8 Overall

10 Applicability

7 Innovation

8 Style


As is customary, Sheryl Sandberg peppers her commencement speech to the University of California, Berkeley, class of 2016 with in-jokes and college references. But that’s where her conformity to the cookie-cutter commencement address ends. Sandberg aims to teach the graduands a lesson they didn’t acquire in the halls of Berkeley: how to handle setbacks. In a courageous oration, she shares deeply personal memories of her darkest experience – the death of her husband. getAbstract recommends Sandberg’s emotional yet hopeful depiction of unexpected loss and heartbreak to anyone seeking perspective on bereavement or disappointment or to anyone who has yet to face tough times.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How everyone faces tough times at some point in life,
  • What mental traps shape your response to adversity and
  • How to develop resilience.


In May 2015, Sheryl Sandberg’s husband, Dave Sandberg, died unexpectedly of a cardiac arrhythmia. Following his death, Sandberg fell into a chasm of despair, but she eventually climbed out and learned to cope and find happiness again. In life, everyone undergoes hardship and disappointment – be it unrequited love, a missed job opportunity or the passing of a loved one. How you react to such adversity defines you. Psychologist Martin Seligman identified three common emotional responses to suffering:

  1. “Personalization” – When Sandberg’...

About the Speaker

Sheryl Sandberg is COO of Facebook, founder of the Lean In Foundation and co-author of Option B.

More on this topic

By the same author

Option B
The Transformation of Tomorrow
Lean In
Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

Customers who read this summary also read

How to Rewrite the Rules, with Sam Conniff Allende
To Raise Brave Girls, Encourage Adventure
Drop the Ball Instead of Trying to Do It All
The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage
Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Commencement Address

Related Channels