My Lean In Journey 2020

by Haifa Carina

How My Journey Began

I first read about Lean In from Sheryl Sandberg’s book. I got curious so I searched for it then signed up as a member of Lean in Philippines. Last May 2020, Lean in Philippines held its first circle – a virtual one. Lean in Circles are small groups of women who come together regularly to support each other. Since the session happened in the middle of a lockdown due to the pandemic, the session became a safe space to share about the challenges and learn how others are managing them during that time.

The next session was a call for leaders who want to start their own Lean In Circles. Since I enjoyed the first session, I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to start a circle focused on sales because I wanted to excel in that area. So I volunteered to lead a circle and named it Women Sales Professionals. Then on August 6, I organized our first circle session. Attended by 6 ladies, it was an intimate and insightful session. Topics on sales career, skills and challenges were covered. It was also agreed that the next sessions will happen every 1st Thursday of the month.

Key Takeaways

  1. You’re not alone in your challenges. The first session happened in the middle of a lockdown. It was a challenging time but knowing there are others facing similar challenges makes you feel you’re not alone in your fight. 
  2. Learn from the experience of others. Learning from others the various ways on how they are achieving their wins and resolvings similar challenges has become valuable because they come from different perspectives. 
  3. Expanding your network expands opportunities. Gathering folks from different backgrounds and passions enabled the discovery of multiple initiatives and opportunities that we wouldn’t have known otherwise. One example is that we learned of one of our members was driving a project on giving gadgets to students which has been a challenge brought by the pandemic. Many volunteered to help promote it to their circles as well.
  4. Having Accountability Partners Help You Achieve Your Goals. One of my favorite things at Lean In is the “One Action” shared at the end of the session where each person shares one action to be completed before the next session. Announcing it with a set of people makes you accountable to deliver.

While 2020 was a tough year, Lean In for me has made it an opportunity to grow further and be one with like-minded women who continuously pursue growth not just in their lives but for everyone around them.

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