Top 24 Inspiring Sheryl Sandberg Quotes on Life, Leadership and Equality

In a corporate America still dominated by men, business leader, activist, author and philanthropist Sheryl Sandberg is an inspirational figure, and a powerful role model to women and girls who want to make their mark in the world — and do it on their own terms.

After serving as a vice president at Google for six years, Sandberg became the chief operating officer of Facebook in 2008. She was the brains behind the social media giant’s shift towards profitability in 2010, and was the first woman to be elected to the company’s board of directors in 2012. A former chief of staff in the Bill Clinton White House and outspoken advocate for women’s rights, Sandberg today also sits on the boards of the Walt Disney Corporation, Women for Women International, the Center for Global Development, and V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. She is the author of the bestselling Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, and the founder of Leanin.org, a charitable organization devoted to empowering women to achieve their ambitions.

Today worth an estimated $1.57 billion, Sandberg is one of America’s most influential executives, and was named by Time magazine in 2012 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Sheryl Sandberg knows a thing or two about achieving your potential. Here are our Top 24 Inspiring Sheryl Sandberg Quotes on Life, Leadership and Equality.

24 Inspiring Sheryl Sandberg Quotes on Life, Leadership and Equality

Top 24 Inspiring Sheryl Sandberg Quotes on Life, Leadership and Equality

You are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. Like a muscle, you can build it up, draw on it when you need it. In that process you will figure out who you really are — and you just might become the very best version of yourself.

Not taking failures personally allows us to recover — and even to thrive.

Just as our bodies have a physiological immune system, our brains have a psychological immune system — and there are steps you can take to help kick it into gear.


Finding gratitude and appreciation is key to resilience. People who take the time to list things they are grateful for are happier and healthier.

The easy days ahead of you will be easy. It is the hard days — the times that challenge you to your very core — that will determine who you are. You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive.

We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.

Sheryl Sandberg quote - We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.

The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.

Every woman I know, particularly the senior ones, has been called too aggressive at work. We know in gender blind studies that men are more aggressive in their offices than women. We know that. Yet we’re busy telling all the women that they’re too aggressive. That’s the issue.

Not everything that happens to us happens because of us.


When you look at successful women, they have other women who have supported them, and they’ve gotten to where they are because of those women.

We find our humanity — our will to live and our ability to love — in our connections to one another. Be there for your family and friends. And I mean in person. Not just in a message with a heart emoji.

It is the ultimate luxury to combine passion and contribution. It’s also a very clear path to happiness.

Sheryl Sandberg quote - It is the ultimate luxury to combine passion and contribution. It’s also a very clear path to happiness

Build resilience in yourselves. When tragedy or disappointment strike, know that you have the ability to get through absolutely anything. I promise you do. As the saying goes, we are more vulnerable than we ever thought, but we are stronger than we ever imagined.

The best antidote to bad speech is good speech. The best antidote to hate is tolerance.

We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in.

Bring your whole self to work. I don’t believe we have a professional self Monday through Friday and a real self the rest of the time. It is all professional and it is all personal.

I learned that in the face of a void or in the face of any challenge, you can choose joy and meaning.

If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat.

Sheryl Sandberg quote - If you're offered a seat on a rocket ship, don't ask what seat.

Trying to do it all and expecting it all can be done exactly right is a recipe for disappointment. Perfection is the enemy.

We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.

Leadership is not bullying and leadership is not aggression. Leadership is the expectation that you can use your voice for good. That you can make the world a better place.


The upside of painful knowledge is so much greater than the downside of blissful ignorance.

Knowing that things could be worse should not stop us from trying to make them better.

I feel really grateful to the people who encouraged me and helped me develop. Nobody can succeed on their own.

Bonus quote:

A truly equal world  would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.


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