The pulsating drumbeat that courses through Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In is equality for women in the workplace. Sitting on the other side of the forest listening to Sheryl's rhythm of reason however, that's not what I hear at first. I'm hearing an unbelievable opportunity to free and unleash production, effectiveness and innovation in the workplace!
Sheryl's book is going on its fourteenth printing and selling like mad. I think it's women reading the book and shouting out, "that's me, that's me, that's me!" But a lot of others, I hope, are buying and reading Lean In and saying, that's an opportunity, that's an opportunity, that's an opportunity!"
Observation: Listen, I know Sheryl comes from a well-to-do background that most of us only dream about. Get over it. She speaks the truth, the truth of what's going on out there; the truth of what most women are enduring in the workplace.
The opportunities that I feel are coming are more like a hurricane than a drumbeat. The vision I see is two 1972 Cutlass's sitting at a red light out in the desert. One has fat tires, is jacked up and breathes fire. The other looks like something your grandma might drive. But under the hood is 2013 tricked out, computerized technology. For Grandma to win the race she only has to step on the gas. And when she does, the muscle car gasps for breath while it eats her dust.
Many women today are your Grandma's 1972 Cutlass. They have what it takes. They need understanding, guidance and care from both women and men who are in a position to give it. They need to hear, "Suze, pound on that accelerator girl! We got your back. Let it out. Let the world see what you got!"
If the status-quo American business society today can get out of its own way and wake up to the fact there are millions of women, who if at least, are accorded the same opportunities as men, but on a more progressive note, are encouraged and guided,the productivity gained and innovation uncovered would reestablish America as the national business power she truly should be, and place all other nations soundly in the second paragraph. Who knows, we might even give Finland, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan a run at their global educational power rankings.