Achieving work/life balance for women has always been a controversial and sensitive topic. That is one reason why I found Sherly Sandberg’s Lean In very interesting.
Many times, women are made to believe that they have to choose between work and family. This “here or there” approach implies that many women don’t get to live fulfilling lives due to gender biases. The thrust of the book is that women do not have to choose between the two if they don’t want to – because both are equally important. It does not give the ideal fantasy that women can “have it all”, but preaches that women do not have to leave out one quality of life for the other. Rather than pursue perfection, Lean In urges women to push for progress.
I recommend this book not just for women, but for every man who seeks to know what part he can play in attaining a fairer world.
Here are my favourite quotes from the book:
1. “Trying to do it all and expecting that it all can be done exactly right is a recipe for disappointment. Perfection is the enemy.”
2. “Leadership is about making others better because of your presence, and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”
3. “Fortune does favour the bold and you’ll never know what you’re capable of if you don’t try.”
4. “Knowing that things could be worse should not stop us from trying to make them better.”
5. “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.”
6. “Fear is at the root of so many of the barriers women face…Fear of not being liked…Fear of failure….And the holy trinity of fear: the fear of being a bad mother/wife/daughter.”
7. “Feeling confident – or pretending that you feel confident – is necessary to reach for opportunities.”
8. “We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.”
9. “Instead of perfection, we should aim for sustainable and fulfilling.”
10. “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
This weekend is a good time to grab a cup of coffee and bury your head in this lovely book.