I've been trying to keep up with a bit of a bookshelf here on my blog but since I started working again and have been trying to establish myself in Auckland, my reading has fallen down the list of things to do. I haven't read a really good book in a while so when I think of a book that I love, I can't help but think about Lean In. I have probably told two dozen women about it since I read it, maybe more. Great part about it - my Dad picked it out for me. And I loved every part of it. I really should read it again.
Written by author Sheryl Sandberg, its a book recounting the things she's learned about the corporate world while climbing her way to the top. Every chapter is a lesson that everyone, not just women, should heed. Whether you agree or disagree with her approach, it's worth considering it. She admits that climbing the ladder has been easier in some ways for her than it will be for others. For instance, she has had the financial means and a supportive husband that enabled her to go back to work almost immediately after having her children. Is that the right choice or even possible for everyone? No. She doesn't suggest that it is. It's what she decided to do and she's sharing that story with others. If someone takes from it that they'd rather not follow the same path, that's fine by her too.
One of the best lessons she talks about in the book, besides that you should "lean in" until you must lean out, is the need to "sit at the table". I can certainly think of times when I have not been confident in my job or compared to the people around me. I have held back my opinion or my ideas because I wasn't sure if they were right. I have not always sat at the table. I've learned, with the help of Sandberg's book, that at minimum you must "sit at the table" - figuratively and literally. You must take part in the conversation. You must step up and try. You must sit at the table.