Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead – Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: 2013
Publisher: Knopf
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Nonfiction, Business, Self Help, Feminism, Leadership, Growth


I am ambitious.

I want to test my limits and then I want to pulverize them. I want to dare climb the professional ladder and end up at the top. And I used to say it wasn’t because I was attracted to the idea of having power and influence.

But I do want those two things. Having power and influence means my words reach more people and have more weight to them. In a position of power, I can make more changes and maybe make a meaningful difference in the world, or my chosen field at least.

Is it threatening to hear that? Do you like me a little less now that you know I want to become Director and maybe Minister one day? Do you wish I was less assertive and more prone to agree with your opinion because I care whether you like me or not? Are you worried that I might use my influence for bad instead of good?

I have had people say to me all sorts of things, but one comment that was made about two years ago stayed with me. It went like this, ‘‘I respect your negative opinion of this book. I just wish you weren’t so popular.’’

Not all of them, but some of my reviews have 500+ likes. Not always, but sometimes a lot of people decide whether to read a book or not based on my personal thoughts on it. Does that make me feel good? Well, yes. It feels good to know some people read my thoughts and take them seriously. And if I don’t like the book, of course I’m not going to recommend it to you.

I loved what Sheryl Sandberg had to say because she made me feel okay about being ambitious. And she reminded me that I can take credit for my own accomplishments. I used to think people liked my reviews because they wanted to ‘‘encourage me’’ or because I like theirs so they try to do the same. But hell, maybe I’m actually really good at expressing my thoughts on books. Maybe sometimes I suck at it if I’m not sure how I feel, but most of the time I think I rock. I’ve been writing reviews for six years and I’m the 6th best reviewer in the world on Goodreads because I know what I’m doing and I believe in my writing skills.

Maybe I should not have said these things out loud, because now you might think me arrogant and perhaps unlikeable. Maybe you think I think I’m above you and will un-friend me shortly. Please do. That means you don’t know me, nor want to, and I don’t need 5000 friends. Oh, I do sound arrogant. Well maybe it’s okay to be arrogant sometimes.

Bottom line: read this book if you want to get a surge of confidence, assertiveness, arrogance and think you freaking rock and it’s totally okay if you do and, hell, maybe tell the whole world you are worthy and you will accomplish tremendous goals in your life. DO IT.


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