The Last Word: How to Get Things Done, the Sandberg Way
By Cory Galbraith
SURPRISINGLY, SHE USES A PAPER NOTEBOOK, not a digital device, to keep track of everything—and grudgingly admits to checking email late at night. But 48-year old Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, is a productivity dynamo.
Sandberg’s command over time allows her to not only keep Facebook running smoothly but also have a family life and over-see a non-profit website (leanin. org) that helps women in business support each other. How does she do it?
A few secrets from the Facebook executive…
Ruthless prioritization: “I spend my time on what matters most.”
Immediate, short email responses: Sandberg responds to emails as soon as they come in, reading them only once: “I would rather give a short, quick, incomplete answer than wait and do it better later.”
Off-time: Her phone goes off late at night.
Don’t add to barriers: Sandberg says we’re our own worst enemy when we lack confidence. Make sure barriers to progress are “external, not internal.”
Always capture ideas: If a better idea enters her head, it gets written down immediately and flagged as an actionable item.
Effective delegation: Those who work for Sandberg say she tends not to give specific instructions, letting her people find their own way to accomplish goals. The result is a more motivated team that gets tasks done faster.
Sandberg must be doing something right. She is reported to be worth over a billion dollars as a result of stocks in Facebook and other firms.
Formerly with Google, she had met Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at a Christmas party. Today, she manages sales, marketing, business development, communications, human resources, and policy.
But still has time to kiss her kids good night.