Last night at the World Economic Forum in Davos, a source close to a very important, big-spending Facebook client was going on and on about how great Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is.*
This person was saying that Sandberg is such a powerful and effective people person that she should give Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a few more years, and then enter the world of politics, “which needs her.”
“We need her,” she said.
You hear this kind of thing about Sandberg all the time.
Last year, I met with a big Democratic fundraiser in Silicon Valley who is hoping Sandberg will run for Senate in 2016 or after.
Last week, I met with a high-profile venture capitalist and friend-of-Sandberg in Palo Alto who said that she would be better off skipping electoral politics, which are messy, and going for an appointed position instead. He thought she would be perfect for secretary of State. Interestingly, this VC thought Sandberg would and should do it whether the next President is a Democrat or a Republican.
This VC said that the only thing holding Sandberg back from going after politics, electoral or otherwise, was her own sense of humility.
If that’s so, it’s ironic. One of the key lessons from Sandberg’s massively best-selling feminist manifesto, Lean In, is that women are too humble about their own accomplishments. Too often they credit others for their success. They don’t brag enough. They don’t believe they are the exact right person to take on the big roles. To change the world for the better, she writes, women need to…lean in.
Something tells us if Sandberg really wants a political job on the world stage (a big “if,” because those jobs suck), she’ll find a way to get over whatever might be holding her back. According to her book, she was hesitant to join both Google and then Facebook before taking the leap and guiding both to brilliant outcomes.
*We’d describe the source of this information more, but the World Economic Forum is held under something called “The Chatham House Rule,” wherein reporters are able to share information they have heard here but are not allowed to name the source.