When Sheryl Sandberg stepped into the public arena to discuss women’s advancement in the workplace, what did she use to broadcast her ideas? What tool served as her figurative microphone; what became intrinsically tied to her name, her message, and her brand — what became her emblem?
As both a book title and concept, ‘Lean In’ effectively matured into a buzzword for female empowerment.
Publishing a book allowed Sandberg to capture the scope of her ideas, distill her insights, and disseminate them to the widest possible audience. It also served to cement them in a way that even keynote speeches and highly-viewed TEDtalks cannot. It was the rich encapsulation of her own 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 buzzworthy topics do, it provoked heated conversation and praise in equal measure. And to some degree, backlash.
But it took a book to get the conversation going.
A book is a power tool, serving a far greater purpose than even starting critical conversations. It is a simple truth that you are only as relevant as what you publish, what you put out 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 get excited when we meet one in person, if not terribly impressed. For this reason, when a professional, female or otherwise, does rise 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 signals that a given women 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 speak 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.