There are number of women that have inspired me. Sheryl Sandburg now tops that list. I picked her memoir — Lean in: Women, Work and the Will to lead.
She beautifully pens her journey, her career trajectory with Google and then finally Facebook (Meta).
Sheryl’s work ethics are incredible, her book can serve as a great career-mentor, especially for women. She discusses all the issues of women that exists in workplaces and gives unbiased opinion which can give out two-way street solutions.
Sheryl just finished her college when she got married. She was young and was not sure as of what qualities a supportive partner must have. That led to divorce one year later. Later in her life, she stumbles upon Dave and the two share a wonderful and extremely supportive marriage. Although, Dave is now no more and Sheryl has recently launched another book called Option B:Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy.
Sheryl strongly advocates that women do not need to rush for marriage and that one can happen to come across a supportive partner at any age.
The book offers some great insights, some of which I learnt and wanted to share with my readers are
- Career progression mostly depends upon taking risks and advocating for oneself- traits that girls are often discouraged from exhibiting.
- It is time when we address and not encourage the onesies “Smart like Daddy” and “Pretty like Mommy”.
- Opportunities are rarely offered, they are seized.
- 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.
- When Sheryl started her journey of working with Facebook, Mark told her “Sheryl, your desire to be liked by everyone will hold you back. When you want to change things, you can’t please everyone. If you do please everyone, you aren’t making enough progress.”
- Careers are jungle gym, not a ladder.
- Sheryl gives a crucial point for career decisions-the only one criterion that matters while picking up a job-fast growth. Reduce your career spreadsheet to one column: potential for growth.
- In professional life, one has to learn accept uncertainty and even embrace it.
- Sometimes high potential women often have a difficult time asking for help because they don’t want to appear incompetent. Asking for input is definitely not a sign of weakness but in actual a first step in finding a path forward.
- “How can I do better?” “What am I doing that I don’t know?” “What am I not doing that I don’t see?” — these questions can lead to multiple benefits. Solicited feedback often feels harsh but the advantage of painful knowledge immensely overpowers the disadvantage of blissful ignorance.
- Being open to hearing the truth means taking responsibility for mistakes.
- True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed. Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.
- Not all women want careers. Not all women want both. Many people are not interested in acquiring power, not because they lack ambition , but because they are living their lives as they desire. We each have to chart our own unique course and define which goals fit our lives, values and dreams.