The Sandberg Saga

Photo Credit:  Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg Photo: Knopf

Photo Credit: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Sheryl Sandberg
Photo: Knopf

Well, time to weigh in on the firestorm that seems to have hit Sheryl Sandberg and her new book, LEAN IN. Over the next few blog posts, I’ll share my thoughts on what I think has happened, and why I think it happened.

If you’re someone who hates to wait until the end of the story to find out the final ah-ha, then let me begin with the end. I think the Sandberg saga is a perfect illustration of gender discrimination alive and well. While Sheryl’s book is talking about it, we are doing it.

The outside of the book shows a beautiful woman with perfect hair and perfect teeth. The inside of the book reveals a woman with a privileged education and powerful friends. And we hate her for it.

Our natural inkling seems to be to take these two views of Sheryl that don’t fit together in our subconscious, and tear them apart. After all, the firestorm started in the media started before the book was even released. So is it about the book, or is it about Sheryl?

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Iron Sharpens Iron; Thatcher’s Legacy

Photo credit: Norman Parkinson/Sygma/Corbis

Photo credit: Norman Parkinson/Sygma/Corbis

What can we learn from a woman who was loved by many, hated by many, and ousted by her own people?   Integrity and Persistence are critical to successful leadership.  Few can argue against the fact that Thatcher was effective as she executed her vision of making Britain as great as it once was.

“Of course it’s the same old story. Truth usually is the same old story.”– Margaret Thatcher

You can’t lie your way through leadership, although evidence points to many in business who believe to the contrary.  The simple truth is always, well, simple.  The simple is easier to manage than the complex.  When you know what you stand for, then stand.  It’s a way to gain respect and power and rally the troops to get the job done.

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Warren Buffett replaces diamonds as girl’s best friend

If ever there was any doubt that women are good for business,  billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett has put the question to rest.  In a recent article in The Telegraph, Buffett is quoted as saying,”[It is] one of the things that make me so optimistic about the future.”  What is IT?  ‘It’ is the trend that women will have the same chance to succeed as men.  He calls this potential as ‘key to a bright economic future.’

It will be interesting to see what happens to popular opinion now that Buffett has claimed that women will save the US economy.  Just because he says it, doesn’t mean that everyone will embrace his opinion and open up their previously tightly closed arms.  But if there is anything that should give us cause to celebrate, this is it!

But just as many will criticize Buffett as will praise him.  After all, he didn’t get to be the third richest person on the planet by making everyone happy.

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Is Sir Richard putting his money where his mouth is?

image credit: Big Think

I was impressed when I read the article by Richard Branson who expressed his opinion that the world needs more women in the boardroom.  Although the article was short, listed well-known statistics, and had limited information about Richard’s company specifically, it was encouraging to see someone as successful as Richard attaching his name to an important issue.

Curious about what Virgin Airlines was doing with this trendsetter at the helm, I went in search of proof that this was a man who put his money where his mouth is.

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