Sheryl Sandberg Harvard Business School (HBS) 2012

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of facebook

First woman elected & to serve on facebook’s board.

Before that, Sandberg was Vice President of Global Online Sales &  Operations at Google and was responsible for launching Google’s philanthropic arm

Before Google, Sandberg served as Chief of Staff for the United States Secretary of the Treasury.

In 1993, she enrolled at Harvard Business School and in 1995 she earned her M.B.A. with highest distinction.

In 2009, Sandberg was named to the board of The Walt Disney Company. She also serves on the boards of Women for Women International, the Center for Global Development and V-Day. She was previously a board member of Starbucks.

 In other words, she knows her shit.

Sheryl speaks to the class of 2012, Harvard Business School, during class day ceremonies.

Valuable Take Aways :

“Don’t be an idiot. Get on a rocket ship. When companies are growing quickly and they’re having a lot of impact, careers will take care of themselves. And when companies aren’t growing quickly, or their missions don’t matter as much, that’s when stagnation & politics come in.” ~Eric Schmidt~

“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on ”

“The traditional metaphors for a career is a ladder. But I no longer think that metaphor holds. It doesn’t make any sense in a less hierarchical world.

Laurie Goler has a great metaphor for careers. She says that they’re not a Ladder, they’re a Jungle Gym.

“Look for opportunities, look for growth, look for immpact, look for mission. Move sideways, move down, move on, move off. Build your skills, not your resume. Evaluate what you can do, not the title they can give you.”

“Don’t plan too much, don’t expect a direct a direct climb”

“As traditional structures are breaking down, leadership has to evolve as well. From hierarchy to shared responsibility. From command & control to listening & guiding.”

“Your strength will not come from your place on some whork shart. Your strength will come from building trust and earning respect.”

“More than anything else, you’re gonna need the ability to communicate authentically. To speak so that you inspire the people around you. And to listen so that you continue to learn everyday”

“All of us, including the leaders need to hear the truth”

“A good leader recognizes that most people won’t feel comfortable challenging authority. So it falls upon authority to encourage them to question.”

“It’s easy to say that you encourage feedback, but it isnt always easy to do. Because it doesnt always come in the format we wanna hear it.”

“When you’re a leader, it is very hard to  get good feedback and honest feedback”

Ask yourself :

  • How will you lead?
  • Will you use simple & clear language?
  • Will you seek out honest feedback?
  • When you get honest feedback, will you react with anger or with gratitude?

“I dont believe we have a professional-self from Mondays thru Fridays; and a real-self on the weekends”

” It is all professional, and it is all personal. All at the very same time. Bring your whole-self to work. ”

“We need to start talking about this. We need to start talking about how women underestimate their abilities compared to men”

“… this means that women need  a different form of management and/or mentorship, a different form of sponsorship and encouragement, and some protection, in some ways more than men …”

“… it also falls upon our men, just as much as our women. Not just to talk about gender, but to help these women succeed …”

“when you hear about a woman who is really great at her job but not liked, take a deep breath and ask why”

“this show me that this is an unresolved issue for all of us both men and women”

“we need to start talking about how fewer women than men … aspire to the very top jobs.”

“we will not close the leadership gap until we close the ambition gap”

“We need more women not just to sit at the table, but to take their rightful seats at the head of the table” (here she quotes president Obama)

“Make the effort to speak; as well as seek the truth”
Which reminds me of my alma mater :
To Truth Through Charity / Ad Veritatem Per Caritatem

“Remain True to, and open about your authentic self”

“That your generation accomplishes what mine has failed to do. Give us a world where half our homes are run by men, and half our institutions are run by women.


The book

Lean_In_(book)In 2013, Sandberg released her first book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, co-written with journalist and TV writer Nell Scovell. It is about business leadership and development, issues with the lack of women in government and business leadership positions, and feminism


Their foundation is committed to offering women the ongoing inspiration and support to help them achieve their goals. If we talk openly about the challenges women face and work together, we can change the trajectory of women and create a better world for everyone.


” most men would not let that get in the way

of taking a new opportunity. “

Lori Goler, VP of human resources, Facebook : ”I would say the best career advice I’ve gotten is from Sheryl Sandberg. When I was first thinking about coming to Facebook, I called Sheryl and asked her what her biggest business problem was. She said it was recruiting. I told her that I didn’t have a lot of experience leading recruiting organizations, and she responded by saying that most men would not let that get in the way of taking a new opportunity. In fact, research tells us that women think they need to have all of the qualifications, or very close to all of them, for a new role before they jump into it. Men don’t feel the same way. I listened to Sheryl’s advice and jumped right into the position at Facebook. Like she encouraged me, I definitely encourage other women to jump right in.”


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Joanne Lee JS is a highly passionate woman who loves her freedom and can spend hours on the internet.
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