Sheryl Sandberg, the influential chief operating officer of Facebook and best-selling author, is the latest guest to chat with Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff on his podcast “Office Hours.”
The episode, recorded at Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., offices, is available along with a transcript on Seattle-based Zillow’s website. In it, Sandberg reflects on what it’s like to work for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the social media giant’s continued growth, her favorite post of all time and why every company needs a “common story.”
Sandberg called her decision to come to Facebook from Google one of the best she has made in her life, and she credits her relationship with Zuckerberg for that perspective.
“I spent 6 weeks interviewing with him, literally 6 weeks, where I had to pretend I was willing to stay up late, which absolutely I wasn’t once I got the job, but really figuring out is this someone I can work with, I can trust, I’m going to learn from, who’s going to willing to learn from me,” Sandberg said. “Over the years Mark has become not just an amazing boss and someone that I’m just inspired to work with and for but really one of my closest friends. In the hard times no one’s been there more, in the good times no one’s happier for you, and that relationship has made a really big difference I think for me and Mark and for Facebook.”
Sandberg also discussed reference checking Zuckerberg during her interview process and discovering, via one particular anecdote, that he was an “honorable person” who she wanted to work with. And later, in her first days at the company when she was nervous, she learned how “careful” Zuckerberg was and remembered calling her husband to say, “This is going to work.”
Because using Facebook — and loving to use Facebook — comes with the job, Sandberg told Rascoff about what was probably her favorite post of all time. She said the post was from a journalist in Paris named Antoine Leiris who lost his wife in the terrorist attacks in the city in November 2015.
“Just a couple of days later he posted and said, ‘You know you took the love of my life, you took the mother of our son, but you will not take my hate. I will defy you by playing every day, by joy, by happiness,'” Sandberg said he wrote. “That’s a pretty incredible example of things that inspire you, right? How do you lose a spouse to violence, completely avoidable, completely unnecessary tragedy, and come out on the other side with a dedication to life and resisting the hate that I think so many people could feel?”
For a company that touches so many people with its product every day, around the world, Sandberg said it’s inspiring to watch people “use the power of technology to forgive, to love, to reach out.”