When Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In came out almost 5 years ago, it bothered me. I had been there and done that, and the book didn’t ring true as a panacea for women in leadership (or men, for that matter…or children…or anyone). Oh, it was a fine, workable philosophy as I climbed the leadership ladder and enjoyed a corner office BEFORE I had kids. It seemed innocuous. Then THEY – the kids – abruptly made it clear how incomplete and sometimes harmful those simple, well-worn ideas were once they arrived. It didn’t feel right to live that way anymore. As they grew, I didn’t want my daughter or son reading Lean In or books like it, thinking this is how to live their best lives. It wasn’t apparent to everyone back then, but the collateral damage of the lack of empathy in this competitive approach has become abundantly clear, in this country and beyond. Now, the problem is in graphic relief. Michelle Obama is the latest celebrity calling BS on leaning in: “Sometimes that sh*t doesn’t work.”
The problem is clear. The solution has not been. We need a #PostLeanInManifesto. A new way to work and live.
Here it is:
Empathy Deficit Disorder: Healing from Our Mix-Ups about Work, Home, and Sex
by Jacqueline Acho, PhD, and Eva Basilion, MS
Please let me know what you think. What does the new way look like for YOU, your family, your workplace?