It’s fair to say that for many years, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In was gospel to many a woman. Written from the perspective of a career woman looking to maintain a happy family, she addressed many aspects affecting young women, who want a job and a family. The balancing act that so many of us have to deal with often goes on quietly, which made Lean In a breakthrough.
Now, however, something seems to have changed. With Michelle Obama (Becoming is on my TBR) declaring that “Lean in shit doesn’t always work” is it time to change our view? Having read it some years ago, maybe times have moved on (5 years, is it really that long, or are we just moving so fast it feels like it? I need to sit down). Maybe it was never right to begin with.
The question is, does it work? What I think, and this sounds like a cop-out answer even to me, is that if it works for you, then yes. If it doesn’t, then no. It’s not a simple question to answer and can change from person to person, day to day. What works for you might be disastrous for me, and vice versa. But above all, if it gives you the motivation to try, then let that motivation take you.
When I first read it, I loved it. But then again, it told me what I wanted to hear, so I opened my ears and let it speak to me. You may hate it, and that’s perfectly ok. Not everyone is the same, nor should we be, you may not even WANT what Sandberg is selling.
But don’t let anyone else tell you what to believe in. Argue with me, argue with Michelle Obama, that’s how we get the conversation going. But listen to yourself. That way you can’t lose.
Best quotes from Lean In:
- “Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder”
- “Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about”
- “The promise of equality is not the same as true equality”
- “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”