I liked how Sheryl was very realistic and honest about her own struggles and the (sometimes blatant) discrimination she faced and which others routinely face. I liked how she gave concrete examples/scripts and shared a lot of meaningful personal details.
I learned to appreciate much more how hard my wife works to achieve her goals and gain respect in ways that men receive a lot more by default in professional settings. I understood much more deeply the difficulty of balancing work and family life for a woman, and I really liked Sheryl's tips for professional couples. I saw my wife learning a lot from Sheryl's example and feeling like she's not alone in many of the feelings she has, like "imposter syndrome" (which I share too) and struggling against the default stance of not leaning in when there are risks. I learned some new ideas and models for how a couple can raise a family while also pursuing meaningful goals as independent adults. I also recognized better the role I can play in supporting her and pushing her to go after her dreams and believe in herself.
Below were our biggest takeaways from the book. I feel lucky to have Suzanne in my life and to have been able to share this experience with her, learning about each other and the world around us.
- What would you do if you weren't afraid?
- Imposter syndrome
- Fake confidence till you make it.
- Sit at the table. Raise your hand. Be heard.
- Bargain for salary; don't wait for others to set it.
- Don't feel like you don't have the knowledge/experience/etc. to do something
- Challenge yourself. If you keep doing things that are easy for you, you will never grow.
- 18 month plan and long term plan
- Don't need to know now what you will do for rest of life.
- Family raising with idea that you should do something meaningful with life
- Take risks.
- Choose job with greatest growth potential. In medicine, choose job where your skills are most needed, not where it is over saturated.
- Don't be afraid to fail in order to learn something. Set goals about what you will learn, push yourself to do things you are weak in.
- For women, when negotiating job, talk about collective good (for women, for company, for mission).
- When negotiating as woman, be nice but insistent.
- When trying to get a new job, ask what is the organization's biggest problem and offer to solve it (rather than focusing on own skills).