[Conference Notes] Levo League Office Hours with Sheryl Sandberg

As I watched this video today (a recording from the livestream event from yesterday), I noticed that Sheryl Sandberg’s message is simple. It’s really a few key ideas that she applies to several aspects of her life. She knows it really well and is consistent about it across all forms of media — from her TED Talk, her commencement speeches, any interviews she’s done, etc. The notes below are a high-level summary. Enjoy!

What is holding back your view of success?

  1. Skills — women need to have more self confidence and not to undermine their abilities. Contribute your success to yourself.
    1. sit at the table
    2. pretend you have the self confidence. It will give you the self confidence!
  2. Views “being CEO” as distasteful
    1. Leadership Ambition Gap needs to close. Do you have the desire to lead? (Ex. executive seats and government. Less women
    2. Were you told you were “bossy” when you were younger? (that might have made you feel bad about yourself, but that’s who you are!)
  3. Parent & Family in the future
    1. Women do more housework than men. This needs to change. (Find a good, supportive spouse) People will ask you, “should you be working?”
    2. Do not leave before you leave. Thinking about children before you’re there yet. Keep asking for more — the best way to get balance is to lean in!! You could make your own schedule, gain more money, etc. and you will have a better situation when you need to make that decision.
  4. Stay in by AIMING HIGH
    1. Marry a man who supports you! (Ex. does laundry, engaged as a partner and parent)
  5. Mottos on walls at Facebook
    1. Fortune favours the bold.
    2. Done is better than perfect.
    3. What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
      1. To reach, to lean. If you do this, you can change the world.


A failure:

First marriage. | Wait until you know what you want. (Fully formed adult)

Biggest risk:

I) At 38, she worked for Zuckerberg who was 23. | Mark asked her “what would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

II) Moved to Silicon Valley without a job. Took 10 months to find a job. Hold it together, Ask 3 questions, exit with grace.

What is your advice for GEN Y

– What is your experience and how can you help the organization?

– Ask the company: What is your biggest problem? (In your mind: how can I solve it?)

– Answer: What can you do for the organization?

*Match your skills and experiences to the company’s needs.

Company and ranks:

– It’s a jungle gym, not a ladder.

– If you focus on moving up, you can easily miss out on opportunities.

– Go to a company that offers GROWTH. 

– Be willing to move sideways or down to gain new experiences.

Evolution of jobs and how to keep up:

– Lots of change, yet lots of information out there.

– Arm yourself with information

(Ex. I’ve done a lot of research about your work, can I help you? I’ve done a lot of research on your company, (ask a specific question vs. asking about corporate culture.) *Specific questions

Manage leaning in without burning out:

– Careers are marathons, not sprints.

– work-life balance, have it all = these are terms only used for women

Pick your moments to lean in: starting a new job is a great moment to GIVE IT YOUR ALL!

*establish yourself, establish self as a great worker, show how dedicated you are, really contribute, then OVER TIME establish that credibility, carve out the position you want

* be comfortable for asking for what you need at any stage of your career

tyw notes:

Carry a notebook!

Be proactive about what you want to accomplish!

When you really know yourself, you will be confident in your speech. (Playing dodgeball – questions thrown at you, and you catch them all)

Re: Facebook. Power to asking questions and community

AUTHENTICITY. TEAMWORK (working together)

This change is one by one.

Levo Lean In Circle

– read materials out there and from peers

– circles will offer materials that are Stanford level

LeanIn.org video on asking for more equal pay.

– women need to position themselves differently when they negotiate

– women have to be communal and use words like “we”…etc.

– women have to work differently and in a smart way. (You may not like this system in the world, but for now)


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