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Book 19: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

by on October 11, 2013

Title: Lean In: Women, Work and The Will To Lead

Author: Sheryl Sandberg

Genre: Non-fiction, Feminism, Leadership

Summary: Sandberg combines her personal experience with hard data and in-depth research to offer practical advice to women on how to build a satisfying career and family,  lead in their workplace, and inspire others to become trail-blazers, whilst cutting into gender issues, providing historical context and current progress on female leadership, women’s rights and equality. She recounts her own struggles in choosing what’s right for her, her career and her family. A mix of theory and practicality, delivered with humour and simple language, Sandberg has produced a call for action and a guidebook for individual growth.

Eaten Thru On: October 4, 2013


Sheryl is an intelligent, highly-successful, accomplished woman and she is one of Fortune‘s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, so I thought it was valuable to hear what she had to say.

She espoused quite a bit of what I already know about workplace gender bias and in-marriage gender imbalance. There were parts, like the asking-for-something-with-a-smile part which, for me, was a little too complex to manoeuvre in real life. If women had to tip-toe so carefully in their attempts to advance in their careers, it feels more like an obstacle in the way of feminism rather than sound advice. Or maybe I’m just naive in thinking the obstacle course is less complicated than it really is.

However, she did point out many small, everyday occurrences that diminished the power of women, such as not sitting at the table at meetings, or being afraid to over-step the time limit of a Q&A session and ask their questions. To me, those were pretty surprising to read because I was unaware of their effects due to their smallness in the grand scheme of things.

I loved how it didn’t feel like she was preaching from a pedestal. She talked a lot about her own mistakes, faults and weaknesses. Her personal anecdotes helped rein in the data and research down to an individual, relatable level. She was realistic in her advice and calls for action, in that she offered actual, concrete steps on how to achieve progress. Also, her passion in this subject definitely showed through her words and I am all for people who are passionate about positive things.

Reading through her experience and advice has helped me feel empowered and more knowledgeable on what kind of demands I need to make in my future career and what kind of man I should marry and how a healthy, balanced family should look like. It gave me guidelines on how to stand up for myself, not just as a woman but as a human being. For such a quick and easy read, this book packs a pretty powerful punch of inspiration.

Final Verdict: 3/5

Best Enjoyed: With a pen and paper, so you could soak in some really good advice.

Next Bookworming Adventure: Undecided because I am currently engaged in some serious literary polygamy.


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