Leaning In Requires Sacrifices

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, a bestseller by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, is the tech icon’s “feminist manifesto,” one she hopes will end a 10-year stall for women in top positions, as well as change stereotypes. Perhaps incidentally, the book comes out in the 50th anniversary year of Betty Friedan’s book, The Feminine Mystique.

Sandberg is highly respected in Silicon Valley, and she’s very direct about the state of American women in upper management.  She raises a question why women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that affect our lives.

Though some critics have called her an elitist giving advice that is not relevant to most women, some of her suggestions are pertinent to everyone. She advises women to stop trying to “have it all.” Being a working parent means making adjustments, compromises and sacrifices every day.

During her first weeks at Facebook, she followed  Mark Zuckerberg’s practice of working into the night. In doing so, she gave up several dinners with her kids. She later decided to leave at 5:30 PM every day, no matter how important project she was working on. She discovered that she could, and her work didn’t suffer.

Sheryl Sandberg believes that when a woman excels, she may be viewed as too aggressive or not a team player, while men who behave in the same way are considered to be good leaders.

It has definitely been challenging to balance parenting three children and a career, but I meet amazing women who are not afraid to take on this challenge, every day. In addition, I am raising a daughter who believes that women can excel at anything and become effective leaders.


How to Keep Your Cool When Trouble is All Around

When crisis strikes, stay cool and stay on your toes – Stay Frosty.

That is the first of four steps to surviving a crisis from author Jim Moorehead, an attorney and co-founder of a crisis management practice at a Washington law firm.  Moorehead has written the Instant Survivor: Right Ways to Respond When Things Go Wrong.

In times of trouble or in times when trouble turns into a crisis, you must resolve to survive and you need to have a cool head. Check your emotions at the door and face the facts. Moorehead advises people to bravely diagnose exactly what the problem is. The first step is to write the problem down. It helps you to get away from your first, emotional reaction, which is: Why is this happening to me?

Moorehead advises readers to dissect the problem, asking themselves which parts they own and can control.  He gives the example of a person whose spouse leaves them. They don’t own the spouse. They can’t control what the spouse does but the crisis the abandoned spouse faces is likely to leak into many areas.  “Crises don’t obey boundaries,” Moorehead writes.

“Without help,” he says, “there are too many crises, too few full-fledged survivors, and an expanding population of walking wounded on the professional and personal fronts.” Moorehead draws on firsthand accounts and anecdotes to inspire and encourage his audience.

Here are four action steps to help any individual prevent and tackle life’s hard and soft crisis in an organization:

STAY FROSTY: Remain calm and focused when a crisis begins
SECURE SUPPORT: Tap into your network of personal and professional contacts
STAND TALL: Take full charge of your response
SAVE YOUR FUTURE: Prepare for post-crisis success.