A Woman To Look Up To

One of the most important questions you'll ever answer is - How do you respond to feedback? 

     On a recent visit to Airbnb, Cheryl Sandberg was asked, "What's the number one thing you look for in people who can scale a company" and she responded: "Someone who can take feedback well. Because people who can take feedback well are people who can learn and grow quickly."

     Sheryl Kara Sandberg is an American Technology Executive, activist, author, and much more. She is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and founder of Leanin.org. Leanin is an organization Cheryl started that encourages women to follow their ambitions.

     Her book, Lean In received a lot of flack, when it debuted; many considered it a wealthy woman’s attempt to talk to others about balancing work and family life. She has been accused of not being in tune with the average working mothers plight.  If you've read the book, it's clear that she is much more sensitive to the struggles and demands of work and motherhood than given credit for. Regardless of her perceived worth, we believe she is worth a lot. She is a woman who shares all of the emotional upheavals every woman on the face of the earth experiences. For instance, she gained 70 pounds and had morning sickness for 9 months when she was pregnant, took a year to land a job in Silicon Valley, cried at work, and admits she worries too much about being liked. Sounds pretty human to me.

     She also commented that never realized how hard it was to be a single parent until her husband died unexpectedly. She maintains the odds are stacked against single moms.  Many live in poverty, work two jobs, or don't get paid leave to care for themselves or their children if they get sick.  She called on leaders to rethink public and corporate policies to better support single mothers.  Not only is she representative of many others and myself, she's also an inspiring call to action.

     Her husband’s death changed her in many ways.  She learned how cruel loss is, and how we can get swallowed up in the heaviness of grief. However, she also learned when life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface and breathe again.  Sheryl learned that in the face of difficulties or in the face of any challenge, you can choose joy and meaning. It is always a work in progress as nothing happens overnight, but if you can just see a thread of hope, a light of glimmer, you're on your way to the top.  An important message she shared, during her commencement speech at the University of California, Berkeley this year: it’s the hard days that determine who you are. "I’m sharing this with you in the hope that today, as you take the next step in your life, you can learn the lessons that I learned only in death. Lessons about hope, strength, and the light within us that will not be extinguished."

Thank you so much for joining us today! 

Stop by Thursday for our next blog post

Quote to take with you for the week:


Women need to shift from thinking "I'm not ready to do that" to thinking "I want to do that- and I'll learn by doing it.” 

― Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead




Gail KhanComment