The question is why would one invest their reading time in Lean In? Is Lean In a feminist manifesto or, a book entails the same cliched stories of gender roles and gaps prevalent in the world? No, Lean In is not just another book on feministic approach; it is more than that. This holds a simple answer because in the modern corporate world, women often juggle with their work-life balance. Most of the women choose their personal life over their career because they could not manage the double pressure of being efficient in their professional and personal world.
“Being the mother is not an easy task” – Anonymous
Sandberg has started her manifesto by sharing her journey of being pregnant and running the online sales for the Google. Women in the corporate world often blame their pregnancy to be the roadblocks for the career ahead. Sandberg has proven all these claims wrong by showing the modern women that they can balance both the worlds with few master tricks.
Getting rid of the imposter syndrome
Is it obvious that imposter syndrome is gender-biased? No. But women feel more self-plagued than the men in terms of handling success and attributing the self-credit for the achievements. This is not the case for the common women; even the most successful writers and women personalities often go through the same phase. The reason behind such syndrome when one constantly doubts their capabilities is because women are told to be the spectators rather than being vociferous about their participation.
Eliminates as much stereotypes as possible
Stereotype thoughts are bound to have their presence in the society. A complete change of the thought process is not possible and obviously not an overnight task. But the basic perceived role of men and women as provider and caregiver respectively can be altered with the structural changes. Having said the structural changes, the indication is towards the women taking more responsibility in the leadership role in their workplaces. Women should learn from men how to analyze the work with confidence and not underestimate the value they put in the workplace.
Try your hands in something beneficial
The belief to make a progress in the ladder is hardwired in women’s brain. Branching out for the new things in the career journey is often seen with trepidation because such new things may meet with failures eventually. Women love to bask in their safe zone for a long time other than taking risks for the new opportunities. Such sticking to the comfort zone for a long time not only makes women dull but drains their energy also. Sandberg in Lean In has termed such career transitions as jungle gym where opportunities are seen with the positive mindsets. Experiencing new things in the career would help women to understand their potential. Hence, balancing their professional and personal life would be the journey they would enjoy other than bashing it thoroughly.
Saying no to the cliched message, “get a mentor and you will succeed”
Mentors are not your professional mothers; they are also human beings and they can make mistakes. This is also true that mentors stand for the true potential and none would stand for the one who lacks the willingness to be adaptive to the new changes. Women in the recent times have developed tendency to search for their mentors; no mentor can help in building the career path you want if you do not stand for yourself. The path has to be decided by an individual and actions need to be taken accordingly. The multitasking and the labelling someone as godmother would not solve the career problems and make one stand out in the crowd. Women need to reject the notion of doing everything on their own in their personal and professional life. They need to choose to prioritize and take actions accordingly even when they have the opposing viewpoints with their mentors.
Seeking authentic communication
Be it in home and workplace, women should gain the courage to speak their minds and shut down for any reason. In the workplace, women are less promoted because they lose the ability to speak their minds and negotiate well with the higher authority and for that, many inefficient managers rise to the power because of the lack of communication. The major problem in case of the women employees that they believe in assumption not asking the appropriate question at the right time. To balance the workplace and the home, one needs to set the clear goals how much they can offer and set the communication accordingly. Setting unexpected goals can only leave someone in the backfoot. This is better to be a woman with talent and potential rather than being the superwomen in every field.
The above five lessons are inferred from Sandberg’s book Lean In and along with the lessons, I have reflected the personal learnings as well which might help a working woman of present time to handle both of their worlds efficiently. Setting priorities and planning for the baby steps would help an individual to keep a balance in the professional and personal world.