Lean In
Lean In

Lean In

Research backs up this “fake it till you feel it” strategy. One study found that when people assumed a high-power pose (for example, taking up space by spreading their limbs) for just two minutes, their dominance hormone levels (testosterone) went up and their stress hormone levels (cortisol) went down. As a result, they felt more powerful and in charge and showed a greater tolerance for risk. A simple change in posture led to a significant change in attitude. (Location 507)

Tags: confidence

Note: A change in posture can lead to a change in attitude

Padmasree Warrior, Cisco’s chief technology officer, was asked by The Huffington Post, “What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from a mistake you’ve made in the past?” She responded, “I said no to a lot of opportunities when I was just starting out because I thought, ‘That’s not what my degree is in’ or ‘I don’t know about that domain.’ In retrospect, at a certain point it’s your ability to learn quickly and contribute quickly that matters. One of the things I tell people these days is that there is no perfect fit when you’re looking for the next big thing to do. You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around. The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.”13 Virginia Rometty, (Location 528)

Tags: learning

Note: The ability to learn is the most important quality of a leader

In August 2011, Forbes put out its annual World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list.15 I’m savvy enough to know that the list wasn’t based on a scientific formula and that magazines love these features because they generate lots of page views as readers click through each name. (Location 557)

Tags: media

Note: Media love lists as they generate many pageviews

Yet while students respected both Heidi and Howard, Howard came across as a more appealing colleague. Heidi, on the other hand, was seen as selfish and not “the type of person you would want to hire or work for.” The same data with a single difference—gender—created vastly different impressions. This experiment supports what research has already clearly shown: success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women.3 When a man is successful, he is liked by both men and women. When a woman is successful, people of both genders like her less. This truth is both shocking and unsurprising: shocking because no one would ever admit to stereotyping on the basis of gender and unsurprising because clearly we do. (Location 589)

Note: When a woman is successful people of both genders like her less

Eric responded with perhaps the best piece of career advice that I have ever heard. He covered my spreadsheet with his hand and told me not to be an idiot (also a great piece of advice). Then he explained that only one criterion mattered when picking a job—fast growth. When companies grow quickly, there are more things to do than there are people to do them. When companies grow more slowly or stop growing, there is less to do and too many people to not be doing them. Politics and stagnation set in, and everyone falters. He told me, “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.” I made up my mind that instant. Google was tiny and disorganized, but it was a rocket ship. And even more important to me, it was a rocket ship with a mission I believed in deeply. (Location 863)

Tags: career

Note: The most important criteria when picking a job is the rate of growth. There are more opportunities in fast growing companies

Lori, who wisely focused on solving Facebook’s recruiting problem before focusing on herself. This is not just thinking communally—the expected and often smart choice for a woman—but simply good business. (Location 878)

Tags: career

Note: Ask what business problem you can solve

Women need to shift from thinking “I’m not ready to do that” to thinking “I want to do that—and I’ll learn by doing it.” (Location 931)

Note: Women should apply for roles in which they are not fully qualified and have faith that they can learn the necessary skills on the job

Taking risks, choosing growth, challenging ourselves, and asking for promotions (with smiles on our faces, of course) are all important elements of managing a career. One of my favorite quotes comes from author Alice Walker, who observed, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” (Location 943)

Tags: career

Note: Challenge yourself and choose growth

Leading with a vague question such as, “What is Facebook’s culture like?” shows more ignorance than interest in the company, since there are hundreds of articles that provide this answer. (Location 1023)

Note: Ask relevant questions which show you have researched the topic!

“How can I do better?” “What am I doing that I don’t know?” “What am I not doing that I don’t see?” These questions can lead to so many benefits. And believe me, the truth hurts. Even when I have solicited feedback, any judgment can feel harsh. But the upside of painful knowledge is so much greater than the downside of blissful ignorance. (Location 1227)

Tags: feedback

Note: Constantly seek feedback on how you can improve

“HAVING IT ALL.” Perhaps the greatest trap ever set for women was the coining of this phrase. Bandied about in speeches, headlines, and articles, these three little words are intended to be aspirational but instead make all of us feel like we have fallen short. I have never met a woman, or man, who has stated emphatically, “Yes, I have it all.” Because no matter what any of us has—and how grateful we are for what we have—no one has it all. (Location 1800)

Note: Nobody has it all

A few years before I became a mother, I spoke on a women’s panel for a local business group in Palo Alto. One of the other panelists, an executive with two children, was asked the (inevitable) question about how she balances her work and her children. She started her response by saying, “I probably shouldn’t admit this publicly . . . ,” and then she confessed that she put her children to sleep in their school clothes to save fifteen precious minutes every morning. At the time, I thought to myself, Yup, she should not have admitted that publicly. (Location 1841)

Tags: anecdote

Note: Comical efficiency

“Done is better than perfect.” I have tried to embrace this motto and let go of unattainable standards. Aiming for perfection causes frustration at best and paralysis at worst. (Location 1868)

Tags: quotes, execution

Note: .execution

I was extremely fortunate that early in my career I was warned about the perils of trying to do it all by someone I deeply admired. Larry Kanarek managed the Washington, D.C., office of McKinsey & Company where I interned in 1994. One day, Larry gathered everyone together for a talk. He explained that since he was running the office, employees came to him when they wanted to quit. Over time, he noticed that people quit for one reason only: they were burnt out, tired of working long hours and traveling. Larry said he could understand the complaint, but what he could not understand was that all the people who quit—every single one—had unused vacation time. Up until the day they left, they did everything McKinsey asked of them before deciding that it was too much. Larry implored us to exert more control over our careers. He said McKinsey would never stop making demands on our time, so it was up to us to decide what we were willing to do. It was our responsibility to draw the line. We needed to determine how many hours we were willing to work in a day and how many nights we were willing to travel. If later on, the job did not work out, we would know that we had tried on our own terms. Counterintuitively, long-term success at work often depends on not trying to meet every demand placed on us. The best way to make room for both life and career is to make choices deliberately—to set limits and stick to them. (Location 1873)

Tags: anecdote

Note: Exert control on your career and set the boundaries.

I am paying them for the quality of their work, not for the hours they work. (Location 1955)

Tags: outcome, favorite, work

Note: Pay employees for the quality of their work, not the number of hours they work

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” (Location 2344)

Tags: leadership

Note: .leadership

Currently, only 24 percent of women in the United States say that they consider themselves feminists. Yet when offered a more specific definition of feminism—“A feminist is someone who believes in social, political, and economic equality of the sexes”—the percentage of women who agree rises to 65 percent.16 That’s a big move in the right direction. (Location 2358)

Tags: feminism

Note: .feminism

Today, despite all of the gains we have made, neither men nor women have real choice. Until women have supportive employers and colleagues as well as partners who share family responsibilities, they don’t have real choice. And until men are fully respected for contributing inside the home, they don’t have real choice either. Equal opportunity is not equal unless everyone receives the encouragement that makes seizing those opportunities possible. Only then can both men and women achieve their full potential. (Location 2374)

Tags: feminism

Queen bees internalized the low status of women and in order to feel worthy themselves wanted only to associate with men. Often, these queen bees were rewarded for maintaining the status quo and not promoting other women.10 Unfortunately, this “there can be only one” attitude still lingers today. It makes no sense for women to feel that we are competing against one another anymore, but some still do. (Location 2431)

mommy wars are so bitter because both groups’ identities are at stake because of another clash of social ideals: The ideal worker is defined as someone always available for work, and the ‘good mother’ is defined as always available to her children. So ideal-worker women need to prove that, although they weren’t always there, their children are fine, fine, fine. . . Women who have rejected the ideal-worker norm and settled for a slower career (or no career) need to prove that their compromise was necessary for the good of their families. (Location 2480)

Tags: feminism

Note: Women who stay at home and those who choose career advancement have contrasting views and are often at odds

Professor Williams is absolutely right. One of the conflicts inherent in having choice is that we all make different ones. There is always an opportunity cost, and I don’t know any woman who feels comfortable with all her decisions. As a result, we inadvertently hold that discomfort against those who remind us of the path not taken. Guilt and insecurity make us second-guess ourselves and, in turn, resent one another. (Location 2485)

Note: Women may feel discomfort with some of their choices and hold that discomfort against those who have selected an alternative path

Too many work standards remain inflexible and unfair, often penalizing women with children. Too many talented women try their hardest to reach the top and bump up against systemic barriers. So many others pull back because they do not think they have a choice. All of this brings me back to Leymah Gbowee’s insistence that we need more women in power. When leadership insists that these policies change, they will. Google put in pregnancy parking when I asked for it and it remains there long after I left. We must raise both the ceiling and the floor. (Location 2529)

Note: Work practices are often inflexible and thus.difficult for women with children