The power of your own voice

 A review of Michelle Obama’s book Becoming.

Michelle Obama’s book Becoming is a life-affirming read to kick off the New Year. It tells the story of her relationship, family and career and the impact of her husband's political career. It’s a fitting reminder of staying grounded whatever life holds.

The first section of the book is about Michelle's Chicago childhood, her acceptance at Princeton University and legal career.

We hear about her developing relationship with Barack Obama, as well as their marriage before their own personal struggles to have kids. Their two daughters Malia and Sasha were born after two rounds of IVF.

Michelle is candid and honest about her husband’s life in politics. She admits that it took her time to back Obama’s Presidential campaign, recognising the need to step back from her own career.

The authenticity of the family’s struggles to get to the White House leave you grateful there are people willing to sacrifice normal life to effect real and profound social change.

Becoming resonated with me on many levels, especially around the challenges of becoming a female leader while remaining a Mum.

Juggling the demands of a fast-paced work life while trying to provide stability and be there at the dinner table is something all working parents will identify with.

It is also refreshing to read an honest account of what it feels like to deal with detractors. It's something that I have struggled with at times in the public life over the past few years.

What’s uplifting is that Michelle, sometimes alone, often with help, always finds a solution. Her lesson is one that worked for me: “If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

As she says time and time again, there is real power in using your own voice. A key takes out is that it’s up to us to find our voices and put them to good use.

Becoming is an inspirational read and one I enjoyed. It left me feeling a real gratitude and fondness for a family I’ve never met. Michelle Obama’s writing style is one more business leaders would do well to adopt; honest, open, self-aware and genuine.

Becoming is priced at £13 and you can buy it here. It comes recommended.