Leaning into the wisdom of Sheryl Sandberg

Choosing Sheryl Sandberg as my thought leader was an easy decision for me. In my Perspectives of Leadership class with Kathy Patterson, we have been tasked to study a thought leader for the semester, then taking our learning and applying it to a workshop in class. When I knew Sheryl Sandberg and her book Lean In were options I immediately reserved it.

Although I am only about a third of the way into Lean In, I have already learned two valuable lessons from Sheryl Sandberg. The first lesson is to always “take a seat at the table” and the second being the “the ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have”.

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Take a seat at the table

Sheryl talks about how if you are a woman and you are in any way involved in a meeting you should take a seat at the table. This stands also as an analogy for individuals but specifically women in business. Taking a seat at the table applies to more than just a meeting, it applies to everything involving the success of an individual.

By asserting yourself, you are showing that you not only deserve but that you also demand respect. Sheryl talks about a certain situation where she was one of the only women attending a meeting. When the meeting took a bio-break the associate running the meeting could not tell Sheryl where the ladies bathroom was because there had been so few women attending meetings in their office. This is shocking.

Never stop learning

Sheryl talks about how leaders are always learning. By continuing to learn you are continuing to become a stronger leader. I apply this to all aspects of my life. To learn is to understand in my mind. By continuing to learn about yourself you are able to understand others from your internal, intellectual “clock”.

Online Presence

Sheryl Sandberg has an active online presence. On Twitter she shares her thoughts on leadership, shares other individuals views she admires, and converses with other leaders. She brands herself as not only a leader and a business professional but as a human being just trying to balance it all.

What I hope to still learn

I really hope I am able to learn tools on how to assert myself in business to earn my success. I also really hope to gain insight into the changing landscape of women in business. Her perspective is incredibly inspiring to me, she has such a factual based insight; everything is demonstrated by fact, which I love as an analytical person.