Thinking Beyond Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In"

The “Lean In” movement that Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg founded with her book of the same name continued a conversation psychologist Matina Horner started 46 years ago. In Horner’s famous study, “Fear of Success," she found that women were afraid of success complicating their lives and experienced anxiety over asserting themselves. But this continues to be only part of the issue of why we don’t have more women CEOs and presidents.


“I think the real problem is the way institutions are structured and the paths to leadership today which require one kind of person to be successful,” says Jody Greenstone Miller, the founder and CEO of Business Talent Group. “That kind of person is the kind of person who makes the judgment that working, and working at very intense ways that require sacrifices across many other elements of an individual’s life, is the way you will achieve success, and they’re willing to make that choice.”

There’s nothing, of course, wrong with choosing this path. But as Miller points out, most people who make this decision tend to be women.

“If we really want to tackle why there aren’t more women in leadership,” says Miller, “[or] what I call a diversity of leadership that really is about a diversity of values, not just diversity of gender or race, you need to create alternative paths to leadership.”

For Miller’s insights into how to build a culture that allows for greater diversity in leadership, and more balanced lives for the executives and their teams, watch this clip from Big Think’s interview:

Befriend your ideological opposite. It’s fun.

Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
  • Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
  • "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
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3 ways to find a meaningful job, or find purpose in the job you already have

Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.

Videos
  • Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
  • There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
  • "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
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Physicist advances a radical theory of gravity

Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.

Photo by Willeke Duijvekam
Surprising Science
  • The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
  • The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
  • While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
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UPS has been discreetly using self-driving trucks to deliver cargo

TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.


PAUL RATJE / Contributor
Technology & Innovation
  • This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
  • UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
  • TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.
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