Sheryl Sandberg Taught Aerobics—And Other Little-Known Facts About Facebook’s COO
Sheryl Sandberg is one of the most well-known female executives in America—and the fifth Most Powerful Woman on Fortune‘s ranking. The Facebook COO is a frequent public speaker and has written two quite personal books: Lean In, which became an instant classic among professional women; and Option B, in which she wrote about grief in the aftermath of the death of her husband, SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg.
And yet, even the most avid Sandberg fan might have missed the following fun facts about her, which she shares with Fortune in conjunction with our 2017 MPW ranking:
1. She’s a Harvard alumna—twice over
Not only did Sandberg attend the Ivy League school as an undergrad (she majored in Economics), she later returned to get her MBA.
2. She taught aerobics classes in college
While most know the Facebook COO for her business prowess, a lesser-known Sandberg skill is step aerobics. During her Harvard days, she taught classes wearing a “silver leotard, leg warmers, shiny headband, and all.”
3. Eric Schmidt personally convinced her to join his team
After getting a job offer at Google in 2001, she was hesitant to accept because she wasn’t sure what the job would entail. Then-Google CEO Eric Schmidt convinced her by telling her, “Don’t be an idiot.” According to Sandberg, he then said, “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.”
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4. A small notebook goes everywhere she goes
Sandberg says she carries “an actual notebook that [she writes] in with an actual pen” everywhere she goes. The notebook contains her to do list: “Once I cross off every item on a page, I take great joy in turning to a new page and starting again,” she says.
5. A gift from Howard Schultz hangs in her conference room
If you ever visit the Facebook COO’s conference room, you might notice a poster that says, “The future belongs to the few of us still willing to get our hands dirty.” Sandberg says it’s one of her favorites; it was a gift from Starbucks founder Howard Schultz.