Sheryl Sandberg Essay

3891 words - 16 pages

Perspectives on the Personality of Sheryl Sandberg

California State University San Marcos

Personality of Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg is an American business- woman praised for her unfaltering ambition, and efforts to encourage women to pursue leadership roles while resonating that a woman’s career and value to the world are not limited by her gender. Born on August 28, 1969 in Washington D.C., Ms. Sandberg was the first- born child to educated, ambitious, and involved parents.
From her earliest years in public school through to the completion of her MBA from Harvard business school, Ms. Sandberg was always at the top of her class. Her first few notable jobs were as the research ...view middle of the document...

He described how adulthood was the result of a continual developmental process influenced by previous stages of one’s own life (Friedman & Schustack, 2012). Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development serves as a wonderful lens through which one can understand how Ms. Sandberg came to be the icon that she is today. In Erikson’s first of the eight stages, Ms. Sandberg learned how to trust as the result of her loving and conscientious parents that kept her safe and healthy through infancy. Afterward, Ms. Sandberg successfully developed a sense of confidence and security in the world, as well as the ego skill of hope- imperative characteristics of a leader. Ms. Sandberg’s parents also contributed to her successful completion of Erikson’s second stage, where autonomy is instilled rather than shame. One can attribute Ms. Sandberg’s confidence in being independent and in control of her choices to her parents, who encouraged their three children to be creative and pursue many activities.
In Erikson’s third stage, a child gains either initiative or guilt. Erikson describes how this stage occurs between early to mid-childhood as children begin to express their ideas and preferred activities. Although her parents were very supportive and open- minded, Ms. Sandberg experienced what she believes to be an inescapable scrutiny by peers and society. This scrutiny manifests itself in the expectation that girls should wear pink and tend to household activities, rather than build things and pursue activities where they are in control and taking initiative. This caused the young Ms. Sandberg to fear that she would fail when she was called on in class or tested on her abilities. Ms. Sandberg was also called bossy as a little girl, which made her feel that leadership was a negative characteristic for a girl to embody. When she did perform well, Ms. Sandberg felt guilty for simply “fooling” others into believing that she was able. Ms. Sandberg explained that the he tendency to underestimate oneself has been measured as a thought pattern very common for women and atypical for men, “This phenomenon of capable people being plagued by self- doubt has a name- the imposter syndrome. Both men and women are susceptible to the impostor syndrome, but women tend to experience it more intensely and be more limited by it” (Sandberg, 2013, p.29). Thus, Erikson’s third stage can have detrimental effects if not successfully navigated. Pressuring young girls to dress a certain way, and teasing them for enjoying “gender inconsistent” interests (such as making up games), can cause girls to become women that lack initiative and feel incapable of making decisions. Ms. Sandberg expressed her concern about negative external influences when she wrote, “Personal choices are not always as personal as they appear. We are all influenced by social conventions, peer pressure, and familial expectations” (Sandberg, 2013, pg. 100). While social conventions, peer pressure, and familial...

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