Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, on Using Your Voice For Good
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Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, on Using Your Voice For Good


[MUSIC] [APPLAUSE]>>I am really excited to be here. So, thank you all, for having me.>>Well, we’re thrilled to have you,
thank you so much for being here Cheryl. So, there’s a lot to talk about today,
you’re new book, Option B. But where I’d really love to start,
is with the early part of your career. So you left the Treasury in 2001, and you were contemplating various different
opportunities here in Silicon Valley. One of which was to join Google as
its first Business Unit Manager. And Eric Schmidt is a lecturer here. He was also a view from
the top guest recently. Did he really tell you, to don’t be
stupid, just get on the rocket ship?>>Yeah he did. I mean it’s an interesting
day to be here because today, Mark Zuckerberg, my boss is
giving the Harvard Commencement. Where he and I both went, but I graduated.>>[LAUGH]
>>Just saying, only one of us finished.>>[LAUGH]
>>But he gets his degree today, but I was working on my post and I’m
going to do a post after his graduation speech finishes in an hour or so. And what I said is that when
I graduated from college, Mark Zuckerberg was in elementary school.>>[LAUGH]
>>And the lesson you draw from that, and I really mean this so deeply,
is two career thoughts. One is do not try to draw a straight line. And the second just find it,
find the rocket ship that matters to you. Hi dad, I’m sorry.>>[LAUGH]
>>On the first, and you know what really matters here is
if you try to plan out your career, anyone who thinks she know exactly
what you’re going to do for the next 30 years, here’s what I promise,
or 40 years, it’s going to be boring. And you’re going to
miss all the good stuff because all the good stuff
hasn’t been invented yet. The thing that’s really going to change
the world, you don’t yet know what it was. And so if I had mapped out my career,
you know Mark was in elementary school and there was no internet.>>Right.
>>[LAUGH]>>There was no internet when I graduated from college and so I tell people you
want to have a really long run dream>>And you want to have a short run plan. And that short run plan, it is important. It’s not about what you accomplish,
especially in the early days. It’s about what you help other people
accomplish and about what you learn. You invest in yourself, you invest in the success of your
teams of other people, and that works. And the second is the rocket ship lesson,
so I without the treasury I didn’t really
ever think I’d live in California. But from the point of view of
the US Treasury, all the exciting stuff was happening out there and
these companies that didn’t exist. And so I wanted to work in Silicon Valley. But it was actually hard,
it was 2000- 2001, lots of people said I would never
hire anyone like you to my face. There was a huge bus, the first
Tech mobile had just burst and so it was actually hard to get a job and
when I finally got one at Google, it felt like the wrong job. I had a spreadsheet,
some of you have those. It had my criteria from my jobs, and
the problem with the Google job is other than loving the company,
it met none of the criteria. I was a business unit general manager. But, I’m not that dumb. There were no business units.>>[LAUGH]
>>So that job title didn’t mean anything. It was also a couple levels lower than
other job offers I had elsewhere. And Eric did, he put his hand on my little
spreadsheet when I showed him my criteria and how Google met none of it,
except that I loved the company. And said, you love the mission. This is a rocket ship. When you get offered a seat on the rocket
ship, you don’t ask what seat. And this is one of the most common career
mistakes I see people make all the time. Someone coming out of government,
or someone who’s in legal, or someone who’s in marketing and
they want to change careers. They want to move from marketing
to sales and it’s not hard, maybe that’s not a good example.>From legal to marketing or
from politics or industries and then you’ll say okay we’re willing to
take a chance on you, you’ll start here. And they’re like but that’s three
levels lower or two years behind. And I’m looking at them if
you’re going to work for the next 40 years, why do you care? Get yourself and
the job I took at Google and the job I took at Facebook were more
junior than every other job offer I had.>>All right.>>But they turned out to be
much bigger opportunities.>>And so, when your facing that
decision of joining Mark when he was, I think 23 at that time younger
than most of us in the room. What advice could you offer to us, those of us who find ourselves in
a non founding leadership position about respecting the founder’s culture
while also making your own impact?>>So there are a lot of a founder driven
companies out here they are all elsewhere. But I think it’s broader than that. I think the lesson is about how
to you build the relationship at work that are going to last. And it turns out it’s an immensely similar
to building relationships at home. You know what matters for
relationships and friendships. What matters is that you
care about the other people. You have aligned goals, right? When you’ve had friends,
think about friendships in your life. We’ve all had this, where you have friends
that you kind of wanted the same things and you stayed good friends for
a long time, or a boyfriend or girlfriend. And sometimes that doesn’t work but
if you want the same things and then you’re willing to
care about the person and really know the person,
you can make it work. Probably the best advice I got from
this was from Dave, my husband. When I was interviewing with Mark, Mark
and I actually had a lot of stuff we had. It’s not that we didn’t agree,
it’s that we couldn’t figure it out. What was going to be
Facebook’s business model? You know,
what were we going to do on these things? And what Dave said to me, is he said don’t even bother sorting out
the substance before you take the job. Because all you have done is sorted out
today’s substance and it will all change. What you need to sort out before
you take the job is the process. Can you and Mark disagree on something and
work it out? Can you convince him of
something he didn’t believe and does he convince you an awful lot I thinks he believes because a lot of
the stuffs is going to go his way. Pay attention to the process and we spent
a couple months really spending a lot of time together and
in that time I learn a lot. And he convince of lots of things I
hadn’t thought of before and there one or two times where I convince him and
I watched him accept may point of view. And then on the way in
I didn’t ask him for anything except a commitment to
the process of our relationship.>>Right.>>S all I asked for is we would sit
together, we would always have meetings. So we agreed we would have
the first meeting of the week and the last meeting of the week
just the two of use.>>Ummh.
>>And we would, and I asked him, he would always
give me feedback once a week. And he jumped in and said as long
as you give me feedback one a week. And that was when I took the job,
was when he said that. So pay attention to
the process by which you’re going to work with someone on the way
into a job, along with values alignment. Alignment of what the purpose
of the company is, I think is the most
important thing you can do. And he has really grown into a friend and
it sounds like he and his wife Presella where incredible to you,
following Dave’s passing. Can you share little bit more about how that friendship
has evolved over the years.>>Yeah, people used to write
about us that we where like the silicon valley odd couple. And And maybe in some ways we were,
but we’re not now. He is one of my absolutely closest friends
in the world, and so is Priscilla. Mark’s an incredible person and not
just the brilliance we see in Facebook. But if you have a chance to watch his
commencements speech today watch it. Because it has a very clear vision of
what a global and connected world is. That is a vision that he really has, and
I think would be very good for the world. And is feeling like it needs more
support than it has right now. And he is putting that up there into the
world in a very brave and a very bold way. And I am proud of him for doing that. As a friend, when Dave died Mark he didn’t just helped me but he really
helped build my self-confidence back up. And it was one of the most surprising
things about losing Dave was that, I wrote Lean In, I thought about
self-confidence an awful lot.>>Right.
>>And I spent years running around, we have 32,000 Lean In
circles in 150 countries. I’ve spent years giving other people, other women advice on how to
build their self confidence. And in giving that advice, I really
thought I understood my own and had built my own up, I was pretty open in the book
in areas where I didn’t have enough. But when Dave died,
I didn’t think I was capable of anything. I could barely go to work and
not cry, I was parenting on my own, two grieving children. And what happened before
Dave died is that, when someone was having
a problem at work and people have real hardship that they’re
going through and then they come to work. I would think my job was to
take the pressure off them. I’m so sorry this is happening,
do you not want to be here? But what I figured out is that, when I
came back to work and people said to me, this is the kind of things I said to them,
don’t worry, of course, you can’t concentrate with
all you’re going through. That really undermined.>>Right.
>>My self-confidence because it made me feel like,
my God, that’s exactly right. What Mark did was,
take as much time as you want. And companies need better policies
I’m very proud of Facebook. So take as much time as you want but,
he also did but you really made a good point today. And so what I learned is now when
people are facing hardship at work. I will both give them time off but
I will say, but here’s the project if you want it. We still believe in you. And that’s true not just with death, it’s true of people who have
been diagnosed with an illness. I’ve talked to so many people
who are working through cancer. And they’ll talk about, I have chemo
brain, no one thinks I can do anything. So if every time you interact with them,
you say, don’t worry. That’s helpful, but throw in a couple of
good things they did as long as they’re true and legitimate and
that’s even more helpful.>>Right. And so let’s take a step back. So, you’re on vacation with Dave and
friends. The unimaginable as you say happens, and you fly home to tell your two young
children that their father was gone. The morning of his funeral you
decided to start writing a journal and that turned into a very famous and
widely seen Facebook post. Why did you decide to share your
very personal stories so publicly?>>I never thought I would. After Dave died it wasn’t just the grief,
which was so overwhelming, it was really this
pretty deep sense of isolation. Before Dave died when I
drop my kids off at school, they go to local public school here in
Mendel Park, everyone would chit chat, I’d go to work and
everyone would chit chat. But, after David I was walking
around I felt like a ghost. Everywhere I went was just silence and
that’s because people were so afraid of saying the wrong thing that
they didn’t say anything at all. And so I’d been keeping this journal and
when they Jewish period of mourning which is Shloshim 30-days was coming
to a close, I thought about like writing what I would say if I were
just honest and I wrote the post. And then I went to bed
the night before thinking, there’s zero chance I’m posting
this it’s way too honest. And then I woke up the next day and
it really was so bad, I thought to myself can’t get worse,
might get better and I hit post. And it helped, it didn’t take the grief
away and it didn’t bring Dave back, but it took away the isolation because
people started talking to me again. A friend of mine at work said she’ve
been driving by my house every month, everyday, actually for a month. And had never come in, so
she started coming in. Strangers started talking to strangers. And what I’ve realized to this
process of my own grief but also talking to other people, is that, all of these challenges usher
these huge elephants into the room, right? You want to silence the room? Say you have cancer. You will completely silence
any room you are in, your dad just went to prison,
you just lost your job. Any of these things, you lost a child,
your child is sick, your husband died. Just any of these things, you can even
feel the quiet in the room when I say it, up here. And so that means that we don’t help each
other when we need each other the most. And one of the reasons I wrote, Option B,
and I’m glad that, out of desperation, I did share publicly. Is I want to try to kick those
elephants out of those rooms. Because they’re not helping
anyone get through it. And it doesn’t mean everyone has
to talk about things all the time. They don’t. But looking at someone and
saying, I know you’re suffering. I know this is hard and
I’m here when you want to talk, when you want to cry or
when you want to just be, I am here. We can have an awful lot more of
those conversations than we do. The other thing I learned through this is
that one of the ways we offer help and I did this all the time was we say,
is there anything I can do? When we offer to help, that’s actually
the most common thing we do, right? That’s what I used to do. The problem is,
when you’re on the other side of that, it kind of shifts the burden to
the person who needs the help, to come up with something and most of
the time you have no idea what to say. What runs through my mind every time is,
can you make Father’s Day go away so I don’t have to live through it? Like, not going to happen. So there’s a really nice story in
my book about Dan and Esther Levey. They’re community members
of our community here and they had a child who died very tragically. They were in the hospital for
many months and a friend of his showed up at the hospital
and texted from the hospital lobby and said, I’m in the lobby for a hug for
the next hour whether you want it or not. And so a friend of mine read
this in my book Option B and a friend of hers who this is the important
part of the story, she is not a very close friend just a friend, went into
the hospital with her daughter and so she said what she would have
done is exactly nothing because when a friend goes to the hospital you
don’t show up, that’s totally imposing. But she read my book. So she went the toy store,
she bought a big stuffed giraffe, she went to the lobby of the hospital and
said, I’m here with a toy I could just leave
it downstairs, but in case you’re free, and the woman immediately texted back and
said please come up stairs. And she gave the four year old
who has Leukemia the toy, and she was unwrapping it and the mother’s
standing behind her crying the whole time. Saying thank you for showing up, and
in the hour she was there no one else did. You don’t have to be someone’s
best friend from the first grade. And you don’t have to be a personal
friend, you can be a work friend to show up, and we can do a lot more
to show up for each other. To feel each other’s pain, acknowledge,
kick elephants out of the room and be there for one another. And it’ll make us stronger,
as friends, as family, as a community, and
as colleagues wherever we work.>>One of the interesting things
that you write about in Option B is, that children are naturally
more resilient than adults are. What have you learned from your own
children about how to bounce back after adversity?>>Yeah, children are sometimes, just to be clear because it’s
very important to understand. Children can be more
resilient than adults, but children also need a lot of support. So children need to build resilience,
they need to build a resilience for trauma like mine have faced. They need to build resilience for
a lot of the things we don’t provide. We have a problem in this country where, we have 37% of single moms living in
poverty, 40% if you’re Black or Latino. And the poverty line is low. So many, many more people are facing real
challenges of putting food on the table. And so, these children are not
getting a good education. They’re not getting the support
they need from our government. They’re not getting the support
they need from communities. And so,
those children need more than resilience. They need actual support,
an actual education, an actual healthcare. And we need to provide that. And then there’s the everyday challenges
and children need resilience for that too. And so there are very specific things
we can do to build resilience in our children. And one of them and
probably the most important, is something some colleges
called mattering. Tell kids they matter. Your opinion matters to me. What you do matters to me. I want your advice. I care about your opinion and
I want you to know mine. Treat them like the people they are. Another thing I think is really
important in building resilience, and we wrote about it in a book but
I see it a lot in the workplace, is, don’t do too much for your kids. And for you guys, please don’t let
your parents do things for you. If your parent is about to email a friend
to get you a job, don’t let that happen.>>[LAUGH]
>>People do not want to hire people whose parents apply for them. I’m dead serious. I get three of these a week.>>[LAUGH]
>>I am dead serious. Do not let your parents do stuff for you. You’re communicating to your future
employer that you can’t do it yourself. It is a generational thing that did
not exist in my generation, but it is a big deal that’s
going on in the workforce. I promise, if I get two resumes
from someone directly and from someone’s parent,
I’m always going to hire the first. We have to let our kids, and you guys have
to let yourselves, do things on their own. Because that is how you build resilience.>>You grew up in a family
of very strong women. What from your upbringing prepared you for this level of success
that you’ve achieved?>>Working on things that matter. My parents were very
non-profit focused and very focused on doing the right thing for
the right reason. And I think hard work. I mean, all the stuff out there
on grit and determination and working on things that
are challenging is all true. And something that’s
just super important for. There’s no substitute for hard work. And I think one thing that I see
generationally that’s happened, and I think we can do a better job on this, is we need to remind kids that they’re not
just doing for them, they’re contributing. And we need to remind people
of that in the workplace. The best hiring story ever, that I
ever had experienced, is in Lean In, is Lori Goler. She called me when I went to Facebook and
she called and said the following. She said, I think I want to
come work with you at Facebook. She was at Ebay in marketing. So I thought I’d call you and tell you all the things I like to
do an all the things I’m good at. But I figure everyone’s doing that. So instead, I’m going to call you and
say what’s your biggest problem and how can I solve it? So you know Lean In sold a millions
of copies as millions of people have hopefully read at least part of the book,
right? At that story, but I don’t see that
many people coming into the workplace asking what they can do for the company. Ask what you can do. I promise, you will get mentors, you
will get sponsors, you will get results, you will get promotions, you will
get opportunities by contributing. If it is about you, it won’t happen
because organizations are not about you, organizations are about
the organization and their mission. And when you serve that mission and when you work hard towards the betterment
of the people around you, and I think I learned that at home,
that’s where real success comes from. But you can’t fake it. You can’t be like, I’m going to pretend to
care about everyone else in our mission to get myself ahead. That won’t work. You actually have to care. So you have to work some place
with people you can care about and with a mission you can care about.>>You published Lean In 2013,
and as you said, it’s gone on to sell millions of copies. In it, you wrote a chapter called
make your partner a real partner. And you share an anecdote about Dave
taught you how to diaper your son, and also that 26 of the 28 women who’ve
served as Fortune 500 CEO’s were married. And so,
do you still view it as essential or really important to women’s
success that they have a partner?>>I mean, it was definitely
a chapter I regretted once Dave died. I wrote about different forms
of family structure in Lean In. But I wrote a whole chapter called
Make Your Partner a Real Partner. And then when I didn’t have one I thought
about how hard that would be to read. Just like the father daughter
dance is just brutal for the kids who don’t have a father. And I wish they could just
call it something else. Katie Couric, her husband died as well. So at her private school in New York,
she tried to get them to change it. And they told her it was tradition. And she spoke back on a whole bunch of
other things that were also tradition like slavery, that are long gone.>>[LAUGH]
>>But she was like just because something’s traditional does not
mean it’s a good idea, right? And so, not to compare the two,
let’s be clear. One is far worse than the other. But just because we’ve
done something the wrong way doesn’t mean we
should continue to do it. I don’t have a partner. I can no longer say that. I never said Lean In you had to have one,
and I was clear about that. I did say you should pick the right one. That if you’re going to have a partner, if
you’re going to have a same-sex partner, same-sex partner’s share
tours more evenly so it’s actually less of an issue on average
>>It’s always an issue for any two people in the world to work out. But if you are going to have a partner,
and you’re a woman, and that partner is going to be a man, picking someone who
supports your career is a really big deal. And it does make me pretty sad, the data on your generation is your attitudes
are not that much better than mine. The data in my generation. They’re getting better a little bit,
right? The base step dub is the expert. They’re getting better a little bit. But we don’t take surveys and find out that 98% of the men who
are graduating from college and business school this year think their wives
should have the same career they have. That’s not what it says. It should say that, it doesn’t say that. So you might as well know
that about the dating pool.>>[LAUGH]
>>And find the ones who are answering
the question the right way.>>[LAUGH]
>>I’m serious. I’m dead serious on this.>>And you do advocate in the book that
your friends date all different types of men, right?>>Date whoever you want,
don’t marry them.>>[LAUGH]
>>If you are a woman and you are an ambitious woman,
and I hope you are, because men have run the world for
a long time and it’s not going that well.>>[LAUGH]
>>So I hope every woman in here is ambitious. And I hope every man in here is
ambitious for the women in his life. But if you’re a woman, and
if you’re ambitious, and if you want a leadership role, which I
hope you all are, don’t marry the guy who when they fill out the survey and no ones
there says my career is more important. Because you know what? His career’s going to be more important. There’s a lot of societal pressure which
still exists which is reinforcing that. And while we work to change it
society because we owe you that, you can change it in your own home by
picking the right home in the first place.>>Many of the stories that you share
in Lean In are about men who’ve championed your career,
from Secretary Summers, to Mark and Dave. What role have women played?>>Well, I’ve never worked for a woman. And most women have never worked for
a woman. Because especially the more senior you
get, because we still have basically 5% of the Fortune 500 CEO jobs or
their equivalent every where in the world. And so the first thing we could
do is change that by all of you. But women played a really
important career. And I think it’s worth really
understanding how important it is for women to support each other. And also getting rid of what I
think is largely a myth now, that women don’t support each other. I also think when we look for
support, looking to our peers is much more important than people talk about and
give credit. There’s endless classes and seminars and breakout sessions at every
conference on finding a mentor. And that’s important. And mentorships and
sponsorship’s important. And you have to go about it the right way. But peers can be just as important and
just as effective. Lean In circles were founded with
the idea that our peers could mentor us, based on a lot of research. And there are now almost
33,000 in 150 countries. We grow by almost 100 a week. And we find that the people in them
Do you take on more challenges are able to fulfill their
dreams at a higher level? And I believe they’re
supposed are helping them. So when you look for that support women play that role
in your career, Lean In Circle or some structure where you are relying on
people explicitly can be really helpful. And it doesn’t have to be people
above you, it can be your peers, they can be incredibly effective.>>You offered some interesting
advice backstage that, having a personal board of directors or
branding yourself is horrible advice. So [LAUGH] I would love to
hear a little more about that.>>Yeah,
these are two really bad pieces of advice. I don’t know if you’re getting them
here so, if anyone’s giving them here, I apologize in advance. But.
>>[LAUGH]>>I wrote in Lean In, don’t ask someone to be your mentor. Don’t walk up to someone and
say, will you be my mentor. Here’s why, that doesn’t work. Because a mentorship is
a real relationship. It is a relationship where someone invests
in you and you invest back in them. And I’ve mentored lots
of people over many, many decades, not one of which
started with, will you be my mentor. The way it started was, I learned from
someone and they learned from me. I mean, I would say Deb Gruenfeld is here, she’s been my mentor in
learning all the data on women. And I sat next to her at a dinner. She was the first person who,
we have never had this conversation, we’re having it publicly.>>[LAUGH]
>>She was the->>That’s the best possible way, right?>>She was the first person,
Deb was the first person who told me that likeability and success for
women were negatively correlated. I felt like the lights went on, I understood something, I followed
up I then gave a tac talk on it. I’m doing one side of this but I think
what happened is she taught me something. I paid her back by
investing in those ideas. She really care that
people know those ideas. She now serves on the Lean In Board,
and she mentors me in that way and hopefully I’ve given back in lots of
ways and it’s a real relationship. It started with substance. The real relationship
start with substance. Being on someone’s personal board of
directors what you’re saying is, hi, it’s all about me. And I’m going to come to you for
your advice. People don’t have Boards of Directors,
companies do.>>[LAUGH]
>>People have relationships, and those relationships go both ways. I promise, if you are Lori Goler, and you solve the problem of the senior people
around you, they will mentor you all day. They’ll probably never call it that,
but they will do it. And if you asked for a lot of help but
you don’t give back, it won’t be real and you will not get the support
that you’re looking for. So asking someone to be on your personal
board of directors it’s just way worst than solving a problem for them. For them, which you have the opportunity even as
the Miss Junior personnel in organization. And the personal branding,
yeah I feel strongly about this.>>[LAUGH]
>>People don’t have brands. Colgate has a brand.>>[LAUGH]
>>This water has a brand. And I think it’s really important because
branding is a very specific thing. I do a lot of work on branding. I think about how Facebook’s brand
evolves, I think about I’m an advertising business so I work with companies
all over the world on their brand. And when you are selling a product, you
are trying to package it and explain it, I’m going to walk by on a shelf and
I’m going to decide what toothpaste and that’s a decision. It’s a decision that’s important to me. I use toothpaste many times a day and
it’s a very important decision for the companies and
how that value proposition is packaged, explained clearly and simply, is how I’m
going to make that decision along with pricing convenience of where it’s sold. That’s what products need to be. They need to be packaged cleanly,
neatly, concretely. People aren’t like that. If you are trying to package yourself,
you’re almost certainly false. And by the way to be fair to
people who do give this advice, I don’t think that’s what they mean. I think they are giving more nuanced and
careful advice. I just think in it’s interpretation, it’s having a negative
effect because we are messy. Who am I? I am the CEO of Facebook,
a company I deeply believe in. I’m the founder of Lean In and Option B. I’m an author, I’m a mom, I’m a widow. At some level,
I’m still deeply heartbroken. I am a friend, and I am a sister. And there are people in my life
I am not in touch with any more. Like, I am a lot of very messy,
complicated things. And if I put myself out there,
or even with a friend, sit and I am not honest about all
of those things, I am not real. And I don’t think people should try
to package themselves up because it’s not real. So, Scotty McQuillan is here. He’s been one of the most
important people in my life. I took his class when I
was in business school. I think some of you are fortunate enough
to be, you’re taking his class right now. And that’s what your class is about. It is about who we are as people, and
nowhere in there would you ever give anyone advice to simplify, or package,
or put one face out to the world because that is exactly the opposite of what we
need from each other and from ourselves.>>In Lean In you write about how it’s
a fallacy to that you can have it all. That people don’t have it all it’s
a question of, can you do it all? And the answer is often no. But in your case it does seem like from
the outsider’s perspective you do it all. And so from your own point of view,
what have you given up or what choices have you made
to do all that you have? Founding Lean In and Option B, and leading one of the biggest
tech companies in the world?>>Well, the most important thing I do is,
I hire really well. I have amazing teams. As one person,
you couldn’t do what Facebook does. We have 16,000 unbelievable people and
I have an unbelievable boss, and leader, and partner in Mark. And, my foundation, Option B, launched,
I don’t know, a month ago and we have 350,000 people in the community
and the community’s really helping people. It’s helping me. That’s because my foundation team rocks. And so it’s never about one person. I could never do all this. But if I have a great team and great working relationships with people,
together we can do an awful lot. The having it all concept is so
problematic. You know, you are all a little young, so I’ll try to do the younger
view of this subject. But for the men who are older. So let me do this. For men in the room, has anyone
ever questioned should you work? You sure you want to work?>>[LAUGH]
>>Okay->>We’re also at a business school, so it might be biased.>>[LAUGH]
>>But again, this may not work because of age, but I promise it’ll work with
the older women here. For women who are here, has anyone
ever said, should you be working? And so what you guys can’t see is,
keep your hands up. Every woman in this room who’s
above 40 have your hand up. No, I’m serious. There’s no woman,
you cannot no matter what you can do. You can have my career or any career. You cannot get to the age of
40 as a woman in United States without someone asking
you if you should work. Okay, 70% of mothers in the workplace,
most women have to work. We never ask men how they have it all. I get asked that by reporters all
the time, I always say the same thing. I want to answer that question,
because you don’t ask men.>>Right.>>They say, Yes I always ask men. I’m like, great show me the article
where you’ve asked the man, I didn’t write it in the article.>>[LAUGH]
>>But I always ask them->>It’s not news worthy.>>Right, I stopped answering
that question, and I just said, show me the interview where
you’ve asked a man that question. There is no, how do you do it all? To a man, No ne asks that. Because what we’re saying is that you
can’t have a career and you can’t have a family and this is so important I
think of the age of most of you are which is we tell women they can’t do it all and
they leave before they leave. They leave before they leave that
we I am watching woman after woman after woman Lean back because
they’re going to have kids one day. I’ve given a lot of talks at
a lot of companies, and I’ll say, to rooms full of people like this, stand
up if you want to be CEO of your company. And some of the men will stand up,
very few of the women and if you ask why? A lot of the women will say, well, I
want to have a family and then I say okay, who’s had a meeting with the CEO? And they raise their hand, I say keep your hand up if
the meeting was set on your schedule. Turns out that meeting was
set on a CEO schedule. People miss that as you get more senior,
you often have more control not less. No, not all the time and
there’s always exceptions but what’s really is that men are being
told to keep their foot in gas pedal, women subtlely,
subtlely often leaning back. And then fast forward ten years in the
workplace they’re both working full time. The woman is just making less, less senior and has less control
over schedule for their scheds. And so, even if you’re not a 100%
sure you’re going to stay in. Even if you’ve been told over and
over again you can’t do it all, even if I watch a man like me be
interviewed and asked that question or because people have said it directly
to you just stay in until you leave. Because I gave you the optimal choices and
then you can decide and I’ve never said everyone
should say in the workforce. I really want people to follow
their own dreams and for a lot of people working in the home is
the most gratifying thing they can do. I just want women to make that
from a place of strength. I want them to have the best job they
can possibly have and then make that. I want them to have partners who
are doing their share in the home, and then make those decisions.>>In Lean In you write and encourage the readers to make
decisions as if you were unafraid. What is one thing that you’re
afraid of that you have yet to do?>>Well, I just did option b so
I feel like that counts for right now. I’m in the middle of doing it.>>So am I.>>[LAUGH]
>>But I wrote a book on my husband’s death and
what it’s like and what is grief and what is resilience and
what is trying to rebuild. And so,
that’s actually a pretty scary thing. So I don’t think I have my next thing yet,
but I knew why I did it. I did it because I want
something good to come out. I mean John was right, Dave was
beloved and beloved in this community. At his funeral and I know somebody
in the front row were there with me. Our friend Zander asked the crowd, raise your hand if Dave Goldberg
changed your life. And so, I mean a sea of hands went up,
it was extraordinary. And I know if Dave were still alive he’d
be doing so much good for so many people and so from his staff we can do option
b and we can help other people recover. I feel that it honors the life he led. And so, it is still hard and
still scary sometimes to talk about it but I feel like I’m trying to do some good. My favorite story in the book, the book is
my story, a lot of really good research and a lot of stories of other
people who have faced resilience. And some pretty important stuff
on resilience for companies and careers in case you’re interested. My favorite story is
a guy named Joe Casper. And he lost his son, but he was a doctor,
so he dealt with other people’s life and death all the time, but then his son died. So now along with being a doctor,
he counsels other bereaved parents. And he says that it feels that
it extends his son’s legacy and even his son’s life,
by doing good in his son’s name. And I think the reason I did when I was
not was afraid to do which is be this open about it was because I think it
extends day for work legacy. And I do think that there’s a lesson
in there and not when you ask guys to question all the time what would
you do if you weren’t afraid, the point is not do stupid
things you’re afraid of.>>[LAUGH]
>>Like my sister jumped out of an airplane once. I was terrified and angry. I’m like that just seems stupid to me. Sorry for all you airplane jumpers.>>[LAUGH]
>>I mean, some people have to do it because
they’re serving in the military, but do you have to jump out of a plane today? I don’t know. Maybe it’s your dream and you want to
do it, but what I don’t mean is, what would you do if you
weren’t afraid and go do it? You take risks for reward, so you do
something challenging and hard like write this book because I’m trying to make
something good come from tragedy. You take the hard job because
the company has meaning, you take the hard role because you
believe you can make the team better. Ask yourself what you would do if you
weren’t afraid, but ask yourself why? And there needs to be a really
good why for most of us.>>Many of us are graduating, next month as you think back on your own
graduation from Harvard Business School. What’s something that you know,
just in your gut, that you’re capable of today that
you wish that you knew then? Leading to tragedy.
I mean I never would have thought. I gave the Harvard Business School
commencement speech 2014 maybe. I don’t remember, looks like three
years ago, further back, 2012? And the day I gave it, the day before
one of the members of that class died. He drowned suddenly and
the whole class was in mourning. I wore the pin, we all did, and I sat
there giving this speech thinking, My God, there’s a woman in this audience
whose husband drowned last night. I think she was there. And I would have never,
in a million years, thought that I would be that person. And I just met her, she’s in Houston
now and she’s incredible and she’s going back to her, yeah,
it’s the 5th year reunion, so it was 2012. She’s going, I think, this weekend or next
to her husband’s class five year reunion. Which I think is incredibly brave. I’m proud of her.>>Thank you so much. We’ll open it up to the audience for
a few questions. Reminder if you have
a question please stand and state your name when
they bring you the mic.>>Hi, Sheryl. My name is Shami. First year MBA student at the GSB. Especially here at the view from the top
when we hear business leaders speak they often speak about what
makes them successful. But you’re different in that you
choose to inspire people about speaking about overcoming loss and
overcoming your doubts. How did you choose to become
this kind of a leader?>>It’s funny, I don’t know if I chose
to become this kind of leader, or that I thought there were things that
weren’t being said that needed to be said. So I graduated from undergrad in 91,
from business school in 1995. And I looked above me and it was all men,
and I looked alongside me and there were all these great women. And I just thought by the time I
got where I was, it would be half. And it just wasn’t. And so there were two thing,
bunch of things I wanted to say. That I thought people weren’t saying one
was that men still run the world and that’s not okay. Like put a stake in the ground
that it’s not okay. When I’d gone on the TED stage and
I said men still run the world, everyone gasp as if that was a surprise.>>[LAUGH]
>>And to this day, I can go into rooms and say,
men still run the world, and people are like yes they do,
what a shocker. You’re like, guys you have 95% of the top
shops this isn’t that hard, right? But the answer is why, like what are the
cultural things that are holding us back? Ready men in the audience, men only. Raise you hand if anyone
ever called you bossy.>>[LAUGH]
>>There’s always one or two. Women in the audience, raise your
hand if anyone ever called you bossy. I wanted her to turn around and
look at that, put your hands back up. So next time you see a little
girl called bossy, and it will be this weekend if you look for
her, you walk right up to the people who called her bossy,
probably her parents, and you say, that little girl is not bossy, that little
girl has executive leadership skills.>>[LAUGH] [LAUGH] [APPLAUSE]>>Okay, I want you to wait, ready? I’m going to try that the other way. That little boy has
executive leadership skills. I have done that, exactly that way, and
gotten a huge laugh out of every audience, in every country I have ever done that in. But here’s the bad news. That’s bias, and if you don’t think
you have it, I just proved you do. Because the reason we laugh is that it’s
funny that a little girl has executive leadership skills, because it goes
against our expectations and type. So in case you sit here at
the Stanford Business School, thinking that other people have the biases
that hold women back, it’s you too. I laughed, you laughed,
it’s me and it’s you. We all have the stereotype that
is keeping women from leading. And you just got through two years
at Stanford and it didn’t change. No, let’s be honest,
that’s what I wanted to say. And then I wanted to say there’s a whole
bunch of stuff women are also doing to hold themselves back. So I don’t think I chose to be any kind of
leader, I chose to say those three things. We need more women in leadership,
the culture is holding us back, and there are things we can do. And again I think, if you’re looking for
what kind of leader you’re going to be, you are too inwardly focused. Focus on what you want to say, because it
matters, or what you want to build, or what you want to make, or
who you want to serve. And that’s how you become the kind of
leader you are, if that makes sense.>>I’m Paul, I’m a second year student, and I’m not trying to ask you if
you’re going to run for president.>>[LAUGH]
>>Which means that I am asking you that, but let’s just frame it as career advice. So you worked in the Clinton
administration and you’re obviously very interested in
public service and the public sector. And for those of us who are interested in
both government and private sector work. How do you think about the pros and
cons and going forward in your career, how do you think about blending those?>>[LAUGH]
>>That’s a business school question!>>That’s a good question.>>[LAUGH]
>>So for me, for my answer, is I really love my job at Facebook and
it gives me what I want to do. And then, but I do have a loud voice, an
increasingly loud voice on public policy. I know what I think a whole
bunch of policies work and I’m increasingly using that voice. And I think I have the ability to have
that voice, and it’s one I’m using loudly. Going in and out, look,
there’s two paths in the US government. There’s civil servants, where you really
go in and you move up the ladder, and there’s going in and out. I think being open to doing that,
thinking about running for office, all of that stuff really makes sense. And I think we need the country’s best and
brightest to do this. I also think we’d be well
served by having more people who were in business in office. I think about some of the things
that I thought at the U.S. Treasury that really changed once I had to
make payroll, and that was the Treasury, which is the finance department. And so I do think having more business
leaders, like all of you, running for office and
serving in government is really important. Bob Rubin, who is the chairman of
Goldman Sachs and then the secretary of the treasury, made that point for a very
long time, and I think it’s a good one. So I’m glad to hear you ask that question,
and I hope a lot of you are open to that, because you could do a lot of good. [LAUGH]
>>[LAUGH]>>A serious answer to the question is, I feel like I’m trying to
do all the good I can, and there’s always different ways to do it. But I really believe in what
Facebook’s doing, I really do. I believe that we need global companies,
I believe that we need global voice. I believe there are 4 billion people who
aren’t connected to data that we can help connect, but it’s because I believe that,
that I stay.>>My name is Kristof Meyer,
I’m a second year here. As COO of Facebook, you led
the company through tremendous growth. There’s another rocket ship that’s
facing a few problems right now, that I hear is also looking for a COO. What would you do if you
were the new COO of Uber?>>[LAUGH]
>>I mean, it’s a really hard question
to answer from the outside.>>[LAUGH]
>>It’s a really hard question from the outside, I don’t understand their
business deeply enough, I mean, at all, at all to answer, but
here’s what I would do. I would take that job if I had
the relationship with Travis, that could really make an impact. And I felt there was a real desire to address the issues that
needed to be addressed. And it’s not just the COO job. It really is, as you take every role you’re going to
take, and you guys, I’m so honored and excited to be here as your, I guess
your last speaker before you graduate. Because how exciting, you’ve studied
at one of the best institutions, you have these tremendous
classmates around you. You’re asking all of
these amazing questions. Like, go out and make a difference. And you’re going to do that by finding
things you really care about, and building relationships with the people
around you that make you care. I say at Facebook to this question, it
does get asked with some frequency, right? It’s been nine and a half years because I’m doing something
I care about with my best friend. That’s a pretty special thing to do. So whoever takes that job, if someone
takes that job, they have to believe in what Uber’s doing, and they have to
believe in their relationship with Travis. And then they have to build
the team around them, and it’s the exact same thing for
your jobs. Whatever you’re about to go do,
if you haven’t figured it out or you are figuring it out. Do something you care about
with people you believe and focus on what you contribute, that’s it. And be willing to move around, I wrote in
Lean In that careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder. Careers are a jungle gym. I moved sideways, I didn’t always move up. If I had insisted on moving up, I never would have taken
the number two job at Facebook. I could have been CEO, everything else that we’re talking
about I would have been CEO. If I took another job now,
I would run the company. But, I’d rather be number two at Facebook,
if that’s even a concept, right? I mean, we have a team,
it’s not just me and Mark, than be number one on
something I don’t believe in. And I think the number two and the number
one is the wrong way to think about it. It’s the relationship, the purpose,
the mission and what you can contribute. Same thing, your job decision is the same
as whoever’s going to go be CEO of Uber.>>We have time for one final question.>>Hi, my name is Josh and
I’m a first year MBA student. And kind of following on to that, you mentioned how you navigated
these different career decisions? And so with getting to these rocket ships, what really made those companies and
teams that you’ve joined stand out?>>Well I’ve only done it twice, right? I did Google and Facebook. With Google, I really believed in a
mission of making the world’s information, giving the world information. And I could see how much easier it was,
I mean when Google started, you know, I used to go to the library. Like, go to the library.>>[LAUGH]
>>Literally, I grew up in Encyclopedia Britannica
in my dad’s little study. It was just spell bounding how you could
just get information on your computer. I really believe there was an unmet need,
and with Facebook I felt like it turned
the lights on on who people were. Before Facebook, they had that,
you probably don’t remember this, there was the famous cartoon of a dog
sitting in front of the computer. And it said, on the Internet,
no one knows you’re a dog.>>[LAUGH]
>>I mean Facebook was the first time there was real identity on the Internet. So everything I believe about
being authentic and who you are, was going to become true because of
this company run by this 23 year old. It was pretty amazing, and so it was really that I thought
they were making these needs. The other think I’ll say is it’s not,
along with passion, I do think it’s really worth investing in your own skills, and
trying the things you’re not as good at. Try the things that matter,
take a sales job. I think too few people out of
business will take sales jobs. I sell all day, I sell ads for
Facebook, I do BD deals where I sell. Every time I’m recruiting
someone I’m selling, when I’m trying to convince people,
we all do that. Take those jobs where you’re
really rolling your hands up. I have a poster in my office
that I got from Howard Schultz, I served on his board. Of two dirty hands, and it says,
the future belongs to those of us still willing to get our hands
dirty, and it’s in my conference room. Do something you care about and
get your hands dirty doing it. You’ll be able to do anything, I promise.>>Sheryl, thank you so
much for being here.>>I want to say good luck!>>[APPLAUSE] [MUSIC]

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