Lean In

Kathleen Nielson | May 31, 2013

Sheryl Sandberg. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. New York: Knopf, 2013. 240 pp. $13.71.

Sheryl Sandberg is smart. When asked to review her new book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (#1 on The New York Times Bestseller list for hardcover nonfiction), I had no idea how much I’d enjoy her shrewd advice about successful work.

Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, offers many principles that are useful for everyone, not just for women. For example, her metaphor of a jungle gym as opposed to the ladder provides a hugely helpful picture of the flexible thinking necessary in today’s working world. Gone are the days when students prepare for one career and then follow it straight up the leadership ladder; today’s quickly changing work environment asks us to be always ready to learn new skills and risk trying new directions. Sandberg took this kind of risk with Google and then with Facebook—and she describes with zest her climb to the top of the social networking jungle gym. It’s fun to read.

The focus of Lean In, however, is women. Sandberg is addressing a particular issue: with all the strides feminism has…

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