I used to be a reader.
But then I had kids.
Which was followed by years and years of being tired.
The narcoleptic kind of tired that doesn't allow you to be a reader.
Because if you are ever blessed with opportunity to sit still,
without all of your kids being drawn to you like a magnet,
simultaneously telling you every detail of their day,
and asking a hundred and twenty-seven questions,
your overworked eyes are too wasted to read.
You find yourself attempting to read the same sentence,
over and over and over again.
Until your eyes physically cannot stay open.
So you give up.
And toss your book on top of the pile on your nightstand.
The burgeoning pile that reminds you that you used to be a reader.
There is a rare break from this madness.
I enjoyed one last week.
And this is what I read:
Sheryl Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook. Before that, she was the Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google. Before that she served as the Chief of Staff for the United States Treasury Department.
In 2007, she was ranked number 29 on Fortune Magazine's "50 Most Powerful Women in Business". She was the youngest woman on the list. Since then, she has been included on every other list imaginable: The Wall Street Journal's "Women to Watch", Business Week's "25 Most Influential People on the Web", Forbes' "World's 100 Most Powerful Women", and Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World".
Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead was released on March 11, 2013. The book has sold more than one million copies and has been on top of the bestseller lists since its launch.
So you should probably read it. Even if you aren't a woman. Because there's a decent chance you are married to a woman, work with a woman, or have a daughter who is a woman.
For those of you who are too tired to be readers, I will include some highlights.
Sheesh. . . I even loved the dedication:
"Opportunities are rarely offered; they're seized."
"Given how fast the world moves today, grabbing opportunities is more important than ever. . . Opportunities are not well defined but, instead, come from someone jumping in to do something. That something becomes his job."
"You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around. The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have."
"If we want a world with greater equality, we need to acknowledge that women are less likely to keep their hand up. We need institutions and individuals to notice and correct for this behavior by encouraging, promoting, and championing more women. And women have to learn to keep their hands up because when they lower them, even managers with the best intentions might not notice."
"Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women. When a man is successful, he is liked by both men and women. When a woman is successful, people of both genders like her less. This truth is both shocking and unsurprising: shocking because no one would ever admit to stereotyping on the basis of gender and unsurprising because clearly we do."
"When you want to change things, you can't please everyone. If you do please everyone, you aren't making enough progress."
"An internal report at Hewlett-Packard revealed that women only apply for open jobs if they think they meet 100 percent of the criteria listed. Men apply if they meet 60 percent of the requirements. This difference has a huge ripple effect. 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.'"
"Emotion drives both men and women and influences every decision we make. Recognizing the role emotions play and being willing to discuss them makes us better managers, partners, and peers."
"Of all the ways women hold themselves back, perhaps the most pervasive is that they leave before they leave."
"The birth of a child instantly changes how we define ourselves. . . Our priorities shift in fundamental ways. Parenting may be the most rewarding experience, but is is also the hardest and most humbling."
"When husbands work fifty or more hours per week, wives with children are 44 percent more likely to quit their jobs than wives with children whose husbands work less."
"As women must be more empowered at work, men must be more empowered at home."
"Anyone who wants her mate to be a true partner must treat him as an equal--and equally capable--partner."
"When husbands do more housework, wives are less depressed, marital conflicts decrease, and satisfaction rises. When women work outside the home and share breadwinning duties, couples are more likely to stay together. In fact, the risk of divorce reduces by about half when a wife earns half the income and a husband does half the housework."
"Instead of pondering the question 'Can we have it all?' we should be asking the more practical question 'Can we do it all?' And again, the answer is no."
"I had to decide what mattered and what didn't and I learned to be a perfectionist in only the things that mattered."
"Anyone who brings up gender in the workplace is wading into deep and muddy waters. The subject itself presents a paradox, forcing us to acknowledge differences while trying to achieve the goal of being treated the same."
"All of us, myself included, are biased, whether we admit it or not. And thinking that we are objective can actually make this worse, creating what social scientists call a 'bias blind spot'".
"Social gains are never handed out. They must be seized. "
"Equal opportunity is not equal unless everyone receives the encouragement that makes seizing those opportunities possible."
"None of this is attainable unless we pursue these goals together."
"Stay-at-home mothers can make me feel guilty and, at times, intimidate me. There are moments when I feel like they are judging me, and I imagine there are moments when they feel like I am judging them. But when I push past my own feelings of guilt and insecurity, I feel grateful."
"We all want the same thing: to feel comfortable with our choices and to feel validated by those around us. So let's start by validating one another."
"We need to be grateful for what we have but dissatisfied with the status quo."