There are many women in our lives who have influenced and shaped who we have become. For many of us, these people were our mothers, grandmothers, and women leaders. Leaders come in all shapes and forms. Some we know directly and others informally through books, magazines, and interviews.
The other night I watched Oprah’s Life Class interview with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, and author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. I received the book at a birthday present but I have not yet cracked it open. The interview was very revealing of character and position. Sandberg was recently featured in Time Magazine with a title, “Don’t Hate Her Because She is Successful“.
Do you “hate” women because they are successful? Do you aspire to be like them or shy away in envy?
I believe women should be admired for their skills and talents. I do not think Sandberg’s positioning is about burning bras and creating a movement against men. Her position and my position as a business coach are about building women leaders and the right to achieve our own successes.
As women, we compromise ourselves by not allowing our voices to be heard. Your opinion and perspective can shift a culture and create a movement. In the interview, Sandberg talked about women “not sitting at the table” and getting involved in the discussion or planning. The women who grow their businesses or climb the corporate ladder are not the women who hide behind the computer no pun intended to Facebook. The women who are leaders support others through asking the right questions and challenging ideas and thoughts that do not align with a vision.
Secondly, it is okay to be yourself and know your priorities. Sandberg shared that she left the office at 5:30 p.m. so show could be home with her family and in bed by 9:30 p.m. because her children would be getting up in the morning. We can have it all but not always at the same time. I totally agree with this philosophy but many people use to tell me I could not have it all – at any time. I think that view has fuelled me in writing my books and juggling the kids activities. I do recognize when people state, “I do not know how you get so much done.”
I will share part of the secret – I choose to.
In my home, we talk about expectations, goal-setting, and shared household responsibilities. I do not need to seek martyrdom but do strive to maintain sanity.
We must “LEAN IN“. What would you do if you were not afraid? So many times we may hold ourselves back from achieving what we want due to our “mommy guilt” but who ever said that you were not doing well by your children for being an example of strong work ethic, voice of equality, and achievement. Who said that women were not allowed to be leaders or achieve their dreams?
I am more involved with my children than previous generations because I choose to. I am grateful for the opportunities that come my way because of the efforts of the previous generations and my own. I believe women can climb the corporate ladder, grow businesses, and raise the next generation of leaders in our community. We are leaders by example. We have a vision for our future and collaborate with others to get things done.
Yes, there are trade-offs and sacrifices for a greater and bigger life. There is nothing sweeter than creating a life you love – your way!
Congratulations Sheryl Sandberg on reaching out and creating a platform for women leaders!
Who is a woman leader you admire or who has influenced who you are? Please share and comment on this post!