If you’re unsure about the current leans in phenomena, don’t feel alone. You may have been hearing a lot recently about leaning in or Sheryl Sandberg but aren’t exactly sure what it means. Let’s explore together why everyone is talking about leaning in and what it could mean for you.
It’s about time for women to start looking ahead in their careers and taking charge of their ambitions. This is more than just a book or one person telling you what to do – it’s a movement that encourages women to step up and take risks. To finally say “yes” to doing more.
Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, is the woman behind the curtain—or rather, proudly out in front. According to Facebook’s CEO and Co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, “She built the whole business part of Facebook. I didn’t know anything about running a company. [We] knew where we wanted to get, but we were lacking someone who was a visionary at how you work at large scale.”
Sheryl Sandberg is an internationally renowned career superstar. She has worked as a consultant at McKinsey, as Chief of Staff to U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, as Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, and is now the Chief Operating Officer at Facebook.
The job she had at Facebook is what made her the most well-known, as she started to become more vocal about women and their careers. This all began with her 2010 TED Talk where she first introduced her “Lean In” message. This was followed by her speech at the Barnard 2011 commencement. Both of these talks went viral, leading to widespread national conversations. Her messaging has always been clear and concise. If you want to be successful, you have to put in the work and dedicate yourself wholeheartedly. Do not abandon your goals too soon or give up before the game is finished. Find someone who will help you achieve success along your journey.
After years of sharing and promoting her ideas, Sandberg decided to write the book Lean In Women, Work, and the Will to Lead as a resource for women who want accessible and cohesive strategies. Sandberg writes, “For decades, we have focused on giving women the choice to work inside or outside the home… But we have to ask ourselves if we have become so focused on supporting personal choices that we’re failing to encourage women to aspire to leadership.”
Sandberg didn’t just stop at writing the book; because she’s so passionate about helping other women, she started an entire movement through LeanIn.org to get her message out there. She urges women everywhere to not just share this influential message but to live it out every day through Lean In Circles.
Lean In Circles are groups of eight to 12 people who meet monthly to discuss professional topics and personal experiences in a confidential and trusting environment. If you’re looking for guidelines on how to run effective meetings, LeanIn.org is a great resource. The site provides online videos and tutorials from Stanford University’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research on topics such as negotiating, body language, and leadership. Don’t underestimate the power of a good sharing circle – these aren’t like the ones you had at sleepovers in middle school. These are groups of women who share strategies and ideas on how to negotiate their way through complicated careers. Our Lean In circles are designed to support you as you take your next steps.
Oprah Winfrey, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), journalist Maria Shriver, and other business, political, and entertainment figures have given personal testimonials on the website. Women are encouraged to share their “Lean In” story on a Facebook page, as Levo CEO and Co-founder Caroline Ghosn did.
We’ve partnered with Lean In because we believe in their mission, and we want you to be a part of it too.
“Levo League is leaning in because we believe in elevating the careers of Gen Y women by providing access to role models, peer groups, and other valuable career resources,” said Ghosn. If you want to get involved, go to LeanIn.org or the Facebook page and share your story. You can also get inspired by others, organize your circle, and start leaning in now. Also, don’t forget to read Sheryl’s book. It’s number one on Amazon’s Best-Seller list for a reason! As Sandberg writes, “It’s time to cheer on girls and women who want to sit at the table.” So get going!