Book Review #17 – Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Hey guys!

One of my secret goals for this year was to read more non-fiction. So, I decided to start right off and read Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (pt. Faça Acontecer: Mulheres, Trabalho e a Vontade de Liderar), by Sheryl Sandberg.

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IMG_2048IMG_2050Lean In is mainly about women (or should I say, lack of them) in high leadership positions in some industries like business and government work. It’s filled with several studies on women in the workplace, all very well based and explained, as well as various real life examples, not only from the authors but also from other very successful women.

Before starting this title, I knew nothing about Sheryl Sandberg. I had the impression she was somewhat famous in the business world but nothing else. After finishing this, I can not only tell you about her career but also about what kind of person she is. She has had several high jobs in amazingly successful companies like Starbucks, Google and now Facebook. I’m pretty sure some of their success has something to do with Sandberg. She seems to be extremely focused, determined and competent. Above all, I could see how caring she is, of absolutely everyone. Of course she is most concerned with women, since they are the ones that need it. All the injustices she has seen towards her gender during her lifetime and career made her write this book, with the help of a real writer, Nell Scovell.

The idea I had, in the past, of non-fiction was that it was just a boring list of facts, data and studies. This book once again proved me wrong. It’s the perfect marriage between information and interventions from the authors. They both work not only to give justification to whatever is being said but also to give the reader a bigger picture of the issue. I specially liked the examples of situations in Sandberg’s life. They made the book seem a whole lot more personal and relatable. Even with her massive success, she’s still a real person, with issues and insecurities just like the rest of us.

I love the chapters organisation. They are very well structured and coherent. In a lot of this type of books, the author is afraid to give solutions. Sandberg is not only not afraid to do that but she also admits that they might not be perfect or really work. The important thing is to do something about a certain issue and not just ignore it. I also loved the emphasis given in discussing that women who work outside their houses aren’t worst mother or anything like that. That’s some really messed up misconception that seems to be extremely present in our society. It honestly make no sense to me. A women’s motherly self has nothing to do with her career.

After reading this book, I felt really inspired. I don’t dream to be the big face and head of a company but I still have some pretty high goals for my life. All the advise and types of beneficial attitudes explained in this book can be used in different scenarios and will certainly be helpful at some extent. More importantly, I felt inspired to do something, anything really. Standing still, on the other side of the room while “the men” speak isn’t going to do anymore. Women need to be more vocal and, above all, more noticeable and present.

If you’re like me and don’t really aspire to be a business women, don’t worry! You’ll love this book too. If you do want that then, JUST READ IT! It’ll be like your new bible. But, more importantly, if you’re a man, you should read this book. As the author so often says, equality can only be achieved with the help of all sides. Women have to make some efforts but men need to let us do that too. Only then can exist no prejudice between us all.

Here’s one of the quotes that really stuck with me:

In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.

Anyway, thank you guys for reading! I hope 2015 will bring more non-fiction reads! See you again then.

Cat.

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