Recently, I’ve heard many of my women friends talk about how much they’ve enjoyed reading Sheryl Sandberg’s book, “Lean In,” so I decided I better get on the bandwagon and read it, too. The chapter about “Seek and Speak Your Truth” seemed especially worthy of a post here. The reason this quote resonated with me was that I was accused of being too emotional on the job back when I was in my 20’s, and I was told it was a “woman thing.” That hurt me, because I cared so deeply and passionately about doing a great job that I sometimes would get emotional about it, but I don’t think that was a bad thing. Today, as an employer, I will take someone who is emotional but passionately committed to their career over someone who is unemotional and uncommitted.
This is how Sheryl Sandberg explains it in the book:
“Sharing emotions builds deeper relationships. Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about. To really care about others, we have to understand them — what they like and dislike, what they feel as well as think. Emotion drives both me and women and influences every decision we make. Recognizing the role emotions play and being wiling to discuss them makes us better managers, partners, and peers.” (Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, Knopf, 2013, page 88)
Working with others is difficult at times. There are highs and lows of working with a team but knowing how to motivate and lead others is a key to success. Sometimes we joke and say our jobs would be easy if it weren’t for the people, but of course we all know that you need people working as a team to achieve success at work. This book is a great read because it encourages women to ‘go for it’ both professionally and personally, as I feel I have throughout my career in PR. It takes the perspective that we no longer have separate personal lives and professional lives, but that we really have one life that includes work, family and friends. We’ve got to constantly make choices that are right for us. Sometimes we make mistakes but as long as we learn from them, then we’re better off the next time we are confronted with a difficult choice. It’s not easy, and nobody else can make the choices for us.
I highly recommend this book. Let me know what you think about it.