Lean In (Sheryl Sandberg, 2013)
Dawn V. Slayton, CAP-OM
IAAP Austin Chapter
August 27, 2013
What would you
do if you weren’t
before you leave
Sit at the table
not a ladder
Margaret Thatcher embodied the
‘lean in’ culture
(Oct1925 – Apr 2013)
Fear limits us.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
What would you do if you weren’t afraid
During the same years that our careers demanded maximum time
investment, our biology demanded that we have children
Today girls are the first to know that all that opportunity does not
necessarily translate into professional achievement
Girls watch their mothers try to do it all and then decide that something
had to give - their careers
Raise your hand and speak when called on is a behavior rewarded in
school but less valued in the workplace.
Career progression often depends upon taking risks an advocating for
oneself; traits that girls are discouraged from exhibiting.
More men than women aspire to the senior jobs.
Recent survey of millennials found that women were just as likely to
describe themselves as ambitious as men; less likely to characterize
themselves as leaders, visionaries, self confident, and will to take risks
Fear is at the root of so many of the barriers that women face. Without
fear women can pursue professional success and personal fulfillment.
Lack of confidence
can become a self
Sit at the table
Sit at the table
Women have every right to be at the meeting but because of the
their seating choice, they seemed like spectators rather than
participants; they should sit at the table without an invitation.
An internal barrier can alter women’s behavior; women face a
battle from within.
Insecurities draw women to the sidelines.
Feel fraudulent for their accomplishments. Feel undeserved and
Despite being high achievers, even experts in their fields, women
cant shake the sense it is only a matter of time they are found out
for who they are – imposters with limited skills or abilities.
Phenomenon of capable people being plagued by self-doubt – the
imposter syndrome. Women tend to experience it more intensely
and be more limited by it; although both men and women are
Success and Likeability
◦ Positive for men
◦ Success liked by both men and women
◦ Negative for women
◦ Success people of both genders like her less
Shocking because no one would ever admit to gender stereotyping
Surprising because clearly we do
Downside for achievement is punishment for success
◦ Woman acts forcefully or competitively
◦ Pushes to get the job done
◦ Focuses on results rather than pleasing others
Self-doubt becomes a form of self-defense (Ken Auletta, Author The
Always improve by
learning new skills
It’s a jungle gym not a ladder
Jungle gym not a ladder
People usually focus on finding the right role for themselves with
implication that their skills will help the company
Most common metaphor for careers is a ladder but this concept
no longer applies to most workers.
◦ Ladders are limiting: up / down; on / off
◦ Jungle gym is creative exploration; start careers; switch careers; getting blocked
by external barriers; re-entering workforce after taking time off; ability to forge
As of 2010
◦ Average American had 11 jobs from 18 – 42y
◦ Joining organization / corporation staying climbing that ladder are gone.
◦ Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.
Two concurrent goals
◦ Long term dream
Reflect desire to work in particular field
Travel throughout world
Amount of free time
◦ 18-month plan
Set more personal goals for learning new skills; always improve
Jungle gym not a ladder (cont.)
Professionals can miss out on great opportunities by focusing too
much on career levels
Women need to be more open to taking risks in their careers
External pressures force women to play it safe and stay put
Reason women avoid stretch assignments and new challenges si
that they worry too much about whether they currently have skills
they need for the new role
HP report revealed
◦ 100% criteria requirements – women apply
◦ 60% criteria requirements – men apply
Women shift thinking from “I’m not ready” to “I want to do and I’ll
learn by doing it”
Important elements managing career requires: taking risks; choosing
growth; challenging ourselves; asking for promotions
People give up their power by thinking they don’t have any (Alice
Don’t leave before you leave
Chose; trade offs
Professional v Personal Goals; Marriage v Career
Would never recommend that every woman lean in regardless of
Personal choices are not always as personal as they seem.
◦ Influences: social conventions, peer pressure, familial expectations
Women hear inner voice. Struggle with decision.
Keep a foot on the gas pedal until a decision must be made.
Myth of doing it all
Having it all
◦ Intended to be inspirational but make us feel like we have fallen short
Can we have it all? Can we do it all? Answer: NO
Choices – adjustments – compromises – sacrifices
◦ Work / family
◦ Exercise / relax
◦ Time with others / time for ourselves
◦ Focus on what really matters
Aim for the sky but keep in mind that we all have real limits
Be paid for the quality of work not the hours (Colin Powell)
Done is better than perfect (Facebook motto)
THE POWER OF HABIT
Charles Duhigg, 2012
In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter
Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries
that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With
penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of
information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole
new understanding of human nature and its potential for
Susan Cain, 2013
the Quiet Revolution
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate
and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks,
Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.
In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts
the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our
culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude
after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly
researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts
and, equally important, how they see themselves.
Carol Dweck, Ph.D.,
it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success–but whether we approach
them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and
ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually
jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them
to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals–personal and professional.
Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know:
how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that
is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.
Chip Heath & Dan Heath, 2013
How can we stop the cycle of agonizing over our decisions? How can we make
group decisions without destructive politics? And how can we ensure that we don’t
overlook precious opportunities to change our course?
Decisive is the Heath brothers’ most powerful—and important—book yet,
offering fresh strategies and practical tools enabling us to make better choices.
Because the right decision, at the right moment, can make all the difference.
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