Lean In, don’t be Blown Away

 Brilliant achievement by Sheryl Sandberg; to have pinned her book ‘Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead’ as No 1 bestseller for weeks since its mid-March launch,which is currently the Amazon No. 1, and tops New York Times bestseller in Non-fiction (Hardbound) category.
‘Lean In’ is an original take on the male dominated “corporate jungle”, offering practical tips to women.
Sheryl questions why a powerful man is regarded as a “great guy” when a powerful woman is judged “political”. This book takes forward her popular talking point: “Why we have too few women leaders?”
She states that the real obstacles women still face in their professional life are sexism and discrimination. She talks about the challenges she faced right from her Harvard Business School days and admits of being a target at every step of her career. “About to ruin Facebook forever,” was one of the reactions she got when she newly took up the top position.
The book is a career guide for women professionals, but calling it a feminist manifesto would be a blinkered view.
She says that while men still run the world, women internalize negative messages throughout their lives, sabotaging themselves.
Lean InThe author asks women to be fearless during salary negotiations, and points out that men almost always and women almost never negotiate an offer. However, she advises women to seek help without foisting themselves on mentors.
While admitting she did not like to be seen or portrayed as “bossy”, she wonders why the term is only used about little girls, not boys. The author admits that she still finds herself spoken over and discounted at meetings, while male colleagues are not.
Sheryl admits that her position had often given her the confidence to speak out. And that discounts much of the optimism the book projects. Get inspired, but don’t get carried away, could be a reasonable advice to readers.
Some interesting advice from Sheryl:
“So, when looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands.”
“Anyone who is lucky enough to have options should keep them open for as long as possible. Don’t enter the workforce already looking for the exit.”
“Don’t go for the better job, go for the faster-growing company”
The best advice in the book is perhaps: Ask yourself what you would do if you weren’t afraid? Then go ahead and do it.
(Reviewed for ‘The Financial World’)

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