When Sheryl Sandberg joined the dialogue on women’s advancement in the workplace, how did she broadcast her voice? What was her metaphorical microphone? What became tied to her name, message, and brand — what became her emblem?
Both a concept and book title, ‘Lean In’ matured into a buzzword for female empowerment.
A published book allowed Sandberg to capture the scope of her ideas, to distill and disperse her insights. It also cemented them, in a way that keynotes and TED Talks could not. It was the rich encapsulation of her career narrative, and the message she wished to convey to other women. Her name became synonymous with the collective push against the glass ceiling.
As buzz-worthy topics do, it drew critique and praise in equal measure. And to some degree, it provoked backlash.
But it took a book to get the conversation going.
Books are powerful instruments, and serve an even greater purpose than that of ‘conversation-starter.’ It’s a simple truth: you are only as relevant as what you publish, what you put into the zeitgeist. It’s the only mark you leave on the world that will effectively outlive you. Publication cements your message and conveys your voice to those who might be impacted by it. Beyond this, however, books are powerful professional differentiators. But what does that mean?
Publishing a book makes it easier to crash through professional barriers.
It comes down to the fact that very few people will ever be endowed with the title of ‘published author.’ That’s why we get a little excited when we meet one in person, if not terribly impressed. For this reason, when a professional rises to the status of published author, they are set apart from their competitors in the marketplace.
As women collectively rise up against longstanding, invisible professional barriers, it’s probable that a book could be the tool to help them dismantle those barriers, if not simply crash through them. The enhanced professional stature, increased access to speaking engagements and media slots, and the clout that comes with handing potential clients “a copy of my book,” could become the irrefutable factors signaling that she is primed for the leadership positions that may have previously seemed out of reach.
To learn more about breaking the glass ceiling by publishing a book in your field, contact me to get in touch with one of our formidable VPs of Member Development at Advantage|ForbesBooks, some of whom are thriving female entrepreneurs in their own right, with sharp insights to offer into how you can leverage a book in your career to crash through professional barriers.