Sheryl Sandberg was on top of the world when her husband died abruptly from cardiac arrhythmia while they were on vacation. The loss left Sandberg, the powerful COO of Facebook, devastated and — in short order — determined. Sandberg’s support system was strong, and if all that support couldn’t take away her grief it could provide a foundation for her to cope with it. Sandberg’s determination then — part of the DNA of being a Silicon Valley problem solver — was to help create a similar foundation for other people experiencing loss and grief. Sandberg called it Option B, and it is both an organization and, now, a book co-authored with Wharton professor Adam Grant.
[Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg with Adam Grant]
Given her position, Sandberg could have had nearly anyone write blurbs for her book. And there are certainly some big names like Bill and Melinda Gates and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai who give Option B the thumbs up. But it’s Sandberg’s own brutal, candid Facebook post written just 30 days after her husband’s death that does more to recommend Option B than any blurb could. A blurb for a book is supposed to make you want to read it. And Sandberg’s post already took care of that — its readers immediately wanted to know about the next steps on Sandberg’s journey, and how she would handle moving forward. In the post she says she has spent many days “lost in the void.” But Sandberg also says “when I can, I want to choose life and meaning.” Option B is about making that choice.