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Posts tagged ‘leaning in’

Just too tired to lean in

A leader I used to work for once told me “it’s always hottest on the nose cone of the rocket”.  Her point was that when you lead, and especially when you’re driving big change, you will have to learn to tolerate the friction created by critics and naysayers.  It was her way of coaching me to continue leading, and to expect that breaking through obstacles wouldn’t happen without discomfort.

I’ve been thinking about that this week as the firestorm has grown around Sheryl Sandberg’s new book  Leaning In, a call to action to women about what it takes to achieve success at work.  Like the Marissa-Mayer-Yahoo-Telecommuting tempest of the last few weeks, the feedback seems to be particularly pointed because she’s a woman, and a successful one at that.   Women like Marissa and Sheryl have broken through the glass ceiling, and are both no doubt accustomed to picking the shards of glass out of their hides.  They have to have juggled competing priorities all the way to the top.  That they’ve been spectacularly successful doing so is clear.

Timothy Leary famously encouraged my generation to “turn on, tune in, drop out”.  Ironically, we female boomers not only didn’t drop out, we charged into the workplace body and soul and many burned out on the nose cone of that rocket.  Some of the critical backlash aimed at Marissa and Sheryl comes from the legions of exhausted women who –  juggling childcare, elder care, housework, volunteerism, schoolwork and their partners – resent the implication that they just aren’t trying hard enough.  They expect Sheryl and Marissa to know better.

Read on to hear what journalists and bloggers have to say

Why you should “lean in” to Sheryl Sandberg’s new book:

Maybe You Should Read the Book:

What Your reaction to Powerful Female Executive Says About You:

Sheryl Sandberg Isn’t the Perfect Feminist, so what?

And a great guest post from our own Laura Souza:  @LSouz: Leaning…Out via @WF_Institute

Also on our radar this week:

The wage gap is getting worse:

What’s the role of cloud in work-from home?

Should Gen Y have their parents in their performance reviews?

Does FMLA work?

The Real Women’s Issue: Time

RT @mikewcassidy: Great article on the #ROI of #Cloud across the Enterprise.

Want to Retain Employees? Ask ‘What Would It Take to Make You Leave?’ via @TLNT_com

‘I’m Outta Here!’ Why 2 Million Americans Quit Every Month (And 5 Steps to Turn the Epidemic Around) via @Forbes

RT @SteveBoese: Taking his talents to technology: More on the Danger of Hiring for ‘Fit’

8 Rules to Make Telecommuting Work via @Inc

How Businesses Can Address Severe Weather In The Workplace via @Forbes

Do You Listen to Your Employees? via @nytimes

Finding a Problem and Fixing a Problem Aren’t the Same Thing via @hrbartender

#HREOnline: The Cost of #ACA Compliance via @HRExecMag

Office Oasis: When The Workplace Doubles As A Space To Unwind via @HealthyLiving

Taking Your Pulse: You Need Data to Test How Company Culture Is Doing via @TLNT_com

RT @williamtincup: RT 97% of Employers Have No Plans to Eliminate Telecommuting a la Yahoo! & Best Buy @EntryLevelJob

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@williamtincup, Complexity, and Grown Up Pants via @WF_Institute

Are you ready for spring? Today’s Time Well Spent #cartoon is very fitting:

RT @SmarterCafe: When I went to #SXSW, we didn’t have Google Shoes.

10 Ways to Cut Costs Without Cutting Jobs via @simonmacpherson @KronosUK

RT @SmarterCafe: Screwing with dinosaur DNA is not for the meek. #SaaS

RT @SmarterCafe: Is #Skynet coming as the cloud-based robot brain, #Rapyuta? Related: are there clowns in the cloud?

#Kronos Survey Reveals #Dining Industry’s Urgent Workforce Management Priorities:

#KronosLive 2013: You’re invited to a FREE local customer event! Register now:

March 21 Webinar: Are you using #BigData to build a more productive workforce?

Pay or play? Determining your company’s best solution to the #AffordableCareAct #ACA:

#LEAN labor principles turn #BIGDATA into operational efficiency. Learn how:

@transavia Selects #Kronos AD OPT to Optimize Crew Rostering

Registration is NOW OPEN for #KronosWorks13 in #Orlando! Register before 5/31 & save $300!

Survey reveals majority of #publicsafety agencies still rely on paper templates for scheduling & more.

Take a Sneak Peek at the Survival Guide for #Manufacturers Facing Global Competition:


Today’s guest post is from my friend and colleague at Kronos, Laura Souza.   Laura, a high performing professional, also has two young daughters at home.  The following is her reaction to the furor over Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, and her reflection on what it means to be deliberate about our work-life choices.  Because climbing the ladder has consequences…

Much has been written in the last month about the launch of Sheryl Sandberg’s new book Lean In. For anyone who has been living under a rock, Sandberg is the COO of Facebook and former executive at Google, a billionaire heavy hitter in male-dominated Silicon Valley.

DISCLAIMER: I have not read Sandberg’s book yet, but in all the coverage of the book that I have read and in the 60 Minutes interview she gave, one point seems to have been entirely missed. It’s not just women who “lean back” from there careers – men do it too. I know this because I was raised by one.

My dad worked, and worked hard, for more than 30 years for what we referred to in our house as, “the phone company” – depending on the year, it was New England Telephone, NYNEX, Bell Atlantic, or Verizon. He commuted 1-2 hours every day into Boston from the suburban town in New Hampshire where we lived and he felt strongly the responsibility of providing for his family. BUT, he was home every night for dinner.

When I was young enough to still have stories read to me at bedtime, it was often my dad who did the reading. My favorite nights were when rather than read he would tell me stories about the fictional character he invented named Bruce Long who was always “embellishing” (a word I learned from my dad around the age of 5) his daily adventures. It would be up to me to determine what Bruce had actually done to inspire his tall tale.

As we got older, my dad still focused on getting home for family dinners. He would ask my brother and me trivia questions, talk to us about politics and sports, tell us about what happened in his day and ask us about ours. After dinner he would help us with our homework, or, in the summers when we didn’t have homework, he’d often take us outside to, somewhat competitively I may add, play wiffel ball or basketball or whatever sport we felt like doing.

When my brother and I were in grade school, my dad was offered a big promotion. It would have meant moving to White Plains NY. Ultimately, he and my mom decided that they didn’t want to uproot their family and their kids, and so my dad turned down the promotion in order to provide more stability for us. He wasn’t bitter about it and my brother and I never really knew the details until we were much older. In my dad’s mind, choosing the happiness of his kids over the advancement of his career was just part of being a good dad.

When I was in high school, my dad started working from a regional office in Manchester NH one or two days a week. It gave him a break from commuting, but more importantly to him, it also meant that he was able to attend the sporting events that my brother and I were involved in. He was often one of the few dads watching.

There’s no doubt in my mind that my dad could have risen higher in his organization and probably made more money, if he “leaned in” to his career more. But what would he have missed?

Australian palliative nurse Bonnie Ware, in a social media post that went viral about a year ago, revealed the top 5 regrets of the dying and number 2 on the list was “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.” Noted Ware, “This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

And that, for me, is the bottom line about leaning in – for men and women. I agree that we need more women in leadership positions at every level of society and I am incredibly grateful to those women who strive for and achieve those positions. They are doing important work. But I don’t envy them. I always think that maybe someday when my children are grown (they are right now 2 and ½ and 4) I’ll log more hours in the office, or look to get involved in more causes, or pursue membership on a corporate board. But for now, I want to be there to hear about what happened at preschool, volunteer in their classrooms, eat dinner as a family, and put them to bed – just like my mom – and my dad – did for me.

What choices have you made about career vs. life?