“You don’t choose your passion, your passion chooses you.”
— Jeff Bezos
Passion requires Temperament
— David M Keirsey
He said to her: “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.”
When companies grow quickly, there are more things to do than there are people to do them. When companies grow more slowly or stop growing, there is less to do and too many people to be doing them. Politics and stagnation set in, and everyone falters.
When debating her next career move, Sheryl Sandberg made a spreadsheet comparing the roles and responsibilities that would come with each position and company she was considering. Google was on her list (a relatively unknown company in 2001), and ranked lower than all of the other options in categories like security, salary and responsibilities, but when Sandberg presented her dilemma to Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO at the time, he managed to change her mind with this simple piece of advice:
“[Eric] covered my spreadsheet with his hand and told me not to be an idiot (also a great piece of advice). Then he explained that only one criterion mattered when picking a job—fast growth. When companies grow quickly, there are more things to do than there are people to do them. When companies grow more slowly or stop growing, there is less to do and too many people to be doing them. Politics and stagnation set in, and everyone falters. He told me, “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.”
Sandberg made up her mind that instant and joined Google, which as we all know was one of the fastest flying rocket ships ever created, to date.
“In addition to the external barriers erected by society, women are hindered by barriers that exist within ourselves. We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in. We internalize the negative messages we get throughout our lives— the messages that say it’s wrong to be outspoken, aggressive, more powerful than men. We lower our own expectations of what we can achieve. We continue to do the majority of the housework and child care. We compromise our career goals to make room for partners and children who may not even exist yet. Compared to our male colleagues, fewer of us aspire to senior positions. This is not a list of things other women have done. I have made every mistake on this list. At times, I still do.” — Sandberg, Sheryl. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (Kindle Locations 140-148).
Sheryl Kara Sandberg, Fieldmarshal Rational, (born August 28, 1969) is an American businesswoman, activist, and writer. As of August 2013, she is the chief operating officer of Facebook. In June 2012, she was elected to the board of directors by the existing board members becoming the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board. Before Facebook, Sandberg was Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, and was involved in launching Google’s philanthropic arm Google.org. Before Google, Sandberg served as chief of staff for the United States Secretary of the Treasury.
In 2012 she was named in the Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world according to Time magazine. As of January 2014, Sandberg is reported to be worth over US$1 billion, due to her stock holdings in Facebook and other companies. [Wikipedia,revised]
Her sister and brother consider themselves as Sheryl’s first employees when they were all young. Sheryl was born to lead. She leaned in slowly, but surely.
Fieldmarshals are bound to lead others, and from an early age they can be observed taking command of groups. [Please Understand Me II]
“My argument is that getting rid of these internal barriers is critical to gaining power. Others have argued that women can get to the top only when the institutional barriers are gone. This is the ultimate chicken-and-egg situation. The chicken: Women will tear down the external barriers once we achieve leadership roles. We will march into our bosses’ offices and demand what we need, including pregnancy parking. Or better yet, we’ll become bosses and make sure all women have what they need. The egg: We need to eliminate the external barriers to get women into those roles in the first place. Both sides are right. So rather than engage in philosophical arguments over which comes first, let’s agree to wage battles on both fronts. They are equally important. I am encouraging women to address the chicken, but I fully support those who are focusing on the egg.” — Sandberg, Sheryl. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (Kindle Locations 149-155).
Fieldmarshal organizational and coordinating skills tends to be highly developed, which means that they are likely to be good at systematizing, ordering priorities, generalizing, summarizing, marshaling evidence, and at demonstrating their ideas. [Please Understand Me II]
“Some, especially other women in business, have cautioned me about speaking out publicly on these issues. When I have spoken out anyway, several of my comments have upset people of both genders. I know some believe that by focusing on what women can change themselves— pressing them to lean in— it seems like I am letting our institutions off the hook. Or even worse, they accuse me of blaming the victim. Far from blaming the victim, I believe that female leaders are key to the solution. Some critics will also point out that it is much easier for me to lean in, since my financial resources allow me to afford any help I need. My intention is to offer advice that would have been useful to me long before I had heard of Google or Facebook and that will resonate with women in a broad range of circumstances.” — Sandberg, Sheryl. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (Kindle Locations 182-185).