NOTE: Men don’t look away!
Sheryl Sandberg‘s book, which has been the topic of conversation for months, has made me reconsider the notion of “peer pressure.” While Sandberg’s name may stir up varying emotions, especially since her recent scandal involving “LeanInterns,” one thing is for sure: Lean-In has brought women together. Sandberg encourages women to form “lean-in circles,” or peer groups where you can glean and give advice to professional women looking to lean-into their careers. I was asked to join 3 circles – this fact is a testament to how unifying her call to action was. My circle includes 8 wonderful and inspiring women, who I may not have met, if it weren’t for Sandberg’s encouragement (and the initiative of our group organizer). I can honestly say that discussing career related issues with these women has been extremely helpful. I’m comforted to find that others have similar obstacles and anxieties when it comes to their careers and appropriate next steps. Every time I leave a meeting, I’ve learned something from my group members’ experiences.
The concept of the “lean-in circle” resonates with advice my grandmother insisted upon, be mindful of the company you keep. She wanted me to build relationships with positive, uplifting, forward thinking people. Most importantly, my grandmother wanted me to be that for others. All this is to say, even if you have not read Sandberg’s book, for men and women alike, make sure you’re surrounded by inspiring people. Whether they inspire you personally or professionally, to be productive, creative, informed, patient, or kind – find them, hold on to them, learn from them, and reciprocate. Peer pressure can’t be so bad, if your peers are good.