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Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
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Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  85,820 ratings  ·  7,983 reviews
Lean In--Sheryl Sandberg's provocative, inspiring book about women and power--grew out of an electrifying TED talk Sandberg gave in 2010, in which she expressed her concern that progress for women in achieving major leadership positions had stalled. The talk became a phenomenon and has since been viewed nearly two million times. In Lean In, she fuses humorous personal anec ...more
Hardcover, 217 pages
Published March 11th 2013 by Knopf (first published January 1st 2013)
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Jessica Donaghy “Women need to shift from thinking ‘I’m not ready to do that’ to thinking ‘I want to do that — and I’ll learn by doing it.’” This part of the book…more“Women need to shift from thinking ‘I’m not ready to do that’ to thinking ‘I want to do that — and I’ll learn by doing it.’” This part of the book really resonated with me, because so many opportunities can be unlocked with a bit of confidence! Many men don't think twice about applying for jobs before they have the precise qualifications necessary. Doing this takes some bravado -- or can I say, bravada! -- but it can be the most efficient way to push forward into something new and challenging. And we may surprise ourselves with what we can accomplish! (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Hillary
I highly recommend this book. As a single mom near the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder, the negative reviews would have led me to believe 'Lean In' wasn't for me and that only an elite few could relate. To the contrary, I found that Sandberg lends a clear, relevant, necessary voice to issues of leadership and equality for women and men and understanding for parents working in and out of the home.

It's a quick yet engaging read. She's the first author I've read who shared what may be our genera
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Erica
Read this book if you want to get inside the head of a power elite. Read this book if you want to hear about all of the things that women do wrong, to make sure you don't make the same mistakes. And then, read this book if you want to read all about why Marissa Mayer should be supported and treated as our hero, as opposed to our oppressor.

I really wanted to like this book. As a working Mom who has leaned into opportunities, even with a child, I felt the message would resonate with me. And at som
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Ben Jaques
Lean In... Oh Lean In... the book of the moment. There are some large complaints about this book. That it should be men who change their behavior at work. That this book undermines the need to make structural changes in work to diminish barriers to women. That women are to blame for the inequality at work. All of these are important, but they aren't what the book is about. This is a book about how women can change their individual behavior to help them succeed in business as it currently exists. ...more
Hanne
Little story: In my previous department we all got nicknames, all of them meant to be very descriptive of the person but also really positive. They were brainstormed and then voted on, which actually was a really fun team-building. But while most people did indeed get some amazing nicknames, my final one was… ‘Ms Bossy’.
After hearing that, I remember heading to the toilets for a good cry, which is something I hardly ever do (when there are no books/movies or music involved that is). Of everythin
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Jasmine
This is a great start on this particular conversation, but Sandberg leaves out two large groups of women; women of color and women who are not wealthy. While many women want to sit at the table and lean as far in as the rest of those at the table many women are not invited and/or do not have the means to take the risk. When you are worried about how you are going to pay for today, it is difficult to take the plunge especially if you have others who are dependent on you.

I applaud Sandberg for wr
...more
Yukari Watanabe
I feel sad that so many people criticize Sheryl's book WITHOUT reading it. When I told my husband that I was reading "Lean In", he said, "Oh..., but people say it's for only rich elite women who can afford full time nannies." That is a result of malicious rumors.

I'm not a businesswoman and my background is very different from Sheryl's, but I agree with almost everything she says in this book. I have struggled with the same things for the last 50 years. I'm not competitive and I never wanted to b
...more
Ceilidh
2.5 stars to be more precise. Sandberg is far more likeable than I expected and I appreciated her self-deprecating sense of humour, honesty about her insecurities and enthusiasm for supporting other women. I nodded along quite a bit when she talked about crying at work (been there, done that) and was happy to see her dismantle the guilt-trip fallacy that is "women having it all". Sadly, Lean In is corporate feminism with an extremely narrow focus that excludes most women.

Corporate feminism is t
...more
SC
Although this book is certain to help many women, I gave it 4 stars because some of the advice has already been shared in similar books (perhaps without as much research and statistics to back things up) but still...

Someone asked me for a cliffs notes version and the best I can say is to search online for Sheryl Sandberg's TEDWomen talk in 2010. It is a 15 minute long speech that basically sums up her most pertinent points in this book.

This isn't necessarily a book on how to climb the career lad
...more
Lena
While this book by the COO of Facebook is ostensibly about women in the workplace, it's really about subconscious cognitive biases. A majority of Americans may consider women and men to be equal on the surface, but the fact that women still lag significantly behind men in both pay and leadership positions points to the fact that there is something else going on.

In this book, Sandberg does an excellent job at shining light on exactly what is standing in the way of full equality. She offers many e
...more
Afsheen
This book is terrible on all levels. It is written at a level beneath anyone who might hope to achieve the type of success she discusses. And the message is wrong. I consider myself a woman who is successful in the workplace, but not because I act aggressive like a man-- rather, because I recognize my strengths and weaknesses and behave accordingly. That should be a human way to succeed--not man vs. woman. I don't want advice from a woman who is so oblivious of her actions that she supposedly ne ...more
Amy
I went into the office today to find that one of my female managers sent this book to me as a surprise gift along with a thank you note for being a role model and mentor to her in her career over the years. She has two young girls like I do, and in my career field that is still rare. She and I have shared the trials and tribulations of having a career and simultaneously loving and hating it, traveling, being married, being soft but hard as nails when needed, and love, love, loving being a mommy ...more
Katie
Interesting that I chose to read this book right around the time when I decided to lean OUT big time.

Prior to March 2013, I had a great job doing interesting work for (mostly) wonderful people, but that job happened to exist in NYC - aka the most expensive city in the country - and for all the job's plusses, "financially rewarding" it was not.

Post March 2013, everything changed. I had my first baby - a sweet, adorable bundle of baby boy joy - and upon crunching the numbers, I realized that post
...more
Celeste
With all the conversation surrounding Sandberg's work, as a modern feminist and working mom, I really wanted to dislike this book. But as it turns out, I loved it and am closing the cover feeling invigorated to continue along my career path. Those who have cursory knowledge of Lean In (because of Sandberg's recent media coverage) will miss the larger point of this important work.
Some have criticized Sandberg as a victim-blamer- associating her book with the idea that if women somehow tried hard
...more
Susan
Question: When is a book not a book?

Answer: When it has 37 footnotes by the 24th page.

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg is nothing more than a thesis paper thinly disguised and marketed by the publishing company as the next "it" book for women. Well...not all women; at least in my mind.

Why, you ask? The reality is that most women are never going to get the opportunity to work in a Fortune 500 company as an executive. Now that's not to say that women won't have opportu
...more
Tim D'Annecy
Putting aside critiques of her belief in corporate feminism, Sandberg's book reeks of unspoken privilege. Her message for women to transcend difference in the workplace through top leadership positions leaves behind many women who do not have the social agency, time, education, or good health to follow her example.

The whole time I was reading this book, all I could think of was, "Who is her nanny? Does she have the agency to do the things Sandberg talks about? Can her nanny afford a nanny to ta
...more
Anna
I give a lot of kudos to Sheryl Sandberg for bringing up a lot of topics that I think are important, under-discussed, under-recognized, and in some cases, did not really have a voice (at least not all in one work). This isn't necessarily a "how-to" book (like 'how to become an amazing woman leader') but more of a book on how to recognize certain traits, characteristics, and behaviors that both men and women possess, and the impact it has on women in the workplace. I applaud Sandberg for stepping ...more
Beth
One of the most effective things about Sheryl Sandberg's new book is that she followed the principles of KISS--keep it short and simple. In less than 175 pages, Sandberg puts forth a manifesto for a new generation of feminists--a generation that may not even be comfortable calling themselves feminists. Women are smart and capable, and while we face very real obstacles (pay inequality, gender discrimination), it is the our internal obstacles that may be what is truly holding us back. Sandberg pro ...more
Eastofoz
When I first started seeing ads promoting this book it was really the subtitle "Women, Work and the Will to Lead" that grabbed me. I looked around the Internet and found Sandberg's TEDTalk which raised some interesting issues but it didn't leave me bowled over like a lot of other people. Having seen some phenomenal TEDTalks in the past I figured hers would be on par. Well the ideas were but the delivery didn't make me go "wow" --but it did make me get the book and good thing I did because it def ...more
Courtney Johnston
How do you say anything about the most reviewed book of 2013? Sheryl Sandberg’s call for women to lean in and take control of their careers has been roundly and lengthily discussed on newspaper sites and blogs, often at a level I find to be unhelpfully and personally focused: who does she think she is, a multi-millionaire with options in Facebook and painfree childcare, telling us how to live our lives?

Only, she’s not. Sandberg comes across as warm and driven, brave and vulnerable, self-aware an
...more
Molly Voorheis
If you are the daughter of two professional parents, have two siblings who are doctors, attended an Ivy League university and a prestigious business school where one of your professors was a future director of the World Bank and a Cabinet member, and you aspire to lead several world-class organizations, then this is the book for you. You'll learn that you should speak up at meetings, get your partner (who of course is male because lesbians don't become the CEOs of anything) to ideally stay home ...more
Hilary
This is a very inspiring book for women from all walks of life. I think the first impression that I had was that all women need to Lean In to job opportunities. However, Sheryl emphasizes that every woman has different aspirations. If staying at home with your children is fulfilling, then you should Lean In to the opportunity; likewise if you want to pursue a career. However, the true point is that as women, we should work together and lift each other up. The negative views of women who work and ...more
Morgane
The only reason this gets more than 1 star is because hey, at least SOMEONE is pointing out there's rampant sexism in the world.

Who is the target audience here? Other white women who went to Harvard, worked at Google, and had a lot of resources to help raise two kids? Or is it men who like to pat themselves on the back for being "feminists", and women who don't want to stir up the hornet's nest too much? Listen Sheryl, I'm not trying to "lean in" to some complacent job where the men won't feel t
...more
Susan
When I saw the author interviewed on 60 Minutes, I felt little connection, to her or her topic, or desire to read her book. Days later, when I was waiting in line at the Cafe in Barnes and Noble, there were several on display nearby; out of curiosity of what I must have missed in the interview, I picked one up . (High five to BN for good product placement.) After just a few moments of reading random passages, I knew I wanted to own this book. Not only did I want to read it but I wanted my daught ...more
Lex
There was so much hype around this book when it came out that I wasn't really interested, but I grabbed it off the Speed Reads shelf at the library when I was there picking up Sonia Sotomayor's book. This is a short book, and it is certainly thought provoking (whether you agree with her or not; I did and didn't) so I think it's worth a read.

The big issue I have with this book is that, despite what Mark Zuckerberg's (eye roll) endorsement says on the back ("Her words will help all readers--especi
...more
Bonnie Cassidy
Read this book at the request of a friend who is on the board of Trey's school. She wanted to discuss it with a successful working woman. I wouldn't have read it otherwise, but am very glad I did. Much of it seemed very familiar and I thought it was well researched and supported. We all make choices consciously and unconsciously that impact the course and trajectory of our professional and personal life but it was interesting to think about these decisions on a more macro level. There is so much ...more
Liz Ratto
I have to admit that I picked this up mostly because I felt I was obligated as a feminist, and especially as a woman working in tech. I wasn't entirely convinced that the en vogue movement of the moment with the semi-cutesy name was going to be terribly applicable to me. I could not have been more wrong.

By the day after I started reading this, I already felt more self-aware both at work and outside of the office. I was actively recognizing many of the habits and pitfalls Sandberg describes and w
...more
Nathan
Apparently there was some kerfuffle in the press about this. I blissfully sailed into the book largely unaware of the noise, and utterly enjoyed it. It rang true with the stories i hear from women I work with, and where it overlapped with my personal experience there was never a "huh, wha?" moment.

I've already used some of the things i read, and have pushed it into the hands of several women. Buy it, read it, share it. It's excellent.

And, if you're a man, there's plenty for you. Take this though
...more
Brian
May 12, 2013 Brian rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Brian by: Elizabeth
(3.5) Be sure you're clear on who her audience is before you judge

Also be sure you know what book Sheryl wrote....It's not a diatribe on what's wrong with the system, the government, your organization. It's not a policy prescription on how to make the workplace more fair for women. These books do need to be written so we can attack the problems on all fronts. However, she wrote a book to future executives (particularly women, but I think many men can take her advice as well) on how best to keep
...more
Mikhaela
So I wanted to hate this book, but I didn't. Yes, Sandberg is a wealthy and privileged Harvard MBA 1%-er who admires and hangs about with people like Larry Summers and Rob Rubin who bear a large responsibility for the wrong-headed economic policies that have left so many Americans (especially women) scraping just to get by. Yes, she has a modest understanding of intersectionality at best and barely mentions how her advice might apply to women of color, LGBT women, single women, etc. Yes, many of ...more
Melissa Romo
Best chapter: Sit At The Table. Worst chapter: Working Together Toward Equality. Ms. Sandberg's perspective on women and ambition is unfortunately only as broad as her Harvard education and corporate executive-ship affords. (And I'm not only saying this because of my Yale education and my own corporate executive-ship. These success-making experiences flavor our view of things, hers and mine.) She references how much respect she has for the accomplishments of her volunteer mother, but I don't get ...more
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Sheryl Sandberg is chief operating officer at Facebook. Prior to Facebook, she was vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google and chief of staff at the U.S. Treasury Department. Sheryl lives in Northern California with her husband and their two children.
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