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留学参考:How Wharton’s Adam Grant Came To Work With Sheryl Sandberg  

2017-05-03 03:01:11|  分类: DIY留学综合信息 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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留学参考:How Wharton’s Adam Grant Came To Work With Sheryl Sandberg
 


BY: JOHN A. BYRNE ON MAY 01, 2017

 

 

When Sheryl Sandberg felt the void from her husband’s death closing in on her two years ago, she called Wharton professor Adam Grant. Her husband, Dave, had died in a gym working out alone when he and Sandberg were on vacation. Soon, Grant and Facebook COO Sandberg found themselves in deep, highly emotional conversations.

On the surface, you wouldn’t necessarily think that a grieving widow would call a then 33-year-old Wharton professor for advice. But Grant is hardly your ordinary business school faculty member. The youngest tenured professor in history at Wharton and the highest-rated teacher, he’s been the “it” professor at the school for a number of years. He has earned the Excellence in Teaching Award at both the MBA and undergraduate levels, and he boasts an A-list group of consulting clients, including Google, the NFL, IBM, Goldman Sachs, GlaxoSmithKline, and the World Economic Forum.

And it’s just as usual for a leading B-school academic to pair with one of the most admired executives of her generation on a book project. But now Grant is the co-author of Option B, the book written in the first person by Sandberg about building resilience and moving forward after a severe setback in life. The book debuted at No. 1 on Amazon’s bestseller list the day it was published, April 24. An upcoming appearance in San Francisco at The Commonwealth Club on May 4 has been sold out for weeks. Already, Option B has gotten rave reviews from The New York Times and other media outlets. “It is a remarkable achievement: generous, honest, almost unbearably poignant,” according to the Times review. “This is a book that will be quietly passed from hand to hand, and it will surely offer great comfort to its intended readers.”

A MEETING OVER DINNER AT SANDBERG’S SILICON VALLEY HOME

Grant and Sandberg first met when Grant came to dinner at Sandberg’s house. Roughly four years ago, her husband had read Grant’s previous bestselling book, Give and Take, and invited the professor out to speak at SurveyMonkey where he was then CEO. Over dinner, Sandberg and her husband began speaking to Grant about the challenges women face and how Grant’s work could inform the issue.

As Sandberg writes in Option B, “We began writing together and became friends.  When Dave died, Adam flew across the country to attend the funeral. I confided to him that my greatest fear was that my kids would never be happy again. Other people had tried to reassure me with personal stories, but Adam walked me through the data: after losing a parent, many children are surprisingly resilient. They go on to have happy childhoods and become well-adjusted adults.”

Two weeks after her husband’s funeral, Sandberg received a letter from an acquaintance who was in her sixties and had also lost her husband. The woman told Sandberg that she wished she had some good advice to offer but didn’t. “Try as I might,” the widow wrote, “I can’t come up with a single thing that I know will help you.” That only made Sandberg even more distraught.

‘I THOUGHT ADAM WAS A TOTAL IDIOT’

She immediately called up Grant, read him the letter over the phone, and soon afterward, the Wharton professor was on a plane winging himself west to see her. “Hearing the despair in my voice triggered by the letter,” writes Sandberg, “Adam flew back across the country to convince me that there was a bottom to this seemingly endless void. He wanted to tell me face-to-face that while grief was unavoidable, there were things I could do to lessen the anguish for myself and my children. He said that by six months, more than half of people who lose a spouse are past what psychologists classify as ‘acute grief.’ Adam convinced me that while my grief would have to run its course, my beliefs and actions could shape how quickly I moved through the void and where I ended up.”

Not surprisingly, there were difficult conversations between the two. At one point, Grant challenged Sandberg—still profoundly grieving over the loss of her husband—with a question that astounded the Facebook executive.

“One day he looked at me and said, ‘You should think about how things could be worse?’,” recalls Sandberg in a podcast interview with The New York Times. “I thought he was a total idiot. And then he said, ‘Well, Dave could have had that same cardiac arrhythmias while driving the children.’ To this day, when I need it, I think about that. I sit here today and I am sadder but I appreciate life in a way I never did before. What if it had been worse?”

‘I SERIOUSLY THOUGHT ABOUT GIVING UP ON TEACHING’

Grant’s statement came from his own personal scrape with grief. In 2012, his closest family friend, author and columnist Jeffrey Zaslow, 53, died after his car was struck by a semi-trailer truck after Zaslow had lost control of his vehicle on a snow-covered road in Michigan. Shortly before the accident, Zaslow had been on the phone with Grant. “I played these endless loops in my head over and over again,” recalls Grant. “When I last talked to him, what if I had stayed on the phone ten minutes longer? Maybe he would not have been on the same icy road at the same time. My wife said, ‘You have to realize this could be worse. People have car accidents with families in their cars. You have to feel lucky that his children were not in the car with him.’”

Two years earlier, Grant had a face-to-face meeting with a 21-year-old student, Owen Thomas, who had been captain of the university’s football team and a much beloved figure on campus. It was Grant’s first year as a teacher on the University of Pennsylvania campus after earning his classroom chops at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. “He reached out to me for career advice and not long after that he died by suicide,” says Grant.

It was later discovered, that Thomas was in the early stages of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a disease that has been linked to depression and impulse control, primarily among NFL players. Thomas hung himself at his off-campus apartment.

“We were all shocked and I seriously thought about giving up on teaching. That was really hard and the whole campus grieved over that experience.”

GRANT TOLD SANDBERG NOT TO POST THAT SHE WOULD NEVER FEEL PURE JOY AGAIN

Option B is the result of those kinds of conversations between Grant and Sandberg, an attempt to share what they both learned about resilience. The book’s earliest beginnings came out of the Facebook post written by Sandberg on June 3, 2015, exactly 30 days after her husband’s death and the end of the Jewish tradition of sheloshim or mourning. Sandberg says she went to bed after creating the post thinking there was ‘zero chance” she would ever post it. But she woke up the next day feeling awful and decided to hit the button. “It didn’t take away the grief at all,” says Sandberg, “but it did help with the isolation” she felt from colleagues and friends who didn’t know how to approach her or what to say to her after Dave’s death.

Grant had urged her not to post the message, specifically opposing the following line. “When people say to me, ‘You and your children will find happiness again,’ my heart tells me, Yes, I believe that, but I know I will never feel pure joy again.” Recalls Sandberg: “I believed it and meant it. Adam said, ‘Don’t post it. It’s not true.’  I posted it, and I was wrong. We want people to believe they will feel joy.”

The post acknowledged her pain and suffering as well as her determination to move forward. It was a conversation with a friend about a father-child activity that her husband was no longer here to do. “We came up with a plan to fill in for Dave,” wrote Sandberg in her Facebook post. “I cried to him, ‘But I want Dave. I want option A.’ He put his arm around me and said, “Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of option B.’

“Dave, to honor your memory and raise your children as they deserve to be raised,” Sandberg added, “I promise to do all I can to kick the shit out of option B. And even though sheloshim has ended, I still mourn for option A. I will always mourn for option A.”

‘PEOPLE HAVE A REALLY HARD TIME TALKING ABOUT ADVERSITY’

Sandberg’s post drew a massive response from readers who acknowledged the courage she showed in being so candid and open. Ultimately, she came around to the idea of writing a book. It was Grant who persuaded Sandberg that resilience can be learned. The professor, she says, taught her that three things are critical to resilience and that she could work on all three.

“Personalization—realizing it is not my fault. He told me to ban the word ‘sorry.’ To tell myself over and over, This is not my fault. Permanence—remembering that I won’t feel like this forever. This will get better. Pervasiveness—this does not have to affect every area of my life; the ability to compartmentalize is healthy.”

As Grant notes, “People have a really hard time talking about adversity. Somebody has lost a spouse or has been diagnosed cancer, and nobody says a word about it. It’s like there is an elephant in the room. Psychologists years ago came up with a term for this. They call it the mum effect when nobody likes to pass along bad news. Some people are afraid the messenger will be shot. But in other cases, people just don’t want to remind others of something painful. One way to overcome the mum effect is to open up and say this is what I am going through.

‘I REMEMBER A LITTLE BIT OF DRAGGING, KICKING AND SCREAMING’

The most emotionally wrought sections of the book are already generating the most resonance, with many critics expressing surprise that Sandberg would allow herself to be as vulnerable as she is, even recreating the moment she discovered her husband’s body on the floor of the Mexico hotel gym where he had suffered his fatal heart attack or when she had to tell her children that their father had died.

“When we sat down, Sheryl didn’t want it to be about her,” recalls Grant in the podcast. “I remember a little bit of dragging, kicking and screaming. She realized that this really meant something to people when she was able to open up and be so vulnerable.”

“The parts of the book that are personal were really written for my children,” explains Sandberg. “It was working with Adam to figure out what I would share and what I could share.”

The book, the pair say, is the result of a great deal go revisions. Grant usually wrote the first draft of the research. Sandberg did first drafts of her own story, the most compelling part of the book. And the two of them took turns working on the writing of other stories. They say each chapter averaged more than 200 versions of rewrites and edits.

At first, the pair tried to write the book as two authors but ultimately decided that it had to be in Sandberg’s voice. “We tried to write it with we,” she says, “but  it was just hard to talk about we when it was Dave who died. So then we tried to write it in the first person and explain it was our work.”

WHAT CAN GIVE SUFFERING MEANING

The overriding lesson of Option B is that people can recover from major setbacks in their lives, even to the point of making those setbacks positive. “When people face traumatic events, early on many psychologists thought there were two possibilities,” explains Grant. “One was to be broken, to walk away with post-traumatic stress disorder or debilitating depression, or really have difficulty functioning. The other possibility was to bounce back. To return to the place that you were before. What psychologists learned through that research was that there’s a third possibility, that in some ways people are not just able to bounce back. They’re able to bounce forward, to grow from the most difficult experiences of their lives.

“We can bounce forward after experiencing loss or hardship. After September 11, applications to Teach for America tripled, and many of the people applying said they wanted to serve others. They realized how precious life is and they wanted to do something to help the next generation.

“When people go through hardship, they’re not just more motivated to help others in many situations. They often want to help people in exactly the way that they have been hurt. Helping people through the trauma that you’ve faced is not only something that gives your life meaning, it gives your suffering meaning.”

 

 

 

以上内容摘自:

http://poetsandquants.com/2017/05/01/whartons-adam-grant-got-work-sheryl-sandberg/

 

 

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