Phrasal verbs - Meaning of lean in

Phrasal verbs

What does lean in mean?

Here is the meaning of lean in with examples:

"lean in"


1. To move one's weight forward; to incline closer to something.
2. To proactively accept a challenge or take charge of a situation.

The latter meaning was popularized in 2013 by Sheryl Sandburg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook in her book "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" . For Sheryl "lean in" means to be assertive, accept responsibilities, and be proactive instead of taking the second role and being a follower.

The expression refers to the idea of people sitting around a table debating about something. Normally, the participants who want to make a point have to lean forward in order to get the attention. Those who listen and don't have a say about the topic of the discussion lean away from the table.


Check the phrasal verb lean in in a sentence:

Sheryl Sandburg advises young women to lean in so that they can succeed in what they are doing.

The boss asked the young recruits to lean in and take responsibility.

"We need to find a way for women to not drop out, but to lean in to their careers and give them the flexibility they need to stay in the workforce."
2011, Sheryl Sandberg, Forrestal Lecture at the United States Naval Academy.

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