Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg is the author of the bestselling book Lean In, which Oprah calls "the new manifesto for women in the workplace." In this clip from an interview for "Oprah's Next Chapter," Sandberg dissects the roles of working women and shares her three biggest mistakes working women make.
The first mistake? "Not believing in themselves and… [instead] sitting at the side of the room," the COO says.
Second? "Not making their partners real partners," Sandberg says, emphasizing the important of relying on your spouse when needed.
The third mistake working women should avoid is not to "leave before they leave." Sandberg explains, "Women, as early as junior high, are worried about having careers and families. So, they enter the workforce almost looking for the exit -- years before they have children."
This isn't to say that Sandberg passes judgment on anyone, male or female, who leaves work to spend more time at home. "There are really good reasons to leave the workforce or work less or take a different job when you want to be with your children," she says. "I just want women -- and men -- to make that choice once they have the child. Not years in advance, because… they don't get the right opportunities. They give up before they even start."
In her book Lean In, Sandberg also has a chapter about her personal mantra: What would you do if you weren't afraid? This single question, Sandberg says, has helped her find the courage to do things she wouldn't have done otherwise -- from admitting that she leaves work at 5:30 p.m. to writing Lean In in the first place. Sandberg says that her mantra is something everyone can adopt.
"I don't pretend I have the answers for all women and men, but I really want the world to be more equal," she tells Oprah. "I really think we'll all be happier and our businesses will perform better and what leadership is will change. I took a deep breath and I'm doing it. I want other people to do what they would do if they weren't afraid."
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A New Kind Of Cover Girl
Last week, Sheryl released her new book, “Lean In,” and it instantly shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller list -- and landed her on the cover of Time magazine.
Advocating For Women In The Workplace
Sheryl had never spoken about women’s issues in public before her TED talk on “Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders,” and she was advised against it by her peers, who claimed that it would draw attention to the fact that she is a woman. Sheryl laughed and said, “I think they know I’m a women.” The video of her TED talk instantly went viral. Overnight, Sheryl established herself as a leading advocate for women in the workplace.
Born To Lead
The oldest of three children, Sheryl possessed undeniable leadership skills from an early age. But while young boys are often encouraged to lead, Sheryl was regularly referred to as “bossy.” Part of her mission today is to teach parents to encourage their young daughters to develop their leadership skills, instead of dismissing them as overly aggressive.
Standing In Her Own Way
For her whole early life, Sheryl felt that she needed to hold herself back from being too successful or appearing too smart. In high school, she was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by her peers, but was embarrassed by the recognition. She asked a friend on the yearbook staff to remove that title from her name.
Welcome To Silicon Valley
After serving as Chief of Staff at the U.S. Treasury Department, Sheryl made her way to Silicon Valley, where she accepted a position as Vice President of Google’s Global Online Sales & Operations. At the time, Google was a small start-up, but during her stint with the company, it became an unprecedented success.
A Fateful Meeting
Sheryl met Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at a Christmas party held by Yahoo COO Dan Rosensweig in late 2007. Although he wasn’t actively looking for a new COO for Facebook, Mark knew that Sheryl would be perfect for the job. After several months of becoming acquainted with one another, Sheryl left her post at Google to become Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer.
Marriage As A Real Partnership
In various interviews, Sheryl has stressed to women the importance of choosing a partner who supports their career and agrees to assist with housework and childcare. Her husband, SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg, possesses these qualities, which allows the pair to operate as a team.
A Well-Educated Woman
A graduate of Harvard College, Sheryl earned her A.B. in economics and went on to earn an MBA from Harvard Business School. In May 2011, she spoke at the commencement ceremony at Barnard College about achieving equality in the workplace and seeking ways to find work/life balance.
Sheryl is no stranger to economics. At Harvard, she met mentor Larry Summers, who later recruited her to serve as his research assistant at the World Bank. Here she appears on stage alongside Danielle Gray, deputy director of the National Economic Council; Mari Pangestu, Indonesia's trade minister; and moderator Chris Jansing at the APEC Women and the Economy Summit in September 2011.
Working For The President
After a stint as a business consultant, Sheryl served as the Chief of Staff for the United States Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton from 1996 to 2001. Here, she joins the former president and Katie Couric at the Women for Women International Gala at the Museum of Modern Art in November 2011.
Chosen By The Commander In Chief
President Obama listens intently to Sheryl’s advice during a meeting of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. The council was established to promote growth in American business and equip American workers with the skills they need to succeed.
Women Who Have Leaned In
Arianna Huffington has been a strong supporter of Sheryl’s “Lean In” message, which calls for women to eliminate self-doubt and focus on their personal well-being. Here, Sheryl joins Arianna at the 2011 Matrix Awards, which honor women in communications and the arts.
An Evening At The White House
Who has Sheryl referred to as her biggest personal role model? Her mother, of course! Here, she escorts her mom, Adele Sandberg, to the White House for the State Dinner for South Korea in October 2011.
Discussing New Marketing Tools
In Sheryl’s current position at Facebook, she oversees business operations, which includes everything from marketing and sales to public policy and human resources. Here Sheryl speaks to an audience of marketing professionals at a Facebook event in February 2012.
Weighing In At The World Economic Forum
Now a highly sought-after speaker on the world stage, Sheryl participated in a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland in January 2013.
Powerful Women Team Up
Sheryl spoke about women in business with Chelsea Clinton as part of the promotion for her new book, “Lean In” in March 2013.
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