When Sheryl Sandberg met Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a Christmas party in December 2007, the two instantly found each other fascinating and struck up a friendship.
But before Zuckerberg finally hired Sandberg away from Google to be his COO, they spent three months figuring out if they would be the right business partners.
They spent hours every week discussing Facebook’s future as it prepared to scale, and found that while they agreed on some fundamental issues, their visions were not identical.
Sandberg told LinkedIn cofounder and chairman Reid Hoffman for an episode of his podcast “Masters of Scale” that at one point her late husband Dave Goldberg, who was the CEO of Survey Monkey, gave her “the world’s best advice” on working with Zuckerberg that put her mind to ease.
“Mark and I didn’t agree on a lot of substantive things at that point,” Sandberg told Hoffman. “And Dave told me, he’s like, ‘Don’t work any of those out. You never will.’ He said, ‘What you want from Mark is process agreement on how you will work things out. Because even if you work all the questions you have out now, they’re going to change.”
Sandberg told Zuckerberg that if she were going to work for him, they would need to give each other candid feedback and check in with each other first thing Monday morning and last thing Friday every week. Zuckerberg agreed to the plan, and they’ve maintained it for the past nine years of working together.
You can listen to the full episode of “Masters of Scale” on Stitcher or wherever you get podcasts.