Start a Revolution Like Sheryl Sandberg

Grab a coffee, take a seat, and “lean in” to this awesome article.

Friendly Note: This article was written with a female POV for a female POV, in hopes to inspire the next generation of female leaders. If you are male or someone else, while this POV may feel unfamiliar, I hope you can still leave with some valuable takeaways and share them with the girls in your life : )

(Credit: Unsplash Images)
If you know, you know.
The Unicorn herself, Sheryl Sandberg. (Credit: SxSW)
The Ted Talk that changed the game for me. (Credit: Ted Talks)

Well, why do we have too few women leaders?

To summarize, Sheryl’s beautifully delivered speech on how we hold ourselves back as women (although if you haven’t already seen it, you must right after finishing this article):

  • We end up doing 2x the housework and 3x the childrearing → we need to find partners that believe in gender equality. Whether that may be in domestic duties or the gender pay wage gap in the workforce.
  • We leave before we have to leave → The moment we start thinking about having a child, we stop pushing for better jobs, and working hard on our ambitions/projects.

Why was this talk so impactful to me?

Some of you might be wondering, what was so impactful about a Ted Talk on Gender Equality?

Body Language

You could tell by her open body language that she is a COO, or soon to be an executive at a huge company.


Sheryl exuded confidence in this talk and you could tell she was passionate about the topic, because she radiated enthusiasm. This made what she was saying more believable.


Just like it’s not often that I win Battle Royale on Fortnite, I don’t often see female unicorns deliver a Ted Talk.

Yes, THIS low.

Females are under-represented in many areas: Science-based fields being a huge one.

According to the World Economic Forum, ONLY “16% of women graduate with STEM degrees”, and hold a low 25% of the world’s STEM jobs (2017).

THIS seat… correction THIS throne. Unicorn Queens deserve thrones.

One way Sheryl used her influence positively to share her stories and spark change was by founding the “Lean In” revolution.

“Leaning In” — A Gender Equality Movement

In 2013, Sheryl published her book “Lean In”. And kicked off a gender equality movement.

(Credit: Lean In)

Sheryl started the “Lean In” revolution.

The purpose of “Lean In” was to encourage more females to “lean in” and live their best life. Not settle for less and leave before we have to.

From Facebook to a Girl Power Revolution

Sheryl Sandberg is most often recognized as the COO of Facebook.

How do I adopt the leadership characteristics & mindset of Sheryl and start my own revolution?

Who’s gonna start the next “Hervolution”? (Credit: Unknown Artist)
  1. Using your knowledge to solve the world’s biggest problemsthis is where you can build your revolution. Whether it’s a girl power revolution like Sheryl’s or becoming female Elon Musk. Only time will tell.

Lesson One: Give Yourself A Seat At The Table.

Time to find your inner Bey and use it.
The infamous “table” I keep mentioning.

Lesson Two: Stop underestimating yourself.

It’s time we pay a visit to one of our earlier topics.

Unicorn Ladies

No, they don’t have a horn.
  • Taking care of their children & doing lots of housework
  • Preparing for children they haven’t had yet
  • Attending TKS (The Knowledge Society) sessions & unlocking their full potential → also, part of the #bossladies channel on Slack
  • Working their butts off getting a STEM degree, an internship, or tech company → trying to become the next unicorn (we just haven’t heard of them yet)

The solution: STOP underestimating ourselves

Easy, right?

Your goal is to have as much confidence as Beyonce does above.
  1. If you have a question, ask it. Don’t be afraid to speak up for what you believe in, and ask GOOD questions. Just like, if you want a seat at the table — take it.
  2. Overall, work on following the BOSS MENTALITY mindset 24/7 → until you start to subconsciously follow it.
  3. And finally, if you think you aren’t good enough to do something. Take that as a sign that you HAVE to do it.
Did you know: red is associated with power. Even Sheryl’s wardrobe is making boss moves.

Lesson Three: Follow the “Platinum Rule.”

I’m sure you’ve all heard of the “Golden Rule”

Not this platinum… but close.

“Treat others the way THEY WANT to be treated.”

Seems easy enough to follow.

“One time Sheryl Sandberg said to follow the Platinum Rule. So, I started following the platinum rule.”

So, how do I figure out how people want to be treated?

Simple. Ask them.

Lesson Four: Focus on the positive and learn from the negative.

As a society, we tend to focus on the negative.

Every small success deserves a happy dance.

Lesson Five: You’ve got to put in the work to get your desired results.

There’s one simple formula to your desired results:

“If you want something, work for it.”

Don’t expect anyone to give it to you. That’s not how the world works.

  1. Be resilient.
  2. Build & maintain a world class work ethic.

Lesson Six: Not everyone’s going to like you — and that’s perfectly okay.

From kindergarten, we have the story of:

  1. You need to be “successful” in life, so you don’t fail

The only person we need to compete against is the person we were yesterday.

From reading and hearing Sheryl’s stories my mental models were completely crushed and I learned not to care too much about likability.

  1. Likability and success are not correlated
  2. I don’t need anyone else’s support of my accomplishments → I define what success means for myself
  3. Failure is good, if you take it as a learning opportunity. In fact, I challenge you to fail and fail again — until you learn that failure is 100% normal and necessary.

Lesson Seven: Don’t leave before you have to.

If you’re not already in your third trimester of pregnancy and especially if you’re sixteen (like myself) — please don’t “leave” before you have to.

  1. Spending valuable time thinking about how you’re going to make room for a baby.
  2. A decrease in pursual of your ambitions/dream career.

Learn to know when you’re leaving and then do something about it.

Sheryl often talks about the importance of being AWARE. Be aware that you are “leaving.” Then figure out how you reverse it and chase after your ambitions.

Lesson Eight: Talk about IT.

Be an activator and start meaningful conversations.

  • Harassment in the workforce
  • Child slavery

Lesson Nine: You CAN have it ALL.

Yep, you heard that right.

Lesson Ten: Self-care & self-compassion are super important.

Strive to be like this cutie.

Self-care ISN’T selfish.

Just ask the Queen herself:

The boss mentality walk.
  • Getting quality sleep → She advocates for the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, so you can wake up refreshed and ready to crush the day ahead.
  • Being self-aware → Sheryl once said, “We cannot change what we are NOT aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.” What this means is we cannot change ourselves unless we are aware of where we can improve.
  • Always taking notes → Since her first day at Facebook, Sheryl has made sure to write down all the details of her meetings. Taking notes helps you declutter your mind and not forget the important stuff.

There was a lot of knowledge bombs in this article, here’s what you should leave with:

  • If you want a seat at the table, take it. But know it’s not going to be easy, and if it is… move on to a new table.
  • Do NOT underestimate yourself. You are a boss and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  • Focus on the positive and learn from the negative.
  • Failure is necessary for growth.
  • Not everyone is going to like you.
  • You have to put in the work for desired results.
  • Do not “leave” before you have to.
  • Treat people the way they want to be treated.
  • You actually CAN do it ALL! You just have to master the art of living optimally.
  • Be an activator — start meaningful conversations on topics that MATTER & need to be addressed.
  • Self-care isn’t selfish — the world’s most successful people prioritize their mental health and schedule time for self-care. EVERY DAY.
  • You can do ANYTHING → but first, learn to love yourself.
  • Advocate for gender equality & help women get a seat at “the table.”
  • Give it some claps and feedback in the comments.
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18 y/o researching closed-loop systems for earth + space.

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