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sheryl sandbergFacebook’s chief operating officer was almost LinkedIn’s chief executive officer.

Sheryl Sandberg’s new book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead has a lot of advice for working women, which we’ve previously covered. But according to an excerpt given to the Wall Street Journal, it also reveals some juicy tidbits about her life and career, including that LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman asked her to become LinkedIn’s CEO in 2006.

She passed on the offer:

“In the summer of 2006, a tiny startup called LinkedIn was looking for a new CEO, and Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn’s founder, reached out to me. I thought it was a great opportunity, and after five years in the same position at Google, I was ready for a new challenge. But the timing was tricky. I was 37 years old and wanted to have a second child. I told Reid the truth: Regrettably, I had to pass. …”

I think we can all agree, however, that given Sandberg’s career at Google and now Facebook, she made the right call. And while LinkedIn is clearly super-successful, very few companies on the planet — IPO or no IPO — are more important, more relevant, and more central to the emerging digital economy than Facebook.


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Sandberg is only one of many super-successful women who have started or grown careers at Google only to jump to other Silicon Valley companies. An obvious example is Yahoo CEO and president Marissa Mayer, but a more recent example is Jennifer Dulski, who recently left Google to become president of Change.org.

Sandberg’s book is about women leaning into their careers to be successful, and features advice similar to what she talked about in a TED talk, including:

  1. Sit at the table (Be present and don’t accept subordinate roles.)
  2. Make your partner a real partner (Have or get a husband who helps out a home equally)
  3. Don’t leave until you leave (Don’t emotionally prepare for maternity or other job interruptions by mentally leaving before leaving.)

Image credit: Hubert Burda Media/Flickr

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