Don’t Leave Before You Leave — FaceBook COO Sandburg, Women, Work, Will to Lead

All proactive female professionals usually face the dilemma of balancing work and personal life. However, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, reveals that the so-called dilemma of female professionals could be a pseudo-proposition, so that the gender could be an excuse for women to hold back from the fight for a desired career and personal life.


On May 22nd Forbes released the ranking of ¨The World´s Most Powerful Women 2013¨. No surprisingly we have found that women keep transforming the world, not only in a traditional taxonomy of power but also in fresh and exhilarating ways, e.g. in media, philanthropy, high-tech, etc.

Unlike the stereotype role of women who mostly sacrifice either professional or personal life, these ¨superwomen¨ have achieved happy lives while writing their professional legends. The current COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg (ranked No.6) is one of these ¨superwomen¨.

Undoubtedly, she is a very successful female executive. Graduated from Harvard University, Sandberg has got outstanding achievements in McKinsey, United States Secretary and Google. After that, she was invited to Facebook by the co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg as ¨a perfect fit¨ of COO, and now she oversees the firm’s business operations including sales, marketing, business development, human resources, public policy and communications.

However, she has been paid more attention to the public because her leadership in women´s movement, especially her new book ¨Lean In¨. In the new book, she enjoins women to pursue their careers with more rigors, to engage more energetically in the corporate cook-off, to Lean In—as the book is titled—to the opportunities and challenges of becoming a boss.

Earlier in 2010 she gave an electrifying TED Talk Why we have too few women leaders, in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.

From Sandburg´s encouragements, we could conclude a truth, that the dilemma we have struggled in for balancing work and life is a pseudo-proposition. Women are set up by themselves into an either / or world because of the lack of courage.

Sandburg has promoted a revolutionary movement deep digging into the world´s mind. She has pointed out that even women themselves turn the gender police, so that they could hold back and compromise because ¨I am a female¨. Due to this negative message women have built up internal barriers to think smaller, hesitate, less desire to success, have no ambition, etc.

Of course, it is not practical to ask for every women follow the pace of Sandburg, however, the essence of her idea is to achieve an active life by improving the efficiency. For example, save time for reading and work-out by avoiding tweeting in the office, or gain more private space by positively communicating with both your business partner and life partner.

As females, women have their own strength, which means there is no need to ask women to fight as men in the war. The abundant sensibility and careful sensitive observation could make less for more in women´s lives. Dave, the colleague from Facebook, always appreciates Sandburg´s attractive character, especially her willing to help others improve, help others be listened and been discovered.

It is the most valuable achievement in everyone´s life to become the person you desire to be. It is worth for your fight, isn’t it?

As Sandburg´s speech at Barnard College,

¨Life is going to bring many twists and turns, and each of us, each of you, have to forge your own path.  I have deep respect for my friends who make different choices than I do, who choose the really hard job of raising children full time, who choose to go part time, or who choose to pursue more nontraditional goals.  These are choices that you may make some day, and these are fine choices. But until that day, do everything you can to make sure that when that day comes, you even have a choice to make.¨

Edited by Simeng Zhang


The World’s Most Powerful Women 2013, ForbesWoman, 22/05/2013

 Lean In, Sheryl Sanburg

Confidence Woman, Times, 07/03/2013

Youtube: Sheryl Sandberg, Barnard College Commencement 2011

The Team

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