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Lean In – A Book Review

Leadership

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, the current COO of Facebook is a book I would highly recommend to all men and women in a leadership role as well as all wives, husbands, fathers, and mothers.  I thought I would share a couple of ideas mentioned in the book that really stuck with me.

  1. Sheryl talks in the book about a life experience where an individual approached her about a position at Facebook.  She asked the individual what she would be interested in doing while she was there.  The candidate responded by asking Sheryl what the biggest challenge was at Facebook that needed to be addressed. Sheryl uses this story as an example of why we should look at the value we can bring to a team or organization before we look at how our experience, degrees or certifications meets the requirements of a particular job.  She tells several stories about individuals who took jobs in areas that had very little to do with their degrees or backgrounds. Sheryl ties this in and makes a prominent point based on a quote from Fortune Magazine’s, Pattie Sellers. “Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.” There are multiple ways to analyze this quote. First, there may be no clear path, but in fact, many ways to reach the top. Second, jungle gyms offer a more creative exploration. And third, jungle gyms offer everyone a great view, not just those on the top rung.
  2. The Concept of Leaning in to Leadership – Sheryl asks the reader “What would you do if you were not afraid?”.  The pursuits of projects and job duties or tasks that make us uncomfortable or afraid are good for us.  Look at each of these types of projects that get us out of our comfort zone as ways to make a difference and for own self-development.
  3. Finding a Mentor- Do we actively seek out a mentor or does the mentor find us?  Sheryl discusses that finding a mentor does not normally happen naturally or is as effective by simply asking someone to be your mentor.  “The strongest relationships spring out of a real and often earned connection that is felt by both sides.”  Mentoring relationships should be a two way street in that the mentor gets as much from the relationship as the protégé.

The points above are just a few of the many great ideas that resonated with me from this book.

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