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CEO们都该读一读桑德伯格的新书

Mohamed El-Erian 2013年03月15日

谢丽尔•桑德伯格的新书《互依》告诉我们,包容性与多样性具有非常重要的商业意义。

    

    我并没有见过谢丽尔•桑德伯格本人,她也没有给我寄过她新书(《向前一步:女性、工作与领导意志》Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)的手稿,更没有邀请我为她的新书撰写专栏。此外,许多人认为她在误导女性去“拥有一切”,但对于她与别人之间的争论,我也没有太过关注。不过,看过她在2012年科技、娱乐、设计大会(TED)上的演讲。当时听说她正在写一本书,我感到非常兴奋。后来,我的同事莎拉•皮科洛和吉姆•斯坦福德拿到了一本,还借给我阅读,让我很是欣喜。

    不同的读者,根据各自所处的位置,肯定能从本书中得到不同程度的共鸣。从我个人而言,我是以两种身份在读这本书:一种是作为一家以业绩为基础、高度驱动的公司CEO,另外的身份则是一个九岁女孩的家长。不论是以哪种身份来看,我都认为《向前一步》是本不得不看的好书。

    《向前一步》和另外一本很不错的新书【马扎林•巴纳吉与安东尼•格林沃德联合撰写的《盲点:善良人心中隐藏的偏见》(Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People),书中以巧妙的方式详细介绍了无意识的偏见是如何出现的,以及为何即是处事最周到的人和最成功的公司,也会因为无意识的偏见而犯下无心之错】让我对某些行为的认识更加清楚,因此,我觉得这两本书已经对我产生了影响。

    面对每天的挑战,这两本书让我有了更深入的思考和理解——无论是作为一名配偶和家长,还是作为一家公司的CEO,而且这家公司的持续成功完全取决于它们的员工。在这里,我想主要从一名公司领导者的立场,与读者朋友们分享自己对于《向前一步》这本书的看法。(笔者计划专门为《盲点》一书撰写另外一个专栏。)

    桑德伯格以一种妙趣横生、易于吸收领会的方式,针对英才管理如何提高生产率与效率,提出了宝贵的见解。当然,书的重点是如何更好地进行职业生涯管理,尤其是(但并不限于)女性的职业生涯管理。更明确地说,这本书解释了为什么女性在不必要的情况下主动退出或被排挤出局会面临更高的风险;为何公司需要认识到,在所有决策过程中必须包容不同观点的价值,包括性别;以及许多公司在招聘、培养、提升和留住女性时,为什么往往会无意当中搬起石头砸自己的脚。

    书的开头部分,桑德伯格讲了一则故事,拥有快速解决问题的制度权利却始终无法及时获得充分信息的许多决策者们,对故事的内容肯定会感同身受。

    I have never met Sheryl Sandberg in person. She did not send me a copy of the manuscript for her new book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. And she did not ask me to write a column on it.

    Also, I have not followed closely her debate with those who characterize her as misleading women about "having it all." Yet, having watched her popular 2012 TED talk, I was excited to read that she was working on a book. And I was delighted when Sara Piccollo and Kim Stafford, work colleagues, obtained a copy and lent it to me.

    This book will likely resonate with readers to different degrees depending on their vantage points. Personally, I approached it wearing two hats -- one as the CEO of a merit-based and highly-driven company, and the other as the parent of a nine-year old daughter. In both capacities, I feel that Lean In is a must-read.

    Together with another great new book (Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald, a book that brilliantly details how unconscious biases operate and why even the most thoughtful people and most successful companies can inadvertently trip up because of them.), Lean In has made me more aware of certain behaviors and, thus, already has had an impact on me.

    Both books have armed me with thoughtful insights that speak directly to challenges I face every day -- as a spouse and parent, but also as CEO of a company whose continued success depends on its people. It is the latter that I would like to share with you here, focusing for now primarily on Lean In. (I plan to write another column devoted to Blindspot.)

    In a manner that is enjoyable to read and easy to internalize, Sandberg provides valuable insights on how a meritocracy can enhance its productivity and effectiveness. The major emphasis is, of course, on better career management, especially (but not only) as it relates to women -- or, to put it more specifically, explaining why women face a much higher risk of unnecessarily opting out or of being pushed out; why companies need to recognize the value of including diverse perspectives, including gender, in all areas of decision-making; and how too many companies inadvertently shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to hiring, developing, promoting and retaining women.

    Early in the book, Sandberg tells a story that will ring true with many decision-makers who have the institutional power to quickly solve problems but may not always have access to comprehensive information in a timely manner.

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