Leaning in is all about aggressively pursuing success, building confidence and digging deep to get yourself the recognition you deserve. Sandberg recommends this hardcore productivity in all aspects of life. It’s a recipe for success, but it’s not an easy one.
It could be called a guidebook for women seeking to overcome cultural barriers. It’s a call for more ambition to get women into leadership positions. How? By getting the women to more aggressively assert themselves and push for those positions. She suggests that the difference between men and women in leadership positions it isn’t a matter of competence, but rather confidence. For whatever cultural reason, women simply don’t fight for the top job the way men do.
The book has (unsurprisingly) elicited some controversy, since feminism is such a hotly discussed political topic. Some think the aggressiveness Sandberg recommends isn’t totally healthy, or believe that her Lean In method of overcoming the barriers doesn’t really address the real issues underlying women’s problems in the workplace (some even complain that Sandberg’s tactic for equality is simply turning women into men). On one point most can agree: Lean In is not about restructuring any aspect of corporate culture. The book is not really about societal reforms. The book is much more personal, addressing how women can achieve more for themselves in the present.
Fortunately there is always room for personal preference in how you respond to Sandberg’s suggestions. If you aren’t all that ambitious and you don’t want to fight for success, then you don’t have to, there are certainly other ways to seek fulfillment. What Sandberg is trying to say is that if you do want to reach the top, if you do want fulfillment in your work life, then you’ve got to lean in, and in this book she offers experience and advice to inspire readers to do just that.
In the end, it’s pretty good advice for anyone trying to achieve anything, not just women, especially within startup settings where the success of the company is very dependent on leaning in. According to Sandberg work should be something people find fulfilling and challenging, something that excites them. Work should never be boring. Successful entrepreneurs share this philosophy; indeed, a startup can rarely afford to be boring, as it is a constant uphill struggle to succeed.
If you are looking to push your business or career forward, and you’re looking for some inspiration, this is a great read.
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