Lean in by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In is a book written by Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg. Sheryl is the also the founder of Leanin.org. This is her take on Women, Work and the Will to Lead.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.

“As a participant in Lean In’s Circle program, Side Hustle Singapore is
using Lean In’s name, program logos and other branded materials under
a license from LeanIn.Org.
Side Hustle Singapore is an independent
group, and LeanIn.Org does not control its activities. Visit leanin.org to
learn more about Lean In and its programs.”

I have summarized the key points that Sheryl Sandberg has touched on in her book, Lean In.

1. Sit at the table

– literally

– don’t sit away from the board room table. Be at the table. 

2. Advocate on your own behalf. Point out your contributions and be recognized and rewarded for them. 

3. Set a concurrent 18 months and long term goal

– what are you gonna achieve in the next 18 months 

– personal goals for learning new skills

4. When it comes to Career choice – choose one where there is potential for growth

5. Look for stretch assignments and take on high visibility projects

6. Apply for a job even if you meet 60% of the requirements

– most skills are learnt on the job

7. Don’t leave before you leave. Don’t let pregnancy and children hold you back. 

8. Make your partner a real partner

– get your partner to share in the housework load

9. Know that you can’t do it all. 

– Be open and make requests from your partner and boss


There are opponents against this “lean in” notion, notably the most outspoken one, Michelle Obama. She has infamously mentioned “that s*** doesn’t work all the time” as Sandberg has failed to consider the bias against women of colour. Also, Sandberg suggested that it is up to women to fix their own problem and none from the institutions and society’s.

Nonetheless, it is a good read as it shows that we women can empower ourselves and be the change rather than wait for society to change for us. What we can do now is to build a more equal society for the future generations.

Side Note:

Lean In is also a global community dedicated to helping women achieve their ambitions. There are various lean-in circles for you to join at a local level. It is one of the methods which I wrote in my previous article on How to Avoid Getting Retrenched.

As of the time of writing, there are over 3000 members and 90 circles in Singapore alone. Circles serve as a community of like minded women who meet regularly to learn new skills, network and encourage each other.

Those who are interested to be a volunteer with Lean In can sign up for the Lean In Volunteer Program in Singapore. Positions include Marcomms, Graphic Designers, Web Developers and Photographers/ Videographers.

Lean In

Everyday Investing in You is inviting members to join in the Side Hustle Singapore Lean In group. This group is targeted at working professionals who are side hustling. This group serves as a motivation for one another to push on and also to share any resources.

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