Don’t Stop At Leaning … Keep Going People!


Written by Julie Shaw

June 28, 2019

A few days ago, I saw where Michelle Obama said…you know, leaning in is not enough…or something like that. With my feelings about Facebook right now, my ears of course perked up and I truly admire Michelle Obama. Who doesn’t?

Yes – I’m a female executive. Now – for myself (HRVue) and I WILL admit I never read the Sandberg, Lean In. I own the book. I also OWN the fact that as a female executive I should have…. but I didn’t read it OK? Anyway…

To me, the irritating title – Lean In – always reminded me of a Nancy Drew book cover where Nancy is leaning on some door to hear what the men inside are whispering about. 

Flash to me sitting at a few of those long conference tables over the years. Some of those tables were marble, some glossy wood and more often awful chairs. I digress. It was typically in a group of men I wanted to TALK to. I was there for a reason. A meeting, a pow-wow, a come-to-Jesus, a whatever…I just walked in those rooms wanting to be REAL. And, I expected them to be REAL with me. I was there to express my professional opinions as appropriate and give HR consult – whether warning or praise. That was and is my job – way more than leaning in…Nancy – I have been at the table and it’s not always mysterious! ???? Leaning, listening, yes and way more listening than ever talking.

I rather enjoy these exchanges. Are they listening? No Fear! Speak up.  Don’t stop at leaning – keep going until you can hold the stare. Articulate and speak slowly. Keep it up.

The end goal was and is ALL about ACTION. It’s about being honest and having the mission of that company or organization at the core of your dedication and loyalty conviction.

I guess if I have one thing to leave you with is this – SAY IT. Go DEEP. Be honest. Holding whatever worthwhile you want to say IN is not helping the organization, the team or your career.

I’m sure Lean In is great book. And I know Michelle Obama’s reference had to do with family, but at the base of it all – it really is about communication. Say it. What is there to lose? Lose the FEAR.



P.S Here is the article from NPR.

Michelle Obama’s Take On ‘Lean In’? 

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