I know you must be sitting on the edge of your seat, so let’s dish more about Sheryl Sandberg’s highly criticized book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. I wrote a brief post back on March 22 which highlighted points Ms. Sandburg discussed on a TED talk. To recap, the main points were also in the book but let’s touch on them again.
Sit at the table: this is my favorite one of Ms. Sandberg’s points. This simply means that you should not stay invisible. Speak up, ask questions, and share your ideas. And on the occasions where this is done at a physical table, sit at the table and not at one of the chairs against the wall. I have been working with a client who treats herself as unworthy of “sitting at the table” even though on many occasions she is doing the presenting. As we talk through her reasoning, it is plain and simple – she hasn’t given herself permission to be worthy. Instead she has listened to the pessimism of all others who are too scared to sit at the table and over time she has let it apply to herself as well. This person is well versed in her professional arena, has a great pedigree, amazing curiosity and a rare ability to openly welcome and hear everyone’s ideas. Of course no one will tell her to sit at the table if they are too scared to do it themselves. She simply needs to pull out a chair.
Make your partner a true partner: Ok, this one is very hard for me to digest. My husband recently told me about an interview where Michele Obama mistakenly referred to herself as a single mother and then stated that being married to the president is like being a single mother. Duh! Gals, here’s the deal… IF you have a spouse and he happens to resemble June Cleaver that’s just great! But for the remainder of us, creating your life infrastructure as if you were a single mother can be incredibly helpful and freeing. We will talk about the critics who point to lack of money as a barrier to this below. Continue reading