Finishing Lean In

I just finished Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, and I am so very glad to have read it. It was part of my push to read more books about business or leadership that were written by folks who were not old white businessmen.

Lean In was the latest one. Here are my some of my highlighted takeaways:

Despite being high achievers, even experts in their fields, women can’t seem to shake the sense that it is only a matter of time until they are found out for who they really are – impostors with limited skills or abilities.


One of the things I tell people these says is that there is no perfect fit when you’re looking for the next big thing to do. You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around. The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.


Instead of blaming women for not negotiating more, we need to recognize that women often have good cause to be reluctant to advocate for their own interests because doing so can easily backfire.


We can joke, as Marlo Thomas did, that “a man has to be Joe McCarthy in order to be called ruthless. All a woman needs to do is put you on hold.”


Of all the ways women hold themselves back, perhaps the most pervasive is that they leave before they leave.


Now we know that women can do what men can do, but we don’t know that men can do what women can do … We need to encourage men to be more ambitious in their homes.


Mothers don’t want to be perceived as less dedicated to their jobs… we overwork to overcompensate. Even in workplaces that offer reduced or flextime arrangements, people fear that reducing their hours will jeopardize their career prospects.


If I had to embrace a definition of success, it would be that success is making the best choices we can… and accepting them.


In the future there will be no female leaders. There will only be leaders.


If this resonates with you at all, you should pick up Lean In. It’s entirely worth your time, and is an excellent perspective changer.

Next up for me is Berkun’s Confessions of a Public Speaker, since I need some more preparation before I speak at SupConf!

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