Over 1000 people, mostly women, showed up tonight at Miami Dade College where Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, talked about her life after the sudden death of her husband Dave two years ago. Her new book, “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy,” is all about “building resilience and moving forward after life’s inevitable setbacks.”
Sheryl wrote the book with Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, who told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. “We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build.”
That’s how Sheryl named her book. She said that soon after Dave died, her son had to participate in a father-child activity at school. She freaked. “I want Dave,” she cried to a male friend on the day of the event. The friend replied, “Option A is not available. I promise to help you make the most of Option B.”
I listened to the book on Audible, all 10 hours of it. While I listened to Sheryl’s words on my iPhone, and then again tonight when Miami Herald columnist Ana Veciana-Suarez interviewed her, I couldn’t help but think of all the people I know who could benefit from the advice being dispensed in this book.
Sheryl carefully explained, “There is a broad range of people who have to overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere . . . and to rediscover joy. We all live some form of Option B. This book will help us all make the most of it.”
Bios from Forbes magazine and Wikipedia
Sandberg is the chief operating officer at Facebook and a former vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google. Her last book, Lean In, was a bestseller and started a global movement about women in the workplace. She serves on the boards of Facebook, the Walt Disney Company, Women for Women International, ONE, and SurveyMonkey.
In 1987, Sandberg enrolled at Harvard College. She graduated in 1991 summa cum laude Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor’s degree in economics and was awarded the John H. Williams Prize for the top graduating student in economics.
While at Harvard, she co-founded an organization called Women in Economics and Government. She met then-professor Larry Summers, who became her mentor and thesis adviser. Summers recruited her to be his research assistant at the World Bank, where she worked for approximately one year on health projects in India dealing with leprosy, AIDS, and blindness.
Grant is not only Wharton’s top-rated professor for the past five years but is the bestselling author of two previous books, including Originals and Give and Take. He has been recognized as one of the world’s 25 most influential management thinkers and received distinguished scholarly achievement awards from the American Psychological Association and the National Science Foundation.
Grant grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. He earned his Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan and his B.A. from Harvard University, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.
Grant delivered a 2016 TED talk on the surprising habits of original thinkers and was voted the audience’s favorite speaker at The Nantucket Project on the success of givers and takers.
He has earned awards for distinguished scholarly achievement from the Academy of Management, the American Psychological Association, and the National Science Foundation.