My first impression of the book was...what type of feminist manifesto-stuff did I pick up. In the opening pages it mentions the idea, but it clear that is not the case. I quickly discovered Lean In encourages all readers to become better leaders, employees, and parents.
Here are my Top 10 + 1 Takeaways:
Takeaway 1: Sandberg discusses gender equality…and the concept of imposter syndrome. Early in the book, she acknowledges the things that could be worse should not stop us from trying to make them better. The promise of equality is not the same as true equality.
Takeaway 2: I love this concept…. Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder. A survey in 2010 found that the average American had 11 jobs from the time they were 18-46.
Takeaway 3: Success is making the best choices we can…and accepting them. Do the best you can with what you’ve got.
Takeaway 4: Done is better than PERFECT.
Takeaway 5: It is impossible to control all the variables when it comes to parenting. Set obtainable goals.
Takeaway 6: Don’t be afraid to ask, even if it seems like a long shot. Every job will demand a sacrifice. The key is to avoid unnecessary sacrifice. This is extremely hard because our society values complete dedication.
Takeaway 7: In the current business model, we are told to fit in versus disrupting the status quo.
Takeaway 8: The simple act of talking openly about behavioral patterns makes the subconscious conscious.
Takeaway 9: All of us---men and women alike---have to understand and acknowledge how stereotypes and biases cloud our beliefs and perpetuate the status quo. Instead of ignoring our differences, we need to accept and transcend them.
Takeaway 10: Equal opportunity is not equal unless everyone receives encouragement that makes seizing those opportunities possible. Only then can both men and women achieve their full potential.
PLUS 1--- Fear often paralyzes us... What would you like to do if you weren’t afraid? And then go do it.
Listen to the Books Travel Life Podcast discussion the book:
The Flyers: In Search of Wilbur & Orville Wright by. Noah Adams traces the Wright Brothers journey to Kitty Hawk, NC and beyond in their quest to conquer human flight.
The Wright Brothers weren't engineers like most of the men attempting to become the first men to fly. The book shares their trials as well as triumphs as they went from bicycle building to aircraft construction. Adams discusses the initial journey to the Outer Banks as Wilbur and Orville were looking for an ideal place to take the first flight. In fact, Adams took the same journey by boat to Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk.
Adams cites historical sources as well as personal letters and telegrams sent between the Wright Brothers with their sister Katherine and their father. After their early flights, Wilbur and Orville consulted throughout the United States and Europe. In fact, Wilbur was flying in Le Mans, France when he received word of Orville's crash at Fort Myer, which killed Tom Selfridge. Selfridge was a West Point graduate.
The brothers continued to win contracts and train other pilots throughout the world. Despite the awards and records, they didn't allow their success to distract them from improving their aircraft and training others.
Adams concludes the book looking at the last few years of Orville's life. He discusses Orville distancing himself from his sister Katherine as she married at age 52. Orville refused to go to the wedding and had nothing to do with his sister after her marriage. He eventually visits her on her death bed.
I found it interesting the Wright Brothers were all about business and not about themselves. They wanted to succeed in teaching others the skills to fly and to make it safer. Their personality and selfless dedication makes them true American heroes.
Start Something That Matters is a beautiful story about the founding of the company TOMS Shoes. The founder Blake Mycoskie documents the journey on taking an idea and turning it into a business. But, he doesn't stop there...he gives back. For every pair of shoes he sells, he gives a pair to a child in need.
Below are my Top 5 Takeaways + 1:
1. Stories are powerful! Mycoskie explains in the book that a "good story transcends boundaries, breaks barriers, and opens doors. Facts are important, but story matters." To sell products or your view point it is important to tell that story every opportunity you get.
2. Face your fears! Mycoskie reminds us fear will be with us everyday, but it is important to face it and understand what the true fear is. The truth is we will make mistakes and its OK. As hard as it is, don't worry about what your friends, family members or coworkers think.
3. Imagination trumps money! Just because you lack money and resources doesn't mean you don't start. Mycoskie suggests "bootstrapping" and improvising to pull your plan together. Don't be too comfortable. Take a calculated risk.
4. Keep it simple! Think simple. Mycoskie discussed the Apple product line, specifically the iPod. "Simplicity can apply to an idea, a goal, or a mission."
5. Giving is good business! You've probably heard the old adage, "it's better to give than to receive." Mycoskie stresses the importance of giving early not getting overwhelmed and listen to those you give to. Listening will allow you to truly know a person's needs.
BONUS: The timing is never right!
Mycoskie quotes Tim Ferris who wrote The 4-Hour Workweek, "For all the most important things, the timing always sucks." If you are waiting for the perfect timing, you'll never take a risk and make things happen.
is an English Teacher, Registered Yoga Teacher, writer, journalist, former Scholastic Inc. Blogger, aspiring entrepreneur, and founder of The Writers App.