Madison yoga therapist Natalie Buster invited female colleagues to gather one morning in July to form a "circle" of support.It's nice to have friends and to go out for coffee and get lost in each others' stories and connections, but how is this "leaning in"?!
She chose Lazy Jane’s on Williamson Street for the meet-up because the breakfast spot is owned by a woman — Jane Capito. "It evolved into something more than I thought possible," Buster said. "We really got lost in each others’ stories and lost in each others’ connections."
Oh, well... it "evolved."
Did it evolve into the realization that you don't really want to lean in?
If you can bear to keep reading you'll see that there's a Lean In Foundation where you can register your "Lean In" circle and there are actually 7,000 registered circles. This is all very nice for the Chief Leaner In Sheryl Sandberg, she of the book "Lean In." It's her branding. You want to get her branding on you? That furthers her leaning in, but what does it do for you — you, over there in that circle in a coffee shop getting lost in the evolving cross-currents of mutual support?
For Buster, who spent a dozen years as an actress in New York City before coming back to Wisconsin, the meeting at Lazy Jane’s exceeded expectations. Women who might be in competition with each other professionally should be able to improve each other as well, Buster said.That sounds like the opposite of leaning in. You're openly expressing aversion to competitiveness. It's more like hanging back.
“I really want mentorship to happen,” Buster said. “I want cross-advocation and support of each other.”