To the Editor:
The article about Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In” quotes many women who were disappointed by the book’s advice. Those women claim that despite their best attempts they were not successful essentially because they are women.
Women who take this approach are doomed to failure. As a former business owner, I remember having discussions with problematic women employees. Some responded by claiming that I was making these criticisms only because they are women. My retort: “No, I am talking about you — not women. I am referring to what you are doing wrong.”
When confronting obstacles — or criticism — every woman must first ask herself what she personally is doing to cause her problems. Using the gender card prevents women from undertaking the introspection that leads to positive change. Blaming men for one’s failure will never earn anyone respect.
When thinking about how each of us reacts to others in our lives, we realize that gender is just one of many factors. A person’s demeanor, age, knowledge, talents, energy and much more affect our view of another. Women need to think of themselves as the individuals they are. Life is truly personal — not defined by gender or any other physical characteristics.
Mountain Lakes, N.J.