I just don’t know how Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg has been able to function this year. One year and 14 days days ago, her husband, David Goldberg, then CEO of Survey Monkey, died unexpectedly from a heart attack. The world was in shock, at least I was.
Sheryl and David were the golden couple of the tech industry, or even the world. All eyes were on them. They were happy, prosperous, and cutting edge. Stories about them always talked about their devotion to each other, their children, their extended families and friends.
I always wondered how this powerful couple managed to be so creative and productive in the business world and yet lead a relatively normal life. I obsessively read every story about them. I couldn’t get enough until that dreadful, awful day when David died.
I recently read several stories in Mashable that Sheryl was going to address the graduating class of 2016 at the University of California at Berkeley this past weekend. She finally opened up about how she was able to function this past year while staying completely active in one of the most successful tech companies.
This was the first time she publicly spoke about the tragedy.”There are three P’s—personalization, pervasiveness, and permanence—that are critical to how we bounce back from hardship,” she said.
The entire speech appears on the YouTube video above. Sheryl appears at the 1:18.54 mark.
I was stunned tonight when I saw a post from Sheryl Sandberg on my Facebook feed. I can only assume that everyone got it. Over hundred thousand people instantly commented on her post wishing her nothing but the best.
The post is so sad to read even though it is a beautiful tribute to her husband, Dave Goldberg. The world has changed. Sheryl decided to share her emotions publicly on social media. Years ago, we all privately mourned. Maybe it’s better just to belt it out.
In any case, it is heartbreaking.
I have been bossy my entire life. I’m bossy in my business life as well as my personal one. I’m sure that plenty of people have called me bossy behind my back. They certainly have to my face. I know that I must not have liked It at the time but it never altered my life one bit nor did it give me much grief.
Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Marketing Officer of Facebook, has started a worldwide campaign through her Lean In organization to ban the word “bossy” when it comes to describing women because it has caused major career setbacks. Sandberg also said it deflates a young woman’s self esteem and discourages her from becoming a leader.
While I agree with Sandberg that calling someone bossy could be discouraging and hurtful, it should not be that painful for any woman.
This kind of thinking reminds me of the women I know who are afraid to walk Into a Louis Vuitton or Gucci store because they feel intimidated. That infuriates me because the sales staff are ordinary ladies who are taught to adopt a certain attitude. I tell friends to pretend they are the female version of Richard Gere in Pretty Woman. They have to demand that the retail staff suck up to them. It works every time.
My advice to women is to get a number of significant achievements under their belts before acting like a know-it-all. No one likes a smarty-pants. Once they have made their mark, then they can start asserting themselves. By the way, this is true for men too. Exercise common sense. You can’t go wrong.
Okay, I did not read Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In about giving encouraging advice to woman in the workplace. Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, is getting great reviews just for addressing the issue that women are not getting the respect they deserve on the job. I totally agree, but not for the same reasons. I will read her book in the upcoming months, but I just know from all the reviews that she did not cover the viewpoint I have had for the last 46 years of my career.
Men are not the reason why women are second class citizens. Women have allowed themselves to take that place. Maybe it is a mother nature thing, but women are their own worst enemy. You can argue this point with me from now to the end of time, but I will stick to my opinion because of what I have seen over the years.