Attitude Beats Aptitude

How Sheryl Sandberg Nailed It, Again

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
Ask not what your company can do for you...

Sheryl Sandberg calls out the elephant in the room that often employees and candidates are unaware of.

I talk to candidates about career opportunities, either as a headhunter or coach. Often, talent will discuss the opportunity with me through one solitary lens: ‘how its the role a fit for me?‘ Of course, I believe and encourage everyone to find a role and a company that fits their aspirations and career journey, so they can produce their best work.

What I usually hear from talent is how the role benefits themselves through their self-reflective lens, rather than being able to eloquently review how they – the candidate or employee – can make a difference to the company; to help move the company forward with its mission.

Fast forward to interview stage, and guess how that self-focused lens shows up with the hiring manager?

If the hiring manager uses gut-feel alone, they’ll probably declare the candidate ‘not a fit’ without any explanation from a hiring manager, as they won’t how their skills will impact the business. Often it is hard for the hiring manager to put a finger on it.

Sometimes the hiring manager might sense the candidate has no passion for the company mission or even an understanding and might be polite by stating the person isn’t a ‘culture fit’. Afterall, we all want to hire motivated people that will help reach company goals.

Sheryl Sandberg’s Stanford video is clear: show what you can do for your company

Authentic energy is required here. The more you can take your focus from yourself to what you can do for the company and its mission, the more opportunities and offers will come your way.

There’s more. Your attitude also comes across in your LinkedIn profile, your CV/resume all the way through to your interactions with a recruiter; way before you talk to the hiring manager. So start being genuine about this aspect in all your communications.

I urge you to show this video to your friends, your children, your employees and anyone looking for work. It could be the most important shift needed to help move their career forward.

You can watch the full 49-minute Stanford video with Sheryl Sandberg here.

Caroline Stokes is an executive headhunter, executive coach a founder of FORWARD, a human capital solutions company for innovation leaders.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


The Hottest Hypergrowth New Hire: Chief People Officer

by PeopleTech Partners Human Resources Hiring Strategies

How Companies Identify Talent with Emma Brudner of Lola & Kage Spatz

by Kage Spatz
ThirtyThree Human Resources Hiring and Retention Strategies

Nicole Dorskind Reveals Her Top HR Strategies with Kage Spatz

by Kage Spatz

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.