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Just too tired to lean in

A leader I used to work for once told me "it's always hottest on the nose cone of the rocket".  Her point was that when you lead, and especially when you're driving big change, you will have to learn to tolerate the friction created by critics and naysayers.  It was her way of coaching me to continue leading, and to expect that breaking through obstacles wouldn't happen without discomfort.

I've been thinking about that this week as the firestorm has grown around Sheryl Sandberg's new book  Leaning In, a call to action to women about what it takes to achieve success at work.  Like the Marissa-Mayer-Yahoo-Telecommuting tempest of the last few weeks, the feedback seems to be particularly pointed because she's a woman, and a successful one at that.   Women like Marissa and Sheryl have broken through the glass ceiling, and are both no doubt accustomed to picking the shards of glass out of their hides.  They have to have juggled competing priorities all the way to the top.  That they've been spectacularly successful doing so is clear.

Timothy Leary famously encouraged my generation to "turn on, tune in, drop out".  Ironically, we female boomers not only didn't drop out, we charged into the workplace body and soul and many burned out on the nose cone of that rocket.  Some of the critical backlash aimed at Marissa and Sheryl comes from the legions of exhausted women who -  juggling childcare, elder care, housework, volunteerism, schoolwork and their partners - resent the implication that they just aren't trying hard enough.  They expect Sheryl and Marissa to know better.

Read on to hear what journalists and bloggers have to say

Why you should “lean in” to Sheryl Sandberg's new book:

Maybe You Should Read the Book:

What Your reaction to Powerful Female Executive Says About You:

Sheryl Sandberg Isn't the Perfect Feminist, so what?

And a great guest post from our own Laura Souza:  @LSouz: Leaning…Out via @WF_Institute

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