Friday, March 29, 2013

This "leaning in" business :)

I had a coffee yesterday with my ex-boss who, on the 8th will be my ex ex-boss :) Only four working days left in the current role!

As we do, we got onto subjects about things I've read around the internet.

So I asked him what he thinks of all these Leaning In blog posts and he didn't know what I was talking about.

"ooohhhh, you're a man" I said :)

Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook. I think it's awesome and if she can make that kind of powerful position work together with being a wife and mother (no matter HOW she does it), more power to her.

I personally love my relaxation time too much to make the same choices but she's doing it and doing it well.

The thing I never get about women is how we like to tear one another down.

What is the deal with that?

It's madness.

So she's written this book called Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. I haven't read it yet because at the moment the Kindle price is still too high (my money boundary is $10) but I'm so insanely curious I might just "splurge" (not be cheap) and get it.

All over the internets I'm seeing both sides - people liking her message and people tearing her down because she's rich and she can afford nannies. Um, what? My life's work is about making things work easier for people. For you. And if you have the money to pay to make your life easier, then USE it.

Yet... other women are jealous and I've seen some of that "she's not a real mother" business happening which is SO old, I wish people would give it a rest already!


In an effort both to share things you might not have seen around the internet and for me to pull it all together in one place, here are my favourite posts about this Sheryl Sandberg/ Leaning In business.

Watch this video - Sheryl's TED talk in 2010 - we need to discuss point two some more on this blog about male/ female household tasks :) :)

Leaning in: my 2 cents and 2 quibbles

Sit at the table

10 things Sheryl Sandberg gets exactly right in Lean In

Working from Home, Leaning In and All That Jazz

And of course, Brazen Careerist's take on things (I don't agree with what she says about SS and her kids but I do like what she says about most of us in corporates not being able to live that life)

Which is exactly what I've been thinking about a lot lately.

I always assumed early on in my career that my career path was up, up and up some more. But now it's very obvious - I'm sooo not cut out for senior management (exco) but that does leave me wondering where I'm likely to end up.

I'm a strange paradox - ambitious but I also like work/ life balance. I suppose I work hard and play hard :)

I'm a bit hesitant to even voice these thoughts aloud.

Do you think about these things? Where you'll be in the world at, say, age 50... 55.... 60.... 65?

In the interview for the job I start in April, I'll be team member 8. The manager's been there for 2.5 years. The average length of time worked for the current team members is about 6 months. 6 months!

He said the turnover is about 2 years...or sooner.

So something I have to think about is a next move and I honestly don't know where that will be or what that will look like. I do know this experience will be very good for me.

Anyway, this article on not wanting to be the CEO really talks to me. Anyone relate?

So, dare I ask?

What do you think about this leaning in business?

Are you senior management material?  


  1. I don't know anything about the leaning business (other than what you wrote here). I'm definitely not senior management material at the moment...and I'm completely okay with that. Right now I need a lot of flexibility for Nicola, and the easiest way for me to have it is to fly under the radar and do way less than I'm capable of. It's my intention to be mostly available exclusively for her till she at least has those formative years behind her...and can you believe we're half way through them already?! Eep! Maybe after that I can up my work game again, who knows? All I can say is, you reap what you sow. I'd much rather have a great relationship with my daughter than impress strangers at the office.

  2. I am senior management material. I was kissing the VP title before the girls were born.

    But...these past four years have made me I *want* to be in senior management?

    Of course it's all an exercise on paper right now, but I feel confident in saying that, if being in senior management means I have to de-prioritize family time, I don't think I want to be.

    These past four years have shown me that I am more than my title and my job. I have a much better sense for my intrinsic motivation, and I am so very grateful to have gotten this perspective. I'm not sure I ever would have gotten there without being able to step away from the rat race and get to know "me" as an adult.

    I want to read that book, too! I'm heading to the bookstore card in hand...we'll see if I choose that. ;)

    Great post, Marcia!!!

  3. I hadn't heard about this until now - I briefly read the links you posted to get an idea :)

    What stuck with me was the 3 reasons outlined in the Sit at the Table post. I agree with all of those reasons. What hits home for me was the "They need to make their partners true partners by asking spouses to take on more home/child responsibilities," - in my circle of friends we do not do this BUT we like to moan about how little they do. (I am busy changing this though"

    Having said that I am NOT any sort of management material at all. I did it for a while and I hated it. HATED EVERY SINGLE SECOND of it. I am actually rather good at it and D often says he needs to hire me to consult for him because the stuff I suggest works :-p But I had no desire to climb the corporate lady at all. Maybe if it was a different environment? Not really sure - I just don't have the drive for it.

    And to be honest - I love where I am right now. I love being at home with the kids.

    I have huge respect for women like her though, who do make it work and do not apologise for it - they shouldn't have to.

  4. When I was young I considered myself to be very ambitious. Then I ended up getting married and being a stay at home mom for 5 years. I started my career in insurance with a vengeance and soon found out it is a man's world. I did all the work of a superintendent but then a man was appointed and I had "to train him to do his job". It sucked and I was disillusioned. Then the chance came around to adopt my daughter, I jumped at it and immediately approached my boss to have a "mornings only" job. Then our ministry came up and I was back to working full time. Now...I can't wait to start scaling down and having more me time.

  5. Im a big fishin a smallpond and it works for me. Management in big business though would not. And I used to be very ambitious, but kids change things to some extend, especially rwins.

  6. I don't know if I'm senior management material - have never been given a chance. I think I would be fine, but then I don't know. I don't do well at the games and the politics so I think I may actually be out of my depth. I think it's cool that women are ambitious and if you can manage that work/life balance and afford the help then that's fantastic. I admire women who work hard and who are self made. I don't know why women are so jealous of one another - I think it's always been like that. On the other hand, many of the ambitious career women types are also very judgemental towards the SAHMs and those who choose differently so it really is that way on both sides of the equation.
    To be honest, I never had these huge, ambitious career dreams for myself. I always just wanted to be fulfilled and happy in whatever I did. In all my dreams I wear colourful outfits to work and my hair is wild. That should tell you that corporate senior management is not in my make-up?
    My most favourite job ever was in a now-defunct NPO. I LOVED it and I felt part of something so much bigger. I cried when they closed down (their funding dried up) and yet, I am sooooo open to working in another NPO. They have all the benefits without any of the corporate BS. Mind you, I never ever dreamed about having kids either but look what happened there!


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