« Desert Island Discs

Sheryl Sandberg

2017-07-30 | 🔗
Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, is Kirsty Young's castaway. She worked for Google at the beginning of the tech boom before joining Facebook in 2008. Raised in Miami Beach, Florida, she studied economics at Harvard. She became chief of staff for Larry Summers, Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton, before moving to Silicon Valley. Sheryl published her first book called Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead in 2013 which tried to answer the question why so few women reach the top echelons of their professions. In 2015, her husband of eleven years and father of their two children, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly while they were on holiday. In her second book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, she describes her struggles in dealing with this sudden loss. Producer: Cathy Drysdale.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is the bbc hulu uncursed a young. Thank you for downloading this podcast of desert on an discs from BBC radio for for rights reasons, the music choices of shorter than in the radio broadcasts for more information about the programme. Please visit bbc dotcom, dont, uk slash radio for The my customary this week is Sheryl Sandberg. She runs facebook, the most popular social network in the world and has made her name and her fortune transforming that company into a four hundred and thirty two billion dollar business. She is an author.
and back in twenty thirteen. Her best selling book linen was how to bible for females interested in succeed, chilean women to strive for more power and more influence. It was full of handy hints for beyond. Boardroom too, including this little gem. You can date, whoever you once, but you, mary the nerves and the good guys before facebook. She had a big job at google and before that she was chief of staff at the. U S, treasury Indeed, her life seemed characterized by an endless upward trajectory until twenty fifteen when she suffered a great personal tragedy, her forty seven year old, husband and the father to her two young children,
collapsed, suddenly and died of a heart attack. She says of that time linen I could barely stand up and so welcome shall sandberg em. You recommend in this book that you have just written that when somebody has suffered a profound life shifting tragedy, you should not say to them. How are you, but rather how are you today? So how are you today? While I'm excited to be here, music's important music was very important to Dave, it's very important to me, and I think the songs that we think of as important in our lives say something pretty profound about us and that's how I am today I was surprised I was surprised at how much she lay yourself beer and the very shocking an awful expediency. through in suddenly losing dave, your husband, it's and explain. common to many, but most people are not as well known as you, of course, and most people do not write a book about it. Why have you decided to lay it open to the world when I last day that it wasn't
the overwhelming grief and sadness, but what happened in the kind of days and weeks that followed? Was this profound sense of isolation? I felt like people were looking at me like. I was a ghost and. I felt so isolated and so alone that I decided to write what I would write as facebook post. If I were to be honest about how I felt to the world, I read it really for myself. I thought it's not Can you get worse and maybe it might get better and I hit post and I was shocked and how probably it was right, it was reported on the nightly news, but it actually really helped. It didn't bring Dave back and it didn't take away. The grief. but it took away the feeling that I was alone because people started talking to me again. People, it saying how are you today and it wasn't a long time,
from then until I decided to actually write a book, but I think the experience of sharing and feeling less isolated started me down the path to option b. You are chief oppressing officer of facebook, marxism, of course, is your boss. It was described in the beginning as a utility. I imagine you wouldn't use that word anymore. Well now we talk about our mission as building community and in some ways what we do is similar to what I did with that post, which, as we bring me, closer together and I'm not naive. I know that every post is not about peace, loving, kindness. I know that every posts doesn't make people feel good, but I think that for a lot of people being able to share brings us closer and in my own view, the world has never needed more, so let us turn, then I shall send back to the music and and tell me a little bit about this first choice and unwise on your list while beyond say run the world and the answer is girls. A few years ago she did,
the ban bossy campaign with me and if you ask crowds of people, men raise your hand. If you ve been called bossy, is a little boy. Two hands go up. Women raise your hand. If you are called bossy ass, a little girl every hand goes up and that's, because, no matter what the cultural differences are for women all over the world all over the world, we expect mentally and women to do for others and beyond his message that women can run the world that women should run the world. Her message that she's the boss, I think a super important for not just women
but little girls and boys to hear them didn't think like we feel, but now back to make your life does not live. While that is one the world brackets girls, maybe I shouldn't have the girls in the brackets, given what you just said shall celebrate. That will, of course, be unceasing. There you recently met or whom secretary ember run according to reports, are going to discuss what we all can do to tackle the online aspect of terrorism. What did you talk to amber runabout was a great media,
with your home secretary, because we are very aligned in our goals, which is we want to make sure All of us do our part to stop terrorism, and so our feasible policies are very clear. There's absolutely no place for terrorism. Hate calls for violence of any kind. Our goal is to it not just pull it off facebook, but use artificial intelligence and technology to get it before it's even uploaded working in collaboration with the other tech companies. Now, so, if a video by a terrorist is uploaded to any of our platforms, we are able to fish,
printed for all the others, so that they can move from platform to platform. You yourself have said in the statement of the algorithms, can only do so much more to the resources that facebook is putting in two human beings, not just the algorithms. That's right. Technology is a very important part of the puzzle that context matter. So if someone put up an isis flag, are they doing it to recruit? Are they doing it to condemn? We absolutely don't allow the first, but we want the second because spreading those messages of condemning haters important, so we have about forty five hundred people in our community operations working around the world in many languages, twenty four hours, and this year alone, in a higher another three thousand, and we ve worked with over five huh the ngos around the world to develop the messages that go against terrorist recruitment that are the messages of tolerance.
Facebook. Of course, I should remind listeners, owns whatsapp up service that enables end to end encryption. The problem, of course, is that if we have terrorist communicating with each other, the government needs to know what these people are Two are you willing to ends the encryption in order that government agencies can get very to information to understand better how these people are going about their dastardly business. Well, the goal for governments is to get as much information as possible. and so, when there are message services like what's up that our encrypted the message itself is encrypted, but the meadow data is not meaning that you send me a message. We don't know what that message as, but we know you contacted me if people move off those encrypted services to go to increase, did services in countries that won't share the meadow data. The government actually has less information, not more, and so as technology of all these are complicated conversations,
we're in close communication working through the issues all around the world. That didn't like a note me that sounded like this may be something you might be willing to move on. This are so complicated and so much and there's so much work to do. But the goal is very clear. Our goal is to make sure not Is there no terrorism on facebook, no violence, but that we do our part, as the broader society, to work with governments with ngos with counter speech with people who are going against terrorism. All doing our part to make sure that we I have a peaceful world because everyone deserves that sheryl Sandberg. Let's listen to your second disc, then why is this piece of music important to you? Well, the dixie chicks remake of landslide. First of all, it's just a beautiful song right time makes you bolder children get older, I'm getting older too. I've always thought about the passage of time, and this is great female voice.
is singing a song that was sung by a great female, like you didn't think it could get better, but it almost dead. The dixie, chicks and landslides Sheryl Sandberg. Every impression that I get when reading about your family is that they were very strong women in it's just tell me a little bit about the significant women in the Sandberg family. Well, that starts with my grandmother as she grew up very poor. Her parents got divorced
It was highly unusual. She worked a made as a very young child and other people's homes when she was in high school. She was pulled out a school to help support the fair when she spent days sewing little flowers on broad that she could sell, and it was high school teacher that forced her parents to put her back into school and she graduated she went to berkeley. were. I gave the commencement speech a few years ago and just felt this overwhelming can and, to I mean she's no longer alive, but but to my grandma, and she was a huge influence in my life and your mother tell me about her, my mother's, the kindest person I have. format. You know she's the person who I remember when we went to the broadway play. I forget what it was called, but it was a one woman show about cancer. This woman has cancer, that's the show and somehow, at the end, the whole auditorium is, is gone. We still sitting there and my mother is comforting The strangers who have cancer, who are crying out literally crying on her shoulder. That's my mother. Was there
very strong sense around the kitchen table having dinner together that that there had to be kind of civil engagement b on that the family was one thing that actually the tentacles of the family must reach out into the wider community? Yes, I was raised to believe that you do for others outside yourself. My father was a doktor people who are trying to just make money. Those were very much against the family values and my parents for very involved with a soviet yuri. Anyone who is speaking out again The soviet union discriminate against they were jewish or because of other faiths. They worked hard to try to get them out there and into the soviet union they were arrested by the kgb kicked out, so I grew knowing how to go to the store and by bars of white chocolate that looked like soap, because prisoners were allowed to get food, but they were allowed to get so.
Growing up. You were the eldest of three and at your wedding to Dave, and your sister and brother meters made a speech about you and they said that we were shells first employees for more than ten years. She took us under her wing and all whipped us into shape and, of course, you you're fundamentally in involved in this whole dialogue of how do we make leaders? How do we encourage people to be leaders, but do you think there is potentially something intrinsic in a person that means that they've sort of got it in them I think sometimes that's true, and certainly there are leaders who are just born, but I think leadership is rod, we need leaders of all types, and I really believe leadership is something we can develop in anyone. What I really believe is that we, start telling little girls not to lead at very young ages, and we start telling little boys to lead at very young ages and that's a mistake, I believe everyone has inside them ability to lead, and we should let people choose that not based on jobs
but on who they are and who they want to be, as was the music It's your said. This is queen you're, my best friend, I hand lucky inside Many ways, but maybe one of the luckiest is I've had a group of best friends. Since I was quite young, we call each other the girls. They have been there for me through my first marriage and divorce, the board. Both my children, they were there and gave was buried a couple weeks after David I had when I just can't take it. I just sent an email, someone come, they have a choice One of them has five kids, they are busy, but I knew that they weren't gonna fight over who wasn't coming. They were gonna fight about who would- and always there, and to this day my phone ring when any of the six of them cause is this.
We knew my best friend shells, hamburger word economics at harvard eve mentioned struggling with what you call self doubt throughout your time in college, I found that I dont disbelieve you, but I'm astonished. We want a better while we know that women more than men suffer from the impostor syndrome and systematically underestimate their on performance, and so I definitely struggles with self doubt and
writing linen and building the leaning organization actually really help me, because I studied self confidence and I understood how to build up other peoples and spend so much time telling other women to feel more self confident. I learned it myself so when you were at college, how did your lack of self confidence manifest itself does when I look at your severe like she was aiming high, so she said have, but she was aiming. I you know every I thought I was gonna fail when I did what I thought I had fooled them. I didn't feel like I earned it and owned it and it wasn't until much later I felt that an actually learning women were under estimating themselves helped me, because I said I don't wanna be underestimated I am a woman. I don't want to underestimate myself. All of this can, of course, seem like something of a rarefied argument, but it is applicable to women in their everyday lives whether they are stacking shell, so there are sales supervisor or their working from home, because when it comes to things like performance review, if women expect that they are
less capable than they are less likely to see. I deserve the pyrenees or I deserve an extra. Would that be a fear? Estimation absolutely right, and We know that when we dont ask, we don't get, there's a circle, and linda, eight of them in the circle. The first one asked for raising got it. The second one asked raising got it all. Eight of them did, but they practiced with each other Here's. What I want to say to my boss is back in a work now that doesn't mean that everyone can bullshit further and raise. We need to start paying women well and we need the public policy in the corporate policy to get there, but certainly women applying for jobs at the same rate as men, women for running for office at the same rate as men. That's gotta be part of the answer, time for someone It shall? Let's go to your forced disk of the morning. Hamilton is just magnificent in
freeway, and this is it's been a huge hit on broadway it's about opened in london. It is unbelievable, you'll be back as the comic relief, but a great song. My daughter auditioned for her school play this year, and this was her audition song and she belts it out, and she did so well that she got past as the part of the genie in aladdin which is one of the all time, great singing roles, but I will never hear the song without picturing her standing there and just belting it out you be. Suddenly you see him. Remember you to me time will tell whether nice
we have seen each other through mantle and when she comes to shove. I really send a fully armed battalion to remind you on my lap you'll be back from the original cost. Recording of the musical hamilton with music and lily. Spiralling manuel miranda was performed their by johnson growth. You ve just Roger parents show sandberg, as as being even when Susie asked about you finding a husband than achieving academic success Now you mentioned that you were you had a short in divorce, primarily on your new mitt analysing the twenties are not necessary.
Really surprised that your parents felt that way, given the generation that they came from, I'm very surprised you went along with it. Why did you choose to accept that while I shouldn't have- and it did feel like a big failure I felt like I was wearing a big scarlet letter d. I might just I mean I was twenty five and I was divorced. My first husband was a wonderful man. Still is we're friends. I was just too young. I think that was when I started learning to think for myself that I was gonna have to find my own way. I think that was when I was starting to understand. What I wanted to do in life understand the kind of relationship I wanted and I didn't get married again. For ten years, for that you might get a lot of growing up to do so. You may do in two thousand and four and I'm guessing. Then he was a nerd and a good guy and he would not want to be called a nerd that I think the tree
Was he knows that using while I was in turkey at a big big he'd have big job. He had started this great company called launch, which was the First, online music service. He was great lover of music. He worked at capitol records. He really wanted to transform the music industry, but yeah He was a nerd. He was a smart loving just wonderful man and this tick world that you both ended up in as it was just begin. to bloom and be hugely significant before that you'd worked at the world bank. q done an mba you'd. What, for president Clinton's treasury secretary, larry summers, then you moved silicon valley and you joined google when it was in its absolutes infancy was only two thousand and one google would have been what two three years at three years old at the time to what extends when you got aboard the rocket ship of silicon valley. That point, did you think, I'm in on something
big here, I've been working in the: u s: government at our treasury department- and you know that was one of the first tat boom was happening and what I saw where companies really trying to make a difference. I met Eric schmidt. He introduced me Larry page, insert apron and guph was too organize the world's information you weren't going to go to the library anymore, I've tried to explain to my children what an encyclopedia. the is, or that you will have every question answered immediately? They don't even understand it. In a generous facebook, and when I meant mark facebook was trying to give people, individual identity online. I mean I'm old enough to remember when we were all in miss online. The idea of putting your real self your real face, your real friendships online was completely new and I was convinced that it was gonna. Make people understand each other better. Let's have some what music, shell sandberg we're gonna! Listen to your fifth tell me about this, so this is sweet. Baby,
james by James taylor, so I love James Taylor. Our son was our first born and for some reason we started putting on music to put him to sleep as a very young child, and I would say, for the first forty five years of his life, he only went to sleep with that desk, so we once left that desk at a friend's house over an hour away, and we got back in the car with the infant and drove to get that desk, and what was so funny is when our son was about three. You would hear him saying you know. Winds are funny for
all thinking about women and glasses of beer. He would not go to sleep without the song as the moon rises. He sits by and about women and glasses have been closing his eyes as the adobes retire sings out a song which is so, but maybe someone could hear the night, a rock or by sweet baby, James james taylor and sweet baby, James and shell sandberg. I spoke in the introduction, then about your husband, Dave dying suddenly at the age of forty seven from a heart attack he gone to the gym. You are not or we can break. He comes to the gym to use the running machine and you find him a laser
with a head, injury had fallen to the floor because he had a massive cardiac arrest is clear that you receive an enormous amount of support from friends and family. You also later, but somebody almost kind of shouting to across the atrium in your workspace. I'm sorry for your loss in what you say, you were also surrounded at every turn. At times by platitudes, they thought we were being sensitive, but in fact they were being highly insensitive. Is it a very finely cut? british things of tuning in two where somebody is in trying to be supportive, but not either smother them. With the issue is worse than a disregard, their pain. It is it's a hard thing to do, but you get there by focusing on what's wrong he'll and acknowledging the pain. So before I lost dave, I got this wrong if a friend of mine, cancer and many friends of mine have sadly had cancer, I would say I know you're gonna be ok. now I know the voice in their head saying. How do you know now I say
no, you don't know if you're going to be okay, and neither do I, but you will not go through this alone. I will be there with you. We can show up for each other. It's not going to make cancer go away. It's not gonna make death go away, but it is going to keep us from being isolated. Where did you begin with your children? How did you start making the new life my biggest fear and Dave died- is that my kids would be ok. I called Monday one of the girls she had lost her mother when we were thirteen screaming from the hospital when Dave died. Tell my kids are going to be. Okay, tell me my kids are gonna to be ok. She's like scream back. Shall I dont know what you're talking about and then I was kind of able to choke out dave I or my kids going to be ok, You know she was a tremendous source of inspiration because her mother died by It was hard when we were so young and I lived through it with her and
not just okay, she is from marketable He is one of the most loving giving optimistic people. I've ever met, and I turn to Adam and said what do animals my psychologist friend, who I eventually wrote this book with. What do I do to make my kids okay and he had a lot of good advice and I tried to make it okay for them to grieve. We still talk about Dave. We talk about Dave all the time I tried never to sugar coat it. I always say to this day. I miss him too. It's horrible. This happened to us, but it's not our fault, it's not your fault and daddy would. Want you to be happy because at the end of this it is about not just for me, but for every one who suffering it's about taking back joy, because my kid, deserve joy. They do not deserve to feel happy or feel guilty for the rest of their lives because they lost their father. A bunch of months have
Dave, died. My brother, well his only brother rob who's. So amazing called me and said: all Dave ever wanted was for you and your children to be happy. Don't take that away from him in death. Let's take a break. Sheryl Sandberg we're going to hear some of your musical. Listen, I went on you six tell me about why this is important to you. Tell me why I have chosen because this line, maybe most important line to me that was ever son. a long december and there's reason to believe, maybe this year will be better than the last the
this better than last school can't increases and alone December shall celebrate higher. Did you experience? How is the woman that you all today compared with the woman that you were five six to change the way you lead changed the way work change the messages you give to those many thousands of people who are within your organization and so different answers after I didn't know anyone could try this much. I asked my sister: how is it possible she's a dock?
if she said. Oh, the majority of your body is water. We didn't understand. Where are the gears and set it on drink this much water? How is this possible and she explained it, but it works me too, because what I used to do and I still believe in his anytime anything was going wrong. As I was focused on giving people a break, do you need time off? People need the time off, they need to grieve and recover and take of family members and themselves, but they also need to be built. Backup And some mark, No, how he knew to do this? Might fifteen year younger boss, mark Zuckerberg said to me not just you need time off. He said that, but he said, but I'm glad you're here, because you made an important point today. The days when I felt like all I could do is show up in the office for a few hours and cry hearing that was so helpful. So now I offer people time off. I say: can we take that project? keep up when they want to be at work and sometimes for me, the memories of David. everywhere, but there are the worst at home by far so for me when
can getting out of the house and having something else to do. That was a lifeline, and I've heard that for many people who have lost spouses in children and for those people saying to them, we still want you know pressure. But do you want this project because I still believe in you that's so and we hope others by rebuilding them, helping them build their self confidence backup. I still believe in you as a colleague. I still believe in you as a friend laughter, my friend scoville who wrote. Leaning with me was an editor of this book, she's a comedy writer. She shut up in her mothers funeral. She is for siblings with an envelope and said I, how in this envelope, the name of mom's favorite child at the funeral and that's hysterical. It is, and a little horrifying right, we've always made jokes at funerals, but now I understand why,
because at that moment, in that laughter, we take control away from the darkness from the death and we bring it back to the light, and we say that we can laugh and we can help each other laugh. Tell me what you expect. Music. Shell, sunburn. What are we gonna hear asked is Elton John. I'm still standing am often asked, I could meet anyone in the world. Who would I mean I would meet out in John I've loved his music, my whole life, I'm heat decided to do a concert series in LAS vegas, right away Dave knew how much I loved him. Dave got tickets for me and a whole group of friends, and since we got our tickets early, we were in the front, and he did this thing in that concert where the first bunch of rows that to go on the stage and dance until I got to dance without john on a stage when he was playing, the piano, isn't dancing and this is the ultimate resilience on I'm still standing
don't you know that was in june and I'm still standing shuttle sunburn using some very it it is. It strikes me or other brilliantly americans. to do even very straightforwardly? You talk openly, you taught with a lot of emotion, but there is very little kind of self pity there do you feel, dear you plan bits of your life anymore because course one of the things that you in common with many people who believed have is, is it you are robbed of your imagined future. Do you dare to think ten years' time. I'd like to be or not doing this huge job anymore, I'd like to be retired on a beach in mexico.
or I'd like to be building a new family with somebody else. Do you dare to to dream the next part of your life? Maybe not yet, but I'd like to my children are in summer camp right. And you're gonna for weeks and that's been hard because I remember David. I for years talked about. We both went to camp and loved it. They'll go to cap and will travel and will do thing. Is I dont know if I met a place where I can see ten years out the way I could with deep, because that way, Dave was the plan in the early days and months and weeks after Dave died. I thought it would never get better. no, no it and can not in every sense tuition, not on one timeframe, but if we believe it can and we help each other we do not leave people alone. It can, and I want some good to come from David's death
because, without some meaning without some good author is death and darkness and dave shown to brightly for that to be the legacy, the legacy has to be life and hope enjoy, because that's who he was Tell me about your each piece of music shall send back would have been listened to. Finally today, but this is one by you to Dave. Was a massive youtube? I hadn't we went to lots of those concert. Together- and this was always our favorite song, perfect song to end on Is it bad do, you feel
one when it's was it you too, and one shall send break. It is the face of every castaway and has been for seventy five years that they are having to be all on their ruin on a desert island, and it strikes me that listening to you talk about come, it isn t going to be of help to people through diversity? That actually being you lead this huge company along with mexico? being on your own on a desert island that will be some sort of hell for you. Surely I think that would be very hard. For how can we forget any one, but I don't think I really enjoyed it that much. I mean people for a couple hours to read a book. Little peace and quiet we'd be nice, but I think actually being castaway.
We quite difficult aside from these eight piece of music, I give all castaways the complete works of shakespeare and the bible, your life one other book with you. What other book will usb and my favorite book of all time is a wrinkle in time. I love the triumph of the light against the darkness snarky. We shall give you that book, your load as well, along with the books in the music, a luxury item. What's yours going to be, I was either going to take fuzzy socks like on a bed, socks or love. Those are like my feet are always called, but I think in the end, if that doesn't work so well on a desert island cause all the sand will get in your toes and stuff. I think so. I think I would take a journal if I were on a desert island. It's nothing to do, and no one to talk to you. A no community. Writing would be what I would do. Ok, we shall give you that, and if you I had to run to save just one of these discs from the wigs which one would it be. One you'd hear it's yours, Sheryl Sandberg. Thank you very much for letting us hear your desert island discs. Thank you for having
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Transcript generated on 2022-06-12.