In so many ways, Sheryl Sandberg has been a lesson, and taught us lessons, in the last few years – to women in tech, and to women in general. She is clearly a woman who “has it all”; brains, beauty, respect in her field, career success, money – and yet in sharing with us her thoughts on her pain from the recent loss of her husband, she is once again teaching us a very important lesson. In her grief she is teaching us to understand and value what’s really important.
As women in tech, we are often focused on building companies, growing careers, achieving success and making money. And these things are certainly important. However, in reading Ms. Sandberg’s recent Facebook post about the death of her husband, I found that she stopped me right in my tracks. She reminded me of something I’ve known all along – but seem to have forgotten as I lived my day-to-day life, “no matter how much success you have or money you make, you can’t take it with you”.
I think this is a lesson, not only for women, but for all of us – particularly those of us in the tech industry. We’re so used to things moving so fast, and pushing to stay ahead of our competitors in this industry, that I believe many of us have forgotten what’s really important – the relationships with those in our lives that we care about, and taking care of ourselves as well.
Take a minute to ask yourselves some questions. When was the last time you spent the day with your child or your aging parent – not because it was an obligatory holiday, but because you wanted to? When was the last time you and your significant other took time away from work, kids, cell phones, laptops, tablets, etc. – and just concentrated on talking to each other? When was the last time you called a friend to have coffee – not to get information, not to ‘do a deal’, not to ask for help; but just to talk and see how your friend’s life was going? When was the last time you helped someone – just because you could? And lastly, when was the last time you made time for yourself – took a quiet walk with the dog, turned off the alarm and slept in, read a book purely because it entertained you, smelled a flower or watched a sunset? If you’re anything like me, its been a VERY long time.
So, even though its not the time of year for resolutions, I’m going to make one. I’m going to resolve to change the priorities in my life. My work is important to me, and I know because of my work that MTAM (Mobile Technology Association of Michigan) is able to help a lot of people and companies in Michigan, but as I’ve recently re-learned from Ms. Sandberg, there are other things much more important such as the people (and in my case, also dogs) that I care about and taking care of myself, as well.
Therefore, let us take a lesson from Ms. Sandberg to place value on those things that are truly important. While she will likely never know about the potential impact that her grief and her words might have on each of our individual lives, I believe she would be happy to know that she has once again taught us a very important lesson – and I believe she would see that lesson as a truly wonderful legacy for her beloved husband.
About the Author:
Linda Daichendt is the Executive Director of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan, a Co-founder of Mobile Monday Michigan, a Co-host/Co-producer of the international mobile marketing podcast series, ‘The Mobile Marketing Review’, a Co-host of the ‘This Week in Small Business Technology’ podcast series on the Michigan Business Network, and Executive Producer for the podcast series, ‘Michigan Mobile Musings’. She is also a Board Member for the Michigan STEM Partnership.
Linda is an accomplished marketer and award-winning blogger, and one of Michigan’s leading proponents of the use of mobile/wireless technologies for businesses of all sizes – and in all industries. She is a recognized business expert with 20+ years of corporate, small business and franchising experience. For her work with mobile/wireless technologies in Michigan she has been recognized as a member of the Techweek Detroit 100 in both 2014 and 2015.
A 15-year resident of her adopted home state of Michigan, Linda’s daily focus is on educating Michigan business, government and education stakeholders about the opportunities that mobile/wireless technologies provide to substantially grow Michigan’s economy, as well as insuring the ability for all Michigan residents to benefit from the jobs and businesses created by those technologies.