney, I felt myself leaning back. I did so because while I wanted to work, I did not want to work how I saw other women attorneys working, when they were also the mothers of young children. Leaning back it not my style, and I was very uncomfortable with it.
Having said that, traditional attorney careers are tailor made for childless men and distracted fathers. They are not built for women who are simultaneously aspiring to partnership and bringing children into the world. So I began to think about how I could be a mother and not lean back, and the only thing I could come up with was owning my own business. This way, I could lean in as much or as little as I wanted to. I could lean all the way in and build a multi-million dollar empire. I could halfway in and build a comfortable empire. I could lean a little bit in and build a small business that I could run part-time.
For me, it was not just about leaning in. It was about leaning in on my own terms.
Today, thirteen years into IBN, I am still a wife and still a mother, and I continue to be challenged to create harmony in my own life I also help others do the same — all while building a profitable business the midst of the worse recession in modern history. I talk with women from all over the country about their ambitions to do that same, and this book provides a strong platform to explore “leaning in” from the unique perspective of creative entrepreneurs who are not only looking for a seat at the table, but who are also building the table with their own hands.
I am excited to explore the art of leaning in together! Everyone will define leaning in differently. What's important, I think, is that we define it specifically and clearly so we can act on our own definition and create the kind of life we want to have.
I love Sheryl's quote, featured in the graphic above: “Success is making the best choices we can … and then accepting them.”
The reading schedule will be announced in our private member book club Facebook group tomorrow.
Join us this month at Indie Social's Theme and Book Club Picks Discussion Forum as we explore these timely issues together.