The Global Leadership Summit is a two-day event that is telecast LIVE from Willow’s campus near Chicago every August to more than 600+ locations in North America. Throughout the fall, Summit events take place in an additional 128 countries—translated into 60 languages. This is the 23rd annual Global Leadership Summit being broadcast around the world to more than 400K people.

Below are my notes from Bill Hybels interview with Sheryl Sandberg, CEO Facebook:


  • I don’t think I defined myself as a leader for a long time. I was told that I was too bossy and too aggressive.
  • What we see ourselves becoming is what we become.
  • We can’t become what we don’t see.

Hire Big

  • Hire people with unbelievable skill, regardless of experience! Experience can be learned.
  • Hire people you will need even if you don’t have a spot at the time.
  • Hire people that will get you where you want to go.
  • Don’t worry about hiring an over qualified person to do a lower level job because you don’t have a position deserving of their talents. If the person is willing to take the job they will take you where you want to go.


  • Most organizations fail for reasons everyone knows but no one addresses.
  • Her mom taught her to be candid at an early age.
  • How to be a good leader? Get people to tell you the truth.


  • Set ambitious goals and achieve them as efficiently as possible.


  • Learn from your failures

Face time

  • The goal is not face time but the results!
    • If you can get the results in less time, fine

Lean In Movement

  • Only 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women.
  • I have a desire to help women rise in leadership positions.
  • Stop assigning traditional gender-based work roles. (Men lift. Women clean. etc.)
  • I believe women can lead more in the workplace. I believe men can contribute more at home.
  • We would have a more efficient work if women and people of all races and backgrounds had a seat at the table.
  • No one does anything alone. We all need help to achieve our goals and aspirations.
  • The best way to get there is through is peer support. (Started Lean In groups all over the world)
  • Men have a big role to play in changing this dynamic going forward.
  • I think it’s recognizing the small and unconscious bias we all have against female leaders.


  • She wrote a book, Option B, that details her grief journey after the sudden loss of her husband a number of years ago.
  • I turned to everyone and everything. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.
  • 3 Ps of what not to do when grieving 
    • Personalization: Don’t blame yourself. We blame ourselves unnecessarily. Beating ourselves up is not productive.
    • Pervasiveness: This is where we adapt the thought pattern that everything is terrible in our lives after our loss. I am a bad mom, bad at my job, bad at taking care of myself, bad friend etc.
      • The grief makes itself into all aspects of our lives.
      • Realize that just because you have suffered a major loss that all is not lost. Your kids are alive, it could be worse.
      • Intentionally celebrate the good things in your life.
    • Permanence: It feels like it will never go away. We feel like life is as bad as it can be and will never get better.
  • Resilience: the ability to overcome hardship.
    • Resilience – don’t ask me how much you have, ask me how you build it.
    • Find the things that are still good in your life.
    • It is a muscle and we can build it.
    • It is human to make mistakes, beating ourselves up doesn’t help.

Post Traumatic Growth: the growth the occurs after a tragedy.


  • Joy is something we have to look for. Guilt comes in, but I know that I deserve joy.
  • The first time she felt joy she felt guilty for it. She was asked, if you are not happy how can your kids be?
  • At first, it was I hard I felt I needed to have permission to feel joy.
  • A friend reminded her that all her husband, Dave, ever wanted was for you and kids to be happy, don’t take that from him now that he is gone.
  • Every day I write down 3 things that brought me joy.  They can be small. Most of them will be. This changes your focus and your perspective on your life. You stop focusing on all the things you might think you did wrong during the day or didn’t get done. After this, she spent time focusing on what brought her joy instead what she had done wrong all day.
  • Joy can be small things like getting a cup of coffee or a hug from my daughter.


  • How have you changed during this journey?
    • I don’t sweat the small stuff so much.
    • I don’t ignore hardships people are going through.
    • There is a self-help section in every bookstore, but no help-others section. People are so afraid to say the wrong thing they don’t say anything at all. Don’t do this. We must talk! We must build people up.
    • It is vital to build people back up after the tragedy. Acknowledge what they are going through, ask if they need more time off, but also affirm that we still need you and value your contribution to the team.


You turned to your friends during this challenging time, why?

  • When tough things happen, we cannot get through them by ourselves.
  • Friendship is important, and we must show up for each other. I needed friends who could be there even when I wasn’t fun to be around.
  • During such times it is better to show up and do something specific for the person, rather than ask if I can do anything.
  • You don’t have to be a best friend to show for someone.
  • The compliment on the most basic can thing can really help someone.

Developing Leaders

  • Whose responsibility is it to become a better leader? Both the leader AND the institution.
  • Leadership Development=Investment
  • For a leader to get better, they must get real feedback.
  • As a leader, you must make it easy for people to give you real feedback.
  • Ask for real feedback from your team, you will have to work at this. Most people are not used to giving real feedback to those they work for.
  • With good value and a good vision, anyone can be a leader.
  • It is never just the individual or the collective it is both.

Learn To Lead

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