Life of Mark Zuckerberg

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Introduction

Mark Zuckerberg was born on May 14th of 1984 at White Plains, NY. He is the youngest Co-founder and the CEO of Facebook Inc. which started in the year 2004. Today Facebook’s net worth is about $71 billion. As of 4th February 2019, the company has completed 15 years and over this time Zuckerberg has also involved himself with many charity organizations. He pursued a degree in computer science from the Harvard University from where he dropped out during the sophomore year to concentrate on his idea to build a social networking website. When it comes to his personal life, He is happily married to Priscilla Chan and they are blessed with two kids “Maxima and August Chan Zuckerberg”.

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When Zuckerberg started Facebook there was no mobile version, but Zuckerberg still managed to attract 6 million users which comprised of school and college students. When Zuckerberg launched Facebook, it did not have which allowed users to upload multiple pictures to their profiles (Lashinsky, A. 2016). But it was Zuckerberg leadership and vision that has now enabled the company to offer applications like photo-sharing tool Instagram to its users. Under Zuckerberg’s leadership Facebook purchased the communications service WhatsApp and also launched two homegrown apps, Facebook Messenger and Facebook Groups. Apart from this, Zuckerberg believes the company’s Oculus virtual reality headset represents the next step in the way people will communicate with one another.

Strengths and Weakness

He has great leadership qualities which guided the social-networking firm “Facebook” to great success. His greatest strengths are:

· Vision: Zuckerberg’s vison to have a world where people are connected, and people’s lives are simplified.

· Adaptivity:  Zuckerberg is someone who adopts himself to different situations and different people without any ego.

· Fearless: Zuckerberg is both a risk taker and is fearless to act on something that believes is valuable and will leave a positive impact on people’s life.

· Valuing people’s work: Zuckerberg doesn’t involve himself in typical workplace traditions. He grades employees based on the quality of their work and not by their seniority.

· Emotional Intelligence:  He catches the pulse if his audience and makes sure that people are motivated by utilizing various leadership traits that he has developed over the years.

· Empowerment: He is a true believer in empowering employees to be future leaders as well as effective team players.

Currently, there are a couple of things he needs to focus on which are weaknesses.

Zuckerberg should keep his focus on employee retention. Currently, Facebook has a low rate of employee retention. Zuckerberg should try to root cause this problem and address it as employees are the most valuable assets of an organization. Diversity issue in the tech industry is another problem that need to be figured out.

Culture and Values

Zuckerberg has ensured that Facebook’s principles are driven by their unique culture and values. Recognizing the fact that employees need to have a work life balance he has inculcated a work culture where flexible hours and work from home are promoted for employees to use to make sure employees have a work life balance. Understanding that child birth is an important milestone in an employee’s life he has offered great benefits like paternity leaves and health insurance to his employees. He treats all his employees equally irrespective of hierarchies. Harvesting this type of work culture has ensured the success of his company and his leadership.

Traits, Behaviors & Relationships

The traits that best describe Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and co-founder of Facebook are passion and drive. Combine these traits with his great technical abilities and we have a recipe for success. These characteristics led to Mark being the world’s youngest billionaire at the time and Facebook as a company revolutionizing the social media era of the internet, changing the way people interact and share information online.

A great example of Marks drive to succeed is when he learned Mandarin to have a deeper understanding of China. This allowed him to have comfortable talks with Chinese students to better understand China and their market (George, 2015, p. 26).

He also displays great vision, which we can see from Facebook’s mission statement, “To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together”. (Facebook, 2017, mission section). He also has great optimism and is extremely encouraging to his employees and is open to feedback. (Bhardwaj, 2017). This has led to a very positive work atmosphere and mark having a very high approval rating.

Marks leadership approach is very democratic, and he gives employees a lot of freedom, going as far as letting them decide what project they wanted to work on and doing things he disagrees with as it will ultimately drive innovation and creativity among his employees (Mejia, 2018).

Applying the situational theory of leadership, we can say that Mark has a supporting style of leadership, where he lets the employees work on what they want and taking employee feedbacks seriously (Richard L.Daft, 2017, p.207). This also indicates a high readiness among his employees and the orientation process demonstrates this. While the hiring process is tough, new employees undergo intensive training to teach them the Facebook way of fast and creative coding principles. (Walter, 2014).

He has displayed great trust in his employees, and this has translated into Mark having a ninety six percent approval rate on Glassdoors top CEOs of 2018 list. This great relationship with his employees is further proved by his comments on Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, who he describes as a partner (Walter, 2014).

Power & Influence

Facebook is the most widely used social media platform and outstrips all other social media as a source for news (Shearer, Gottfried, 2017). This leads to Mark having a lot of power and influence as his decisions on how to handle data and information can change the political landscape.

Facebook has been used as a platform to spread fake news, which is being used as a political weapon and this can have massive ramifications for a country’s democracy (Mason, Krutka, Stoddard, 2018, p. 2).

Due to the large amount of people using Facebook, a lot of their data is in Facebook’s hands and Mark has the power to utilize this data as he pleases. This data can be sold to advertisers to generate revenue for Facebook. But, if this data falls into the wrong hands, it can be used in combination with fake news to influence elections and push propaganda. Cambridge analytica used this information to identify the personalities of Facebook users to try and influence the presidential elections (Granville, 2018).

We can thus see how much influence Facebook as an organization holds and Mark being the CEO of Facebook has a lot of power and influence.

Humbling events

While Facebook has grown at a rapid pace from the day it was launched, Mark and his fellow co-founders did face problems during the early days. He was infamously called the toddler CEO during the early days of Facebook and he faced a lot of legal battles with the Winklevoss twins, Divya Narendra and Eduardo Saverin regarding the ownership of Facebook. Ben mezrich wrote the book ‘The Accidental Billionaire’ which was an exaggerated telling of the events that led to the launch of Facebook. (Aggarwal, 2016).

Recently, Mark has faced a lot of criticisms regarding privacy and the data of Facebook users and even had to testify before congress. The Cambridge Analytica scandal where the data of millions of Facebook users was harvested to try and influence the elections comes to mind (Granville, 2018).

Entrepreneur

“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen” – Scott Belsky.

The above statement is so relevant to the subject in discussion in this paper, Mark Zuckerberg. Mark Zuckerberg’s entrepreneurial journey started with an idea, the idea was to give people the power to share and make the world more connected. But entrepreneurship does not start and end with generating an idea. He embarked on this journey to change the way people communicated at a time when technology was not what we know it today. There were a lot of reservations about adaption to technology and changing the social norms of how people connect and talk to each other. But, like every successful entrepreneur Mark believed in pushing the envelope. It was his determination, belief and passion that helped him bring his vision into reality.

Before we get into the reasons that led to the rise of Mark Zuckerberg, it’s important to understand his leadership background.

· He was always someone who showed leadership qualities. He was the captain of the fencing team at his college. It is important to recognize his background because it gives us an idea that he was a confident person who did not shy away from taking up challenges and leading his team through challenges.

· The Mark Zuckerberg we know today is someone who is passionate about programming and technology. This is a trait that Mark displayed from an early age. At the age of 12, he developed a messaging program called ZuckNet. It’s important to recognize that Mark made it big in the field that he is passionate towards which is a key factor that separates a successful entrepreneur from the crowd.

Through his entrepreneurial rise Mark Zuckerberg has experienced criticism and setbacks, but always remained open to criticism. He accepted criticism, but this did not change his vision or mission that he embarked on. To grow his firm into the billion-dollar company it is today, Mark Zuckerberg used a strategy that focuses on high growth, innovation and creativity (Aldrich & Ruef, 2018).

Head and Heart

Brand marketing plays an important role in how people look at a leader. While setting up Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg’s overall image was perceived to be as someone who is nerdy, shy and someone who has not seen the real world. While there were some merits in this sort of criticism, Mark Zuckerberg thought from his heart and executed from his head. He embarked on a journey and made conscious attempts to add Emotional intelligence to his skillset. As a 21st century leader Mark Zuckerberg realized the importance of Emotional Intelligence and its impact on the competitiveness of a company. Zuckerberg encourages the Facebook’s team to take risks; he empowers the employees, giving them autonomy to make decision that will contribute to a positive impact on the company, as well on the customers, and consequently, on the knowledge of the online world (Adler). Zuckerberg understands that the mood and emotions of a manager can have effects on their teams. Zuckerberg has cultivated a climate of continuous learning within the organization, where managers are trained on self-awareness, social awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills (Adler).

Motivation

To state it gently, Mark Zuckerberg has an open entryway approach, however that doesn’t do it equity. Zuckerberg is known for fixing programming code himself as opposed to sending it to subordinates, he consistently takes a shot at tasks with passage level representatives, his building is loaded with glass dividers and he has little enthusiasm for the standard chain of hierarchy. In contrast to a regular CEO who prefers a private cabin with a secretary guarding the entryway, Zuckerberg’s approach is to be open and available to everyone. Making individuals feel like equivalents is the most basic way that Zuckerberg motivates his employees. It’s his connect with his employees that drives them to work for long hours on and off the clock. Zuckerberg follows the 80/20 standard of innovative reasoning, where employees are urged to utilize most of their time to innovate daily, this unique platform makes an employee valued and the employee remains motivated in support of the organization. If an innovative thought is prioritized as a project the employee who came up with idea is given the responsibility to head the project and bring it to life. This work culture drives people to collaborate effectively and stay motivated. The work culture that Zuckerberg has adopted is to have an open cubical seating arrangement which promotes employee networking and employee knowledge sharing.

Given the fact that employees spend most time at office this type of seating arrangement helps the employees to get to know each other and trust each other

Empowerment

Zuckerberg has had a great deal of supporters as well as faultfinders. Regardless of whether one adores him, or detests him, the reality remains that this school dropout has constructed something that just a couple on the planet have built. But what’s most interesting is how he did it. Here are only a portion of examples:

Zuckerberg not only has used enthusiasm and innovation to empower individuals, he has also put in diligent work to train them to be innovative. Having energy for something implies that you never surrender. It gives you vitality to work through challenges. Where a few people see disappointment, an energetic business visionary sees an opportunity, and that is one of the key methods Zuckerberg used to empower his employees.

He motivates people to find one thing they are enthusiastic about and them empowers them to pursue that field by giving them opportunities at Facebook to learn and grow. This way the employees remain both motivated and empowered.

Zuckerberg encourages employees to find their sense of purpose as he believes that this will build a strong base for their future. He asks all his employees including financial specialists, customer representatives to find a sense of purpose. He believes that when an employee has a sense of purpose it breeds the feeling of belonging to the work place which in turn promotes employee satisfaction. Extraordinary pioneers (and incredible organizations) make developments, not simply items. Zuckerberg’s innovation (Facebook) is not just a interpersonal interaction site, it is a method for remaining in contact with individuals around the globe, a spot to unite individuals and fabricate networks, and an apparatus for sharing data. It gives more individuals a voice. Through this type of innovation Zuckerberg has not only empowered his employees but also has empowered the whole world and simplified the way the world communicates and shares content.

Diversity

Every organization needs to accomplish a lot however it is important to recognize that great things can only be achieved when there are diverse opinions from people from different paths of life and different educational background. Zuckerberg is a true believer in the fact that various groups of people are needed to get the best result. He is a true advocate of the fact that the fabric of a community is to welcome people from different paths of life and realizes that when influential leaders like him act on them believes and values the message of diversity and inclusion spreads faster. He is not only promoting a culture of diversity and inclusiveness at Facebook but also is promoting it in the communities through his nonprofit organization. His values of diversity do not stem from the fact that it is the right thing to do but he believes that diversity and inclusion is a way of life to solve problems and help local communities. He is a devotee of the fact that you reap what you sow, and he believes he needs to lead the way in diversity and inclusion and not just expect people to change.

Morality

Morality is an important thing that a leader like Zuckerberg has to follow. Moral leaders are the most honest. Moral leaders seek not only to lead and achieve success, but also serve and give back to their society or community. A classic example of a moral leader is Mark Zuckerberg, He played a major role in connecting people globally with his product Facebook. The fact that Mark helped make social connections easier doesn’t make him a moral leader, however it’s the things he did for the betterment of the society like working for development of internet expansion for free access to users in several developing and backward countries that makes him a moral leader. But one does not need to do something as big as Mark did in order to be a moral leader. Neither can one become a moral leader in a short time. It takes quite some time to become a moral leader. One of the unique characteristics that makes Zuckerberg a moral leader is that he has led a life of integrity, held himself accountable to his actions and surrounded himself with the right people. Through this practice, he set the stage for himself to become a moral leader. He is someone who is able to see the big picture, but at the same time see the important details. His actions reflect his moral values which rubs off on others making sure that people who follow him change and try to replicate his behavior thereby benefiting the society. Zuckerberg’s moral leadership has had visible effect on the society.

One of the most impressive quality that Zuckerberg possess is to develop the skills of his followers and this is one of the very important quality of a moral leader. He also develops the moral values and attitudes of his followers. Person who is holding any type of position can be a moral Leader. But Zuckerberg has a deep sense for ethics, vision for future and is motivated by higher purposes. Mark knows how to manage himself, how to interact with others and how control his ego while being honest and act cordially with others. Zuckerberg is a visionary person who leaves a positive impact on peoples’ personal lives – This to me is the true definition of a moral leader. I truly believe that leaders with moral values are leaders who act and behave morally. Zuckerberg is a leader who has the knowledge to run an organization while serving his community

Followers

Followers are the ones who play an active role in the process of deciding the leadership. Being a follower does not mean that one is at a lower pedestal to a leader, but they only play a different role. Followers are important team players. It’s like playing a sport in the sense that you need team effort and not induvial brilliance to win a match. Similarly, Zuckerberg recognizes that his employees (team) are important for the success of his organization. Zuckerberg is aware of the different types of employees in his organization and leads his organization in a way that motivates and energizes the employees to meet their targets. Good leader must have great vision and character. Leadership traits include personal magnetism or charisma interpersonal skills, analytical thinking, imagination, decisiveness, trustworthiness, persuasiveness, self-motivation, flexibility and vision and I can think of no better example that fits this bill other than Mark Zuckerberg.

Conclusion

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi.

This quote perfectly fits the leadership style of Zuckerberg. Unlike other leaders, Zuckerberg is a leader who is proactive rather than reactive to situations. He makes sure to adapt his company policies, mission and vision to bring about the change that he wishes to see in the world. A prime example of this is through Facebook he got the world closer than ever in a literal sense. This achievement will be the most valuable contribution he has made to the world. Zuckerberg is an influential leader both in the corporate world and as a community leader. As a corporate leader he has advocated for increased connectivity throughout the whole world to get people access to different tools online that can change their day to day life. He wants to develop a digital global infrastructure that works for everyone and gives an opportunity to everyone to simplify day-to-day tasks. As a community leader, he has pledged to donate 99% of his shares worth $45 billion to charity to empower the lives of people. Zuckerberg has a track record of donating to bring a change to the life of community members. In 2010, he donated $10 million to improve public school network in Newark. As a leader, Zuckerberg has continued to set an example both for his followers and his peers.

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Life Of Mark Zuckerberg. (2021, Jun 30). Retrieved November 26, 2022 , from
https://studydriver.com/life-of-mark-zuckerberg/

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