Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Lean Back.

I had in interesting thing happen yesterday at work.

We have a new CMO, which is the story of my life. If anyone out there is thinking about going into Marketing, DON'T. You'll have a new boss every two years and when it's your turn to take the reins, your shelf life will be 24-months or less.

Anyway, this new CMO and I were talking about the structure of our marketing department. "Well, he said, "I can't have her report to you because you're not here everyday, but I need someone in that spot so we will probably bring in a VP."

And there at my feet, was the opportunity cost of not focusing on my career.

I grimaced. I cringed. I felt my body jump out of my skin. I almost screamed, "Ok, ok, ok! You called my bluff! I'll go full-time!"

But I didn't.

Instead, I said, "I know. I get it. I can't be part-time and be in that box." For several minutes thereafter I punched myself quietly in the face for not leaning in.

While he continued on about organizational structure, I nodded politely and experienced a small identity crisis. I emerged on the other side, confident that I do not want to lean in at work right now. I want to lean back, I want to take a break, I want to phone it in and let it ride so I can lean in to my CEO, CFO, COO, and R&D roles at home.


  1. Even when you know you want to lean-out right now, it's hard to not slip back into a long history and lifestyle of leaning in, isn't it?

    1. YES! You just summed it up. It's a learned behavior that I cannot shake!

  2. You can't supervise the person because you're not there every day? That's bullshit. Are they afraid the person will not do their work when you're not there? Can you be available on your off days in case of a crisis (which I'm sure you are anyway)? I think instead of asking women to lean in, we need to ask managers to consider that people who work nontraditional schedules or part-time can still be given positions of responsibility. One of the reasons I'm not a fan of Lean In & Sheryl Sandberg.

    1. Huh. Hadn't thought of that. I suppose I bought into it b/c part of me believes it, but you're right; that's annoying.