NEW YORK (AP) — It's been a year since Sheryl Sandberg came out with "Lean In," her best-selling manifesto for working women, launching a new catchphrase in the process. Since then, over 1.75 million copies have been sold; the book's out in 28 languages, and will be in eight more by the end of 2014 (a deal was just made for a Kurdish edition.)
And Sandberg's professed goal of seeing 1,000 Lean In "circles" — small support groups — formed within a year has been exceeded, actually 16 times over. The Lean In foundation says 16,023 of them have formed, in 72 countries. As she often does on her travels, Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, met with one such group in China. "That was an emotional experience," she said. "I told them this was my dream."
There are also Lean In circles on 310 college campuses, where, Sandberg says, she's found that graduating students are craving more age-specific content than the book provided. And so, "Lean In: For Graduates," out Tuesday, includes the original text enhanced with new chapters, many containing concrete advice for graduates. For example: How to craft a resume (and get rid of those typos!). How to handle a first interview. And how to negotiate a first salary.
Sandberg spoke to The Associated Press this week, her first U.S. interview about the new book. She also addressed those persistent rumors that she may be interested in a future in politics, and the continued debate over the word "bossy." (The interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.)
AP: The original book resonated so strongly. Why the need for a new edition?
Sandberg: The most common question I get is, "I really want to 'lean in,' but HOW?" Especially from younger people. So this is an attempt to answer some of those questions. Also, since "Lean In" was published, so many people wrote us these amazing stories that I just wanted a chance to share. The broadening perspective is really good. This gives us a chance to address explicitly women of color. And men 'leaning in.' For one woman, her 'Lean In' moment was testifying against her rapist. It was hard to choose only 12 stories.
You know, if we get to equality, it's going to be THIS generation that does it. And they're going to have to start from the beginning of their careers.
AP: Three years ago, you gave a graduation speech at Barnard, which got everything started. Is there anything different you'd say in that speech today? (Note: Sandberg will give another commencement speech next month — at City Colleges of Chicago, a large community college system.)
Sandberg: Yes, I'm learning a lot from this process. What I would add now is the importance of supporting each other as we "lean in." I think what all these Lean In circles speak to, and what we suspected but didn't know, is how important it is to surround yourself with peers and make an explicit commitment to figuring out what your goals are, and going for it. So I would probably have added: "And don't do this alone!"
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