He was dazed and confused, but now he is high-spirited and vigorous. Mark Zuckerberg, the 28-year-old CEO of the Facebook, proved a variety of possibilities in the Internet era by his own way. How did he do this? What made Zuckerberg so successful? First, he was full of confidence. In Chung (2012)’s article, Mark tried to explain his landlord Judy Fusco that what the Facebook is. “He said they were going to build a network that would change the world. ” At that time, Judy was impressed by Mark’s confidence. Second, Mark was creative. Nathaniel Popper (2011) once interviewed Mark’s father about Mark’s anecdotes.
He was bored with his schoolwork,” the elder Zuckerberg said. And he let young Mark create a primitive instant messaging system to enable people in the dental office to communicate through computer. Young Mark finished it successfully. This may have laid the ground for Mark to throw himself into the IT area. There is an old saying “One’s character at three years old seals his fate. ” People could find some clues that Mark Zuckerberg would become an extraordinary leader from above events. In addition, after his success of the Facebook, how did he approach his role as such a huge company’s leader?
After the success of the Facebook, people began to have interest in him. For a while, Mark was regarded as the next Steve Jobs because they had similar life experience and characters. For example, they both started their own business at twenty years old. Steve Jobs started Apple in the garage and Mark started Facebook in Harvard’s dormitory. They were all “Dictator” in their companies. In addition, in Alex Sherman (2012)’s article, Gamco Investors Inc. ’s Larry Haverty, a portfolio manager, gave his opinion on Mark’s role in the Facebook. He stated that “Facebook Inc. s governance structure resembles a dictatorship, requiring investors to surrender rights to founder Mark Zuckerberg”. For instance, Mark now controls 56. 9% of voting power at Facebook and he also can decide his successor by himself.
Moreover, most co-founders have left the company. One of the co-founder Chris Hughes said that it was challenging to work with Mark, and that it is better to be his friend than to work with him. Therefore, Mark was not a perfect CEO. He has two strong basic personal skills: technical and conceptual, as described Northouse (2013)’s book (p. 4). However, he still needs to improve his human skills if he wanted to be an effective leader. Northhouse (2013) stated that human skills are the abilities of working effectively with team members and achieve the organization’s goal (p. 44). As a CEO, Mark had strong conceptual skill. He knew exactly what he wanted and what Facebook’s mission was. For example, some investors were worried about Facebook’s performance because Facebook ignored the prospect of mobile advertising, which would have great impact on the future of company.
Mark admitted his mistake openly and changed his company’s strategy on mobile advertising. Then Mark and his company began to pay more attention to this area. They released several mobile advertising applications. As a result, they had successfully turned the situation around. Rusli (2013) said in his article of the Wall Street journal that Facebook posted a 40% fourth-quarter revenue jump to $1. 59 billion as it ramped up its mobile business. Mark had achieved his commitment in mobile business by his courage of admitting mistakes and his ability to make changes in strategies.
On the other hand, there was a period when Mark neglected the importance of human skills. As a result, his “employees began grumbling about the need for a professional CEO” (Henry, 2012). Fortunately, Mark soon realized the problem and took actions to deal with it. First, he began to hold more one-on-one meeting with his senior team. Second, he sought experts to help him operate the company. He hired Sheryl Sandberg, former vice president of Google, as Facebook’s COO (Marshall, 2009). The employees’ satisfaction has been increased because of her presence.
Third, Mark learned to have interactions with his employees. According to an article of Marshall (2009), an editor of VentureBeat, that Mark and his engineers challenged each other to do 5,000 pushups in a week. And he actually did them. All those efforts helped him to build trusting partnerships with his employees, and also proved that he is an authentic leader. There is a letter from Mark Zuckerberg in Facebook’s form S-1 registration statement. Zuckerberg (2012) declared his principles and values clearly in this letter.
He summarized his principles into five core values: “Focus on Impact”, “Move Fast”, “Be Bold”, “Be Open”, and “Build Social Value” (p. 70). In fact, Mark sticks to those values completely. For example, in Zuckerberg (2012)’s letter, he wrote that they will hold hackathon every few months. Employees can build prototype which is come from their new ideas. Many successful products came out of hackathons (p. 69). The other example was mentioned in paragraph 2 of this paper. Zuckerberg (2012) changed his advertising strategy in order to reassure investors’ worry.
Therefore, as Zuckerberg (2012) said in his letter, they cultivated “the Hacker Way”, company culture of Facebook, to help them to operate the company effectively. “Culture is dynamic and transmitted to others” (Northouse, 2013, p. 384). But “Rome was not built in a day”, organizational culture is composed of common principles and values. Mark brought his great principles and values to company and made them as Facebook’s organizational culture. That culture makes Facebook and Mark so successful now. Although Mark and Facebook had such great success, Mark would still face challenges because of his “immature” in CEO position.
One of his significant challenges is that many critics questioned his ability as a CEO. David Futrelle (2012), a staff writer for TIME, said in his article that “Zuckerberg may be a visionary, but visionaries don’t always make great CEOs”. So, how did Mark react to this query? Mark realized his weakness and tried to make it up. According to the New York Times article which is wrote by Rusli et al. (2012), he invested in a personal brain which includes many extraordinary CEO, such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Mark learned a lot from his personal brain which made Mark grow so much as a CEO.
There is another example, Mark faced a privacy issues with the introduction of Facebook’s first news feed and people remonstrated this tort. However, Mark resolved this privacy issue calmly. First, he made a personal apology about this. Then he connected to the group’s founder and exchange opinions with him (Davies, 2012). Finally, he successfully solved the crisis. Through these two examples, we can see Mark’s effort on developing leadership ability. Mark practiced what Maxwell (2007) said in his book that “adversity is always the partner of progress.
Anytime we want to move forward, obstacles, difficulties, problems, and predicaments are going to get in the way”. In addition, Mark is still working hard to achieve his ultimate result that “to make the world more open and connected” (Zuckerberg, 2012, p. 67). Therefore, on the one hand, he sought many expects to improve his ability as a CEO. On the other hand, he still played a “dictator” role in Facebook. He was afraid that once he lost the right of control in Facebook, Facebook would deviate from the ultimate result. In my opinion, Mark Zuckerberg is an extraordinary person because of his technical ability of computer.
In addition, Mark has accomplished the work that human had never tried: he connected people around the world by internet and established social relationship among them. However, after researched Mark Zuckerberg, I think he still has a lot of work to do as an extraordinary leader. He needs to prove himself to people that he is a mature leader. Although he has made great progress of being a CEO, he needs to determine his own leadership style which is proper to Facebook. Fortunately, Mark Zuckerberg is young and he is passionate about his job.
Therefore, I believe he would become an extraordinary leader just like Steve Jobs someday as long as he keeps this energy permanently. And time will be the judge of that. After analyzed Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership profile, I realized that I have to determine what kind of leadership style is fit for me as soon as possible if I want to be an extraordinary leader in the future. However, I should clear my mission, principles and value first. What kind of job do I like to do? What is my dream? These questions need to be answered before I determined my leadership style.
By analyzed Mark’s experiences, I learned that human skills are the key elements to be a good leader. It is not just how to communicate with others. Human skills are “the abilities that help a leader to work effectively with subordinates, peers, and superiors to accomplish the organization’s goals” (Northouse, 2013, p. 44). In my view, leadership is art of communication, planning and sincerity. If I were a leader, I would focus on guiding people instead of controlling them. I will not force them to do what I am believe is right. Let them to find what they believe is right so that they can have commitment on that.