In 2010, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg gave a TED talk that struck a chord in women the world over, challenging them to “sit at the table”, to not “take their foot off the gas pedal” but to work for equal representation as men at the top tier of the professional world. That 15-minute talk was a watershed event for Sandberg (now listed by Fortune as one of the 50 most powerful women in business) who proposed a world where the 50% population of females would be reflected in leadership, positing that it would make for a better world.
Now in 2013, Sandberg releases Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. She picks up from where that TED talk left off, and takes the reader deeper into the same ideas, “combining personal anecdotes, hard data and compelling reasearch to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women.”
If you fit one of the following descriptions, you might be interested to win this exciting new title! (Details below)
1. You Like Facebook, Google and US Dollars
Chances are, you fit into this qualifier. Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook, a position she assumed following her time running online sales and operations at Google, and as chief of staff of the United States Treasury Department. There are precious few organizations more relevant and visible in today’s world than those three organizations. And currently, Sandberg is calling a lot of the shots that are helping keep the Facebook ship afloat.
2. You are a woman and a professional
This book is a rah-rah pep talk for you. Sheryl challenges you to take credit for the good you do, to be ambitious and unafraid to compete, to challenge the status quo and work for a better world–one with more female leaders who bring to the table a distinct outlook.
3. You are a mother
Sandberg is a mother of two, and begins her book by recounting the throes of pregnancy and the how the challenge is amplified when combined with the pressures of leading a rapidly growing corporation. Hard-working parents, you are not alone.
4. You are a man who respects women
In no way does the book discount the role and contribution of men. In fact, Sandberg dedicates the book to her own husband. She simply raises the flag announcing that it’s time for women to be intentional and confident about being successful. On the converse, it challenges men to share the load with their partners in a manner that will help women lead as well, and give everyone a better quality of life.
5. You don’t really like business jargon
This is a book by a powerful and successful businessperson, but it is every bit as human–and at times, humorous–as any manifesto for a worthwhile cause should be. No graphs and pie charts in this one–sorry, business geeks! (That said, business geeks, you might like it, too)
Make no mistake, Lean In is not blindly optimistic, nor is it angry feminist propaganda (although feminists are rallying around it, for sure). Sandberg makes the effort to present facts, along with fair and realistic perspectives. Indeed it will provoke you to question Sandberg herself–for example, she is rich and can afford nannies and house help, certainly. But bear in mind that it is but one piece in a large conversation about true gender equality.
Perhaps one of the more controversial chapters in the book will be the incendiary “The Myth of Doing It All”, where Sandberg candidly questions this well-meaning and long-held ideal. She writes:
“Having it all.” Perhaps the greatest trap ever set for women was the coining fo this phrase. Bandied about in speeches, headlines, and articles, these three little words are intended to be aspirational but instead make all of us feel like we have fallen short. I have never met a women, or man, who has stated emphatically, “Yes, I have it all.” Because no matter what any of us has–and how grateful we are for what we have–no one has it all. Nor can we.
Certainly tackling a relevant, hot-button issue, Lean In by is a book asking questions well-suited to today’s world. If you share Sandberg’s vision that more women in leadership would make for a better world, then this book is for you.
And here’s the good news: we’re giving away four copies of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg, right here on the blog!
In the comments below, tell us about a woman you know who you think should read this book and why! We are giving away two copies each to two different winners, one for the winner and one for his or her friend. Leave your email address in your comment so we know how to get in touch.
Deadline is 2:00 pm on March 27, 2013.