I read Sheryl Sandberg's book, Lean In, Work, Women and the Will to Lead this week. I am not a huge fan of the saying lean in. To me what she is basically saying is don't sell yourself short.
There are a lot of thoughts rumbling around my brain after reading the book. This book is a manifesto for anyone, man or woman. Sandberg has done a great job at providing advice paired with stories from own personal experiences. The book is thoughtful and honest. She makes no apologies for the life she has led and is completely transparent in regards to where she sits in the world of top executives and the most successful people. She has been driven since she came out of the womb. I appreciate that.
It is harder for women, bottom line. There are many reasons for that and I do hope that for each generation it gets easier. It is the desire for both genders to have an interest in breaking perceived notions of roles. Certainly a man can change a diaper, buy groceries or do laundry as easy as a woman can. On the other hand a woman can certainly run a company, rule the world and write code as easily as a man can.
The one big take away from the book is something I talked about three years ago at the first Womens Entrepreneur Festival is that woman need to be champions of each other. Whatever decisiosn we make in our lives are our own. As women we tend to question if we made the right choice even when it comes to buying a pair of shoes. Perhaps that is the reason we judge each other so harshly because we are questioning our own decisions. Women who stay home, women who work full time, women who work part-time, women who don't have children, women who have chidldren, women who go into non-profits, women who go into profits…whatever it is we should be respectful and applaud the decisions that one makes for herself.
Sandberg has reached a level that few women have gone before. She is giving candid advice about the lessons she learned to get there. Regardless of where you are in your life or what you strive for there are lessons to be learned. As women we should applaud that she wrote this book. Regardless if you like the book or not the take away should be about embracing other women and the road that we are traveling down. Sandberg has put her stake in the ground that as women we can all hope that the next generation will have a less rocky road because of it.