Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Book Review: Lean In, Part 2

5. Language is important - After reading (listening to) this book, I no longer say "Does your wife work?" I now say "Does your wife work outside of the home. The former indicates that women who work outside of the home think less of women who stay at home with their children and that's not true. It also negates all of the work that women who stay at home with children do. If they worked outside of the home, they would have to pay someone else for childcare and we consider that work, so why not consider it work for women at home with the kiddies. It's a very interesting concept.

4. Stay-At-Home Dads Rock - After reading this book, I have completely changed my archaic stance on stay-at-home dads. I really used to think it was ridiculous, but it we're going to live in a world where half the men are leaders in the workplace and half the women are leaders in the workplace, it naturally follows that half the people who stay at home with the kids and half the people who stay at home with the kids will be women and half will be men. It's the natural progression of things.

3. You cannot do it all - A lot of people who haven't read this book think it's about being superwoman. It's not at all. She discusses how some very tough decisions have to be made. Which basketball games to attend. Which client meetings to miss. The list goes on and on. This book is about how to Lean In to your career as a woman. It's not a book about how to be a good mother. That's not to say you can't do both, but this is not a book about parenting.

2. Pregnancy does not equal forfeit - Don't let the possibilities of life's decisions stop you from achieving your goals. She talked about how lots of women will turn down difficult jobs or jobs that will set them up for a better leadership position because they are pregnant or planning to be pregnant. She cites studies that say if you take a new position right before you have a baby, you're more likely to stay in the workforce AND enjoy your job after you give birth. vs. hating a position and then not being compelled to go back after you have the new responsibility of a baby.

1. There's still tap dancing involved - She mentions that if we know people are going to have adverse reactions to us just because we are women, we have to use that knowledge to get what we want. The argument that "I'm doing the same thing he is" sounds good, but until those systematic changes are put in place, we have to use what we know to get what we want... which is into leadership.

All in all, the book was excellent. It gave me a lot to think about and a lot to do. It gave me some new ways to speak about leadership and relationships and the conversation continues at www.leanin.org.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

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