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Wow. I have a new author among my list of favorites. This is a beautiful story and I'm eager to read more in the series. This reminds me of some of the best novels by Lynn Austin or Francine Rivers. The author has done a great job with her historical research and she truly brings history alive and the Biblical-era setting (the main character is a cousin of the prophet Nehemiah) is fascinating.
What makes the book not merely good, but excellent is the depth of characterization and how deeply we are drawn into the thoughts and lives of the characters. Sarah became real to me, and through her story I was challenged to examine certain areas of my life and my attitude towards God and how He prunes our lives. There's much spiritual truth and encouragement in this book.
Got this for my boyfriend. Did a lot of research online prior and this is rated as 1 of the top tablets and for the price and size seemed liked the best value. Great right out of the box. Uses the android system. I would order a stylus on the side and a screen cover to protect your purchase. Very happy.
I ordered "Lean In" because I wanted to know if Sandberg incorporates Lean Thinking from Lean Manufacturing, which is about eliminating waste and increasing flow. I didn't assume it did, and it doesn't.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF POWER?
I also wondered how Sandberg uses the term "lean in." I didn't see a definition of what she means by it, and as an author myself, I wondered if the title was selected after the book was written. I think of leaning in as a different kind of power that doesn't confront directly unless absolutely necessary in order to create allies and avoid triggering enemies. This is the kind of power Psyche used in "The Myth of Psyche" when she took the fleece of the golden rams that had caught on the branches while the rams slept, rather than confronting them directly in their wakefulness. I see this kind of power as one women have an advantage using, and I wanted to see if Sandberg frames her use of the term lean in as using this kind of power. Well, some of that thinking did get "caught in the branches" but it wasn't defined directly (or I didn't find it if it was.)
A DIFFERENT KIND OF LIFE
Like many others, it was clear to me at many points that Sandberg lives a very different life than I do. It was clear when her hubby moved the central operations of an entire company so he could work closer to their shared home. Yeah. We do that every day. But rather than being a reason not to like the book, it was part of what made it fascinating. I'm different from Sandberg - and yet so many things are still the same in our different worlds.
TRUE AT ALL LEVELS
I don't think much about how women are held to different standards and how women can undermine our own success with habits that men tend not to share, and I don't want to live inside that frame. But it's good to be reminded of how true that is, even at top levels. In my SpeakStrong work (Speak Strong: Say what you MEAN. MEAN what you say. Don't be MEAN when you say it.), I find women often over-explain and, as Sandberg notes, use self-doubt as self-defense. Sandberg details how that shows up at top levels. Since most people at top levels seem intent on cultivating a public persona of certainty and perfection, her admissions and observations give rare insight. I am grateful to her for breaking that silence.
SOME GREAT ADVICE
Sandberg offers some great communication advice, explaining that her recommendations come from the fact that women are held to a different/higher standard than men are. Her example of how she negotiated with Zuckerberg had some aspects of taking the fleece from the branches rather than direct confrontation. Sandberg prefaced her request with "of course you realize that you're hiring me to run your deal teams, so you want me to be a good negotiator. This is the only time you and I will ever be on opposite sides of the table." She created and ally as she looked out for herself.
This worked, because it's true. Too often people - and more often women than men to my experience - speak this way when it isn't true. Then it's not communication skill, it's BS. Leaning In as I understand and use the term requires more skill than directness alone.
NOT A WORLD I WOULD WANT TO LIVE IN
I respect Sandberg for what she has done and for sharing with us how she does it. I am grateful to her for addressing gender issues despite it being a great way to put a target on her back. (The "whine and cheese" review title struck me as very uncalled for. Sandberg identifies a discrepancy without playing victim.) However, I also appreciate her defining how she makes it work, in part, because if I were to be jealous at all of her "privilege," seeing how consuming it is for her erases any of that.
LEANING IN TO PATRIMALARKEY
I agree with Sandberg that more women leaders would be a positive step forward. I also believe that change doesn't just come from the top. Now that there are more women in the workforce than men, I do believe and see that a more feminine style of being is infiltrating the workplace. So while learning and adopting from men an women who model masculine ways of doing things, it's becoming safer to be true to more feminine aspects of our natures. I'm talking about creativity and adaptability and inclusiveness to name a few aspects. I invite you to notice if the term "feminine" equates with weak in your mind. It doesn't in mine. It equates with balance for the over-dominance of masculine principles in our culture. I like to call that Patrimalarkey. (I don't advocate Matirmalarkey either.)
CREATING A NEW GAME
I like the reviews that note that many women (and balanced men) create their own games rather than play the games men have created that suit unbalanced masculine natures to the exclusion of the more feminine values and approaches. I remember advice someone once gave me - it's not my job to beat my head against or tear down the structures around me. It's to create new structures that respect the people in them - including myself.
The bottom line for me is the need for balance and the ability to be and communicate who we are. A world where we don't have to pretend we don't care when we do, where we don't have to pretend we don't know what we know, and where we don't have to pretend we want what we want. A world where women don't feel the need to be sword-wielding alpha males, and men don't feel a need to tiptoe around women who use doubt as self-defense. A world where the systems respect the people in them. My personal world is quite balanced, and this book will help me make some tweaks.
There's a time to confront and wield the sword. There is a time to lean in. The skilled among us can do either, as the situation requires. The wise among us find or create worlds where we can live with and be ourselves with how much of either we are called to practice.
Sandberg's world is too driven for my nature, but it works well for her, and I applaud that. Sandberg offers some great tips on how to navigate the work world as it is. She shares her humanity in ways few at her level do. It's a worthwhile read.