Leaning In and Leaning Back

Next week I’ll have the chance to read Sandberg’s Lean In and review it for Liberating Working Moms.  You can’t go online anywhere without running into the book whether it is a pre-publication review (sometimes by someone who hasn’t read the book), a critique of the review, a critique of the critique and then the inevitable article about why women hate successful women. How meta.  Needless to say, I’m looking forward to actually reading the book and deciding for myself what I think about it.

The Huffington Post has been publishing a series of posts by contributors on whether they chose to lean in or lean back and why.  They are often short and sometimes not very good: I don’t think some understand quite what leaning in or leaning back means because their stories confuse the terms.

I feel like I’ve chosen to “lean in,” considering that I’m still working and continue to accept more responsibility.  I like what I do and find it challenging, interesting, occasionally infuriating and fulfilling (usually).  I can’t help but feel, though, that sometimes “leaning in” feels like being “all in” to borrow a term from poker.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about “leaning back.” My intuition tells me that more time at home and with my family could be very helpful right now, but the problem is that is that it’s not easy to “lean in” and then “lean back” without serious repercussions.  Ideally, it would be a lot easier to transition between the two states, leaning in, then leaning back when necessary and then leaning in again without hits to salary, benefits and career trajectory .  A fluid motion not  unlike that of a rocking chair, rocking back and forth with ease.

Maybe the book will have some wisdom for me.

A few interesting links I came across this week:


  1. Akam needs to chillax! I wasn’t even aware that portmanteaus like ‘bridezilla’ were supposed to be puns. New words are a good thing. What difference does it make how they’re classified? I don’t think there’s any need to worry that the lowest form of humor will ever die. Love the small business puns!

    I look forward to your review!

  2. I am also looking forward to your review! It seems like everything I’ve read about it has been by someone who hasn’t read the book, but has a really strong opinion about it. 🙂
    As a proud resident of Durham, I LOVED the parody of the DTH article!!

  3. I’m looking forward to reading that book too, as I’ve enjoyed the articles discussing it (whether they are critical or not). I’ve been leaning in – way in, as big law firms require – and am ready for a change. It is an option in my workplace albeit one that I’m wary of because of the perception that comes with it. Or, maybe more accuratey, my perception of the perception that comes with it 🙂

  4. And after reading the Chillax article, I’ve come back to say that I don’t mind those words at all — but I find squashing celebrities’ names together à la Bennifer to be a horrific abuse.

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