After finishing Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s new book Lean In, I was surprised by the disconnect with some of the early criticism I had read. I actually thought Sandberg wrote a lot about her personal life and greatly appreciated her experience and co-workers at Google. She also clearly admitted she is in a place of privilege. I don’t understand why people think that invalidates her from advising women about what is possible in their career. Obviously, not every woman will achieve what she has achieved. But neither will every man. I have to wonder if those reviewers just read other reviews by reviewers who only lightly skimmed the book.
Lean In also has a lot to offer to male readers. In addition to advice to men in senior positions on how to ensure women and men have equal opportunities, there’s just a lot of great career advice that applies to most everyone.
I had initially wondered about the amazing detail of the footnotes and how she had time to do that much research. Then I discovered, as I should have expected, that she had a lead researcher. However, Sandberg did provide very detailed acknowledgements giving credit where credit was due. And I think her presentations and Q&A sessions show that she’s not just putting her name on someone else’s work.