Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

70%

49 Critic Reviews

Though she could have made this volume more preachy and less substantive, Sandberg has achieved the opposite, a book that has a powerful message but that is also full of personal vulnerability and first-hand anecdotes...
-Forbes

Synopsis

Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential. 

Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TEDTalk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.

In Lean In, Sandberg digs deeper into these issues, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. She recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of “having it all.”  She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home. 

Written with both humor and wisdom, Sandberg’s book is an inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth. Lean In is destined to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can.



This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.  

 

About Sheryl Sandberg

See more books from this Author
Sheryl Sandberg is chief operating officer at Facebook. Prior to Facebook, she was vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google and chief of staff at the U.S. Treasury Department. Sheryl lives in Northern California with her husband and their two children.
 
Published March 11, 2013 by Knopf. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, Self Help, Children's Books, History. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Mar 31 2013
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Critic reviews for Lean In
All: 49 | Positive: 34 | Negative: 15

Kirkus

Good
on Jan 14 2013

A compelling case for reforms that support family values in the continuing “march toward true equality.”

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Publishers Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Publisher's Weekly on Jan 21 2013

A new generation of women will learn from Sandberg’s experiences, and those of her own generation will be inspired by this thoughtful and practical book.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER on Mar 07 2013

“Lean In” is full of many such gems, slogans that ambitious women would do well to pin up on their wall.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Mar 06 2013

But “Lean In” will be an influential book. It will open the eyes of women who grew up thinking that feminism was ancient history, who recoil at the word but walk heedlessly through the doors it opened.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Michael Cohen on Mar 14 2013

The Facebook COO's feminist manifesto may be aimed at female readers, but what's remarkable is how much it has to offer men.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Yvonne Roberts on Mar 16 2013

In Lean In, Sandberg shows very little awareness of herself or the ridiculous nature of the system that she so doggedly and determinedly embraces. Her book should carry a toxic warning.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Michael Cohen on Mar 14 2013

Lean In is the beginning of an important and long-overdue conversation in the United States – but it will only be a national conversation, and one that endures, if men do their part and lean in, too.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Zoe Williams on Mar 13 2013

This is not a book about how women can become more equal: this is a book about how women can become more like Sheryl Sandberg. You will be able to decide relatively fast how plausible a goal this is.

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NPR

Below average
Reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on Mar 12 2013

...I dozed off twice while reading it. Most of the book is kind of blah, composed of platitudinous-corporate-speak-intermixed-with-pallid-anecdotes.

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The Economist

Above average
on Mar 16 2013

“Lean In” is a brave book to write...[it] also reads suspiciously like the launching pad for another campaign: her candidacy for political office.

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Entertainment Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Meeta Agrawal on Mar 01 2013

There's already been criticism that Sandberg is preaching from an elite perch, but the whole point is that she wants to pull more women up to sit next to her.

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The Washington Post

Above average
Reviewed by Connie Schultz on Mar 01 2013

For all its imperfections, “Lean In” has the potential to be an important book if a wider range of women than those reflected in its pages start hashing out Sandberg’s best ideas. In our family, and in families across the country, may the conversations begin.

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Huffington Post

Below average
Reviewed by Vanessa Garcia on Jul 19 2013

I rather look a man in the eye than shine his shoes in the hopes that one day he'll be willing to hold my hand and walk with me. No, that simply cannot be our starting point. We must find new ways of illuminating the way.

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Huffington Post

Above average
Reviewed by Kristin van Ogtrop on Apr 02 2013

I don't really want to lean back for long. But I don't want to lean in, either. I know I'm most comfortable standing up straight.

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Huffington Post

Above average
Reviewed by Whitney Johnson on Feb 28 2013

No matter how much we may elevate and admire her—and I very much do—Sheryl Sandberg is not a demigod, free from constraint, impervious to pain.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Above average
Reviewed by Liza Mundy on Mar 08 2013

In a way, the success of her book depends on her central premise turning out to be incorrect; it depends on her underestimating the drive of her audience even as she is playing to it.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Below average
Reviewed by Ann Belser on Mar 17 2013

Most Americans don't have the "choice" to leave work at 5:30 to get home to have dinner with our families. Instead it is a necessity that we leave at 5:30 because childcare ends at 6 and then we have to make dinner for our families.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Good
Reviewed by Barbara Spindel on Mar 08 2013

It's easy to picture women readers applying Sandberg's lesson to their own salary negotiations. Say what you like about the messenger -- that's a message I wouldn't want to lose.

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Slate

Below average
Reviewed by Amanda Hess on Mar 08 2013

Be pleasant. Be aggressive. Cry in the office. Don’t cry. Sheryl Sandberg’s advice in Lean In is totally confusing.

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The Columbus Dispatch

Above average
Reviewed by Barbara Ortutay on Mar 12 2013

A relatively quick read, Lean In doesn’t purport to be the solution to inequality. It deals with issues that Sandberg sees as in women’s control.

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The Daily Beast

Good
Reviewed by Michelle Goldberg on Mar 01 2013

Argue with that premise if you want, but don’t pretend that Sandberg isn’t doing all she can to make it happen.

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Newsday

Good
Reviewed by Marion Winik on Mar 12 2013

Once the critics get out of the way, I think a whole world of Heidis young and old will be eager to hear what she has to say.

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Forbes

Above average
Reviewed by Caroline Howard on Mar 27 2013

Mere mortal women may aspire to be fairy-tale fabulous like Sandberg, but few can expect to lean in the same way.

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Forbes

Good
Reviewed by Susan Adams on Mar 04 2013

Though she could have made this volume more preachy and less substantive, Sandberg has achieved the opposite, a book that has a powerful message but that is also full of personal vulnerability and first-hand anecdotes...

Read Full Review of Lean In: Women, Work, and the... | See more reviews from Forbes

The Washington Post

Below average
Reviewed by Melissa Gira Grant, on Feb 25 2013

We know what Sandberg cannot understand: Women and our social movements do not need a better boss but a more powerful base, from which we can lead on our own terms.

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Chicago Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by Trine Tsouderos on Mar 15 2013

Sandberg made me want to buy a stack of her books and give them to my fellow working mom friends. I want my daughter, who is 7, to read it someday, although I hope these issues are resolved by the time she enters the workforce.

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NY Daily News

Above average
Reviewed by Sherryl Connelly on Mar 11 2013

“Lean In” is a manifesto, one heavily buttressed by credible social science. It has the potential to become either a widespread social program or it could end up contained as a networking organization for elite professionals.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Jan 21 2013

A new generation of women will learn from Sandberg’s experiences, and those of her own generation will be inspired by this thoughtful and practical book.

Read Full Review of Lean In: Women, Work, and the... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

The Big Story

Good
Reviewed by Jessica Gresko on Mar 20 2013

Part of what Sandberg wants to do is start a conversation — and there she's succeeded. Her book is the kind you read, then hand to a friend and say, "OK, now, what do you think?"

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Wired

Good
Reviewed by Alexandra Chang on Mar 11 2013

We may not all enjoy Sandberg-level status or wealth. But so many of us can relate to the challenge of the climb, no matter where we’re trying to get.

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North Jersey

Above average
Reviewed by Jessica Gresko on Mar 24 2013

No matter what you think of Sandberg's advice, the research she's woven together is impressive. - See more at.

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The American Book Center Blog

Below average
Reviewed by Maaike Kleijn on Jun 06 2013

It’s not a very captivating story, and it’s not terribly well-written. The book is too long: Sheryl’s story has been stretched to almost 200 pages, where 90 would have been plenty.

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Persephone Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Lucy Curran on May 15 2013

In short, if you are at all interested in making the world a more equitable place, READ IT. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to make lots of gender equality jokes with your friends of any sex or gender expression.

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London School of Economics

Excellent
Reviewed by Ruchika Tulshyan on May 31 2013

I would recommend this book to women of all ages at various stages of their career. For young women planning their university education, the power of “leaning in” and “raising your hand” are skills that last an entire career. The earlier it becomes a habit, the better.

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Lehigh Valley Live

Good
Reviewed by Jessica Gresko on Mar 25 2013

Part of what Sandberg wants to do is start a conversation — and there she's succeeded. Her book is the kind you read, then hand to a friend and say, “OK, now, what do you think?”

Read Full Review of Lean In: Women, Work, and the...

Taipei Times

Below average
Reviewed by Zoe Williams on Mar 19 2013

This is not a book about how women can become more equal: this is a book about how women can become more like Sheryl Sandberg. You will be able to decide relatively fast how plausible a goal this is.

Read Full Review of Lean In: Women, Work, and the...

Alaska Dispatch

Above average
Reviewed by Anna Clark on Mar 07 2013

Sandberg describes writing this book as her own act of leaning in – moving out of her professional comfort zone. I believe her.

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Harvard Business Review

Below average
on Jan 28 2013

In the meantime, the most gender balanced companies on the planet are mostly led by men, who thankfully seem to believe more in reaching out to women than Sandberg does.

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Think Progress

Good
Reviewed by Alyssa Rosenberg on May 22 2013

Given all the expectations and double standards women face in a business environment, that’s a welcome challenge to stereotype—and a suggestion that women have strength, resources, and flexibility we may not be taking advantage of.

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Washington Monthly

Above average
Reviewed by Kathleen Geier on Mar 31 2013

In the end, I’m ambivalent about this book. Much of her female-specific career advice I like very much. (...) But Sandberg’s extreme privilege insulates her from the fact that careers today look very different than how they looked 25 years ago, when she started hers.

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US News

Above average
Reviewed by Mary Kate Cary on Apr 24 2013

The book is full of conflicting views, I believe, because Sandberg is conflicted herself – torn between her high-powered job and her young children, torn between the success she's achieved and the feminist agenda she feels she must promote.

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Yahoo! Voices

Good
Reviewed by Katya Constantine on Mar 26 2013

The reason I was not able to put down Lean In and wanted to read every word was because I agree with what she said and I think it held a lot of truth.

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Book Addiction

Excellent
Reviewed by Heather Lo on Aug 05 2013

Reading this book gave me a huge level of respect for Sheryl Sandberg and I’m now one of her biggest fans.

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Literary Treats

Above average
Reviewed by Jaclyn on Sep 09 2013

The core of Sandberg’s message is so powerful, and so important I think for women to heed, that I really wish she’d made more of an effort to represent more of women’s voices.

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Caroline Bookbinder

Excellent
Reviewed by Carin Siegfried on Jul 15 2013

I am going to give this book to all the female college students that I meet through my college's career center, as her advice would have been so much more valuable when I was first starting out.

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Reeder Reads

Excellent
Reviewed by L. Reeder on Mar 07 2013

I’ve never read something so powerful, something so profound and something that I knew that I’ll refer to in years to come.

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My Books. My Life.

Good
Reviewed by Michelle on Jun 12 2013

Sandberg points out the things we, as women, have been doing to limit our own success on both macro and individual levels. Lean In definitely made me examine my own choices.

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The Worm Hole

Above average
Reviewed by Brit on Jul 31 2013

Sandberg’s book provides a lot to think about, and her honesty is refreshing. But it’s not perfect by any means and is full of contradictions and missing information.

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Teresa's Reading Corner

Good
Reviewed by Teresa on Apr 23 2013

I’ve already passed Lean In on to one friend who is also gleaning a great deal of information and motivation from the book and will be sharing it with other as well.

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Rebecca Kilbane 2 Apr 2013

Rated the book as 5 out of 5

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