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Sheryl Sandberg Has Some Advice for Women in Business, But Michelle Obama Doesn’t Agree

If you didn’t read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In when it was published, the next best time to do it is now, that is if you want to get what all the fuss is about. Over half a decade after the book was released, it is still making headlines, but not exactly for the right reasons.

This time around, Lean In has former FLOTUS Michelle Obama to thank for being on the spotlight yet again. What is the one thing that Sandberg and Obama have in common? It has got to be empowering women. But as it so happens, they have different ways of going about it.

Michelle isn’t on the same page with Sheryl Sandberg

In her 2013 book, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer pushes women to conquer the workplace, in what is described as the “lean in strategy.” Going by Sandberg’s piece of advice, women should supercharge their advancement career-wise by honing negotiation skills, striving for leadership, and being in total control of the path they take professionally.

The Disconnect

In a nutshell, Sheryl Sandberg is preaching that women can indeed have the whole package, don’t you agree? But that’s where Michelle Obama’s disconnect comes in. It’s not like the former FLOTUS isn’t all about ensuring that women achieve their dreams, but she says that Sandberg’s strategy isn’t guaranteed to work for everyone.

What’s more, Obama emphasizes that for most women that make it to the very top, they don’t actually complete these milestones all at once. She would know, right? She was First Lady for 8 years, and we dare say that that’s one definition of being at the very top.

This is being at the very top

Michelle gave her sentiments while promoting her new memoir, Becoming which has already become a bestseller. Within the book’s pages are words that you’d expect from Obama, among them being that women and mothers should prioritize themselves. In all honesty, they tend to take care of everyone but themselves, and Michelle hopes to change this.

Research Backs Michelle

Interestingly, the former First Lady’s comments disagreeing with Sandberg aren’t a first. In 2018, professors from Duke University carried out a study to evaluate the implementation of the lean in strategy.

With input from 2,000 respondents, the research team concluded that Sandberg’s book delivered on the part of making women believe that they could make it professionally, but it also made them believe that the disadvantages they face are totally their fault. You get the problem here, don’t you?

To her credit, Sheryl Sandberg actually owned up to a possible mistake a few years back. In 2016, the COO admitted to CBS that she didn’t really understand the mountain that women have to climb at work while still trying to have everything in place back home.

Sandberg actually owned up to her mistake

Unfortunately, copies of her book cannot be recalled and the information therein will always be out there. All the same, it is through making mistakes that we learn, right? Plus, we still have Michelle Obama around to give us her two cents on this and many more contemporary issues.

She’s just a well of wisdom and knowledge, and we should really be glad that we’re witnessing it. And while we’re here, how about grabbing a copy of Becoming if you haven’t yet?

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