By Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
I have many role models, including:
My first is my mother, Adele Sandberg — My mother has the most empathy of anyone I know. She raised her children, taught English as a second language, helped her parents spend their final years in dignity and comfort, and now runs Save Your Hearing, a non-profit to prevent noise-induced hearing loss in young people. She has always contributed to her community and the world. She is my inspiration.
Serena Williams — Serena is a role model for women and men everywhere. She shows all of us what’s possible when you work hard to achieve your dreams. She’s also a truly wonderful and supportive friend who shares her strength to lift up those around her.
Salim Habayeb — Salim was one of the first people I ever worked for. He was a doctor working in global health at the World Bank and we worked on leprosy in India together. He took me to India for the first time and helped me face heart-breaking poverty and illness by combining hard analytics with personal caring. He told me it was ok to cry after a day in a leprosy home, but then to take that energy and channel it into the hard work that could help people in need. To this day I believe that those are the ingredients we need to solve the world’s problems.
This article originally appeared in Quora.