Blogger of the Month: Book Review–Lean In

There are few things I love more than a good book.  I love that while reading, I sit in complete silence. It’s soothing for my soul. My happy place.

On my blog, I like to give reviews of my favorite books.

Recently, I had the pleasure of reading Lean In by Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg. This book shook me to my core. I can’t even begin to tell you the wealth of knowledge and inspiration I gained in reading Lean In.

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Quite frankly, this book couldn’t have come at a better time. First, because I have the opportunity to share it with my fellow Oklahoma blogger gal pals! And second, I’m 25 in the early stages of my career. It is extremely motivating to read advice and stories from women who have accomplished so much in their career.

Trying to summarize this book is next to impossible. I could spend days dissecting her ideas and advice. So I’ve decided to highlight a couple of points that struck a chord with me.

In Lean In, Sheryl mentions that as a child she was considered “bossy” and now (as an adult) has been criticized for being too direct. She says “When a girl tries to lead, she is often labeled bossy. Boys are seldom called bossy because a boy taking the role of boss does not surprise or offended.”

Like Sheryl, I have been described as “bossy” (ask any of my sorority sisters, I guarantee all of them would say I was a little overbearing). So why is this a bad thing? Should we reprimand our daughters for being too bossy?

This notion of suppressing my bossy tendencies, so people will “like me,” is something I’m all too familiar with.  It made me think about how I approach meetings. Do I speak up? Do I put my ideas on the table without hesitation in fear that someone might be offended? Thinking about these questions made me realize that I can be passive about my career choices.

Another topic Sheryl discusses is self-promoting, “For women, taking credit (for successes) comes as a real social and professional cost…who would want to speak up when self-promoting women are disliked?” I don’t know about you, but this is something that I am constantly aware of. Once (just a few months ago) I let someone else take credit for my work because I was scared I’d come across as self-promoting. A director asked “whose idea was this?” and I didn’t raise my hand. I didn’t want to be viewed as someone who wasn’t a team player. Would a man make the same choice? Or would he have spoken up? After reading her chapter on self-promoting, I made a promise to myself to never let that happen again. I love this quote from the book: “Owning one’s success is key to achieving more success.”

Sheryl Sandberg highlights many obstacles women face, not just externally but internally as well. Reading Lean In has renewed my motivation and drive.  I believe this book will resonate with any woman at any stage in life. The idea that *I* control of my own success is one that I find to be refreshing and exhilarating.

For more information about Lean In visit www.leanin.org/Book/

*The people at Lean In have no idea who I am; I just wanted to share it with you because I enjoyed it so much!

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Brittney Orr is our blogger of the Month for September. She blogs at Brittney’s Ordinary Life

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4 comments

  1. Great observations. I’m so interested in the idea that some little girls are seen as “bossy” and similar little boys may not be labeled w/ a negative connotation. I wonder how other successful women would describe themselves when they were little…Martha Stewart, Katy Couric, Hillary Clinton! Maybe being a “bossy” little girl isn’t such a bad thing after all!
    However, now that I think about it I don’t know any “bossy” little boys. They either go along w/ what the little girls want to do or ignore them. hummmm

    • Brittney says:

      I know she comes from an affluent background and might not have the same obstacles many of us face, however, I think she has great ideas about women in the workforce! I hope you give it a try! 🙂

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