Mark Zuckerberg leadership styles
Many names have been recognized as notable business leaders. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Welch, and Colleen Barrett are all leaders identified for their unique approach to leading people. Please review the “Contemporary Business Leaders” document to locate more business leaders. Select one leader from that list and respond to the following questions.
Discuss (1,250-1,500 words) what you learned about the selected individual as a leader and the leadership style used. Include the following in your discussion:
Identify a leader and justify why you selected that particular leader. What organization(s) is the leader affiliated with? In what industry is the leader recognized? How long was the leader in a leadership position?
Discuss which leadership theory best describes the chosen leader’s approach to leading people.
What was the leader’s greatest achievement?
Identify a significant challenge the leader faced and how the challenge was handled. Did the response align more with a managerial role or a leadership role?
What power base did the leader use in handling or resolving the challenge?
Compare the leadership style used by your selected leader against that of the leader’s successor/predecessor (or competitor if successor/predecessor is not applicable). Was there a difference in the leadership style? Which leader do you think is more effective and why?
Include a personal reflection and identify two to three attributes you hope to emulate or avoid (based on studying this leader) in order to be a successful leader.
You are required to use at least two external sources to provide evidence to support the leadership style your selected leader showed. This should not be completed based on an opinion.
Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
Mark Zuckerberg leadership styles
In this paper, we review the leadership style of Mark Zuckerberg the founder and chief executive of Facebook Inc. which is one of the leading social media websites in the world with over 1 billion subscribers as of 2016. Zuckerberg describes himself as an American programmer, entrepreneur, and an outstanding business leader. He founded Facebook while still a student at Harvard University in 2004 and has been the chairman and chief executive since then.
The choice of subject for this assignment is based on the incredible achievements that Mark Zuckerberg has attained at his tender age, as well as the impact which his business has had in the world in general. Before Facebook, the world was not as interconnected as it is today. While there have been many other social media platforms that have sprung after his maiden invention such as Twitter, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Instagram etc, facebook still commands a significant following, owing to its each of use, real-time capability and storage and sharing capabilities.
During his time at Facebook, the company has grown in usage from a small social media platform that mostly linked the students at his University to one of the largest social media platforms, with over 1.65 billion users and upwards of 13,596 staff members, even overtaking MySpace in 2008. NASDAQ stock exchange reports that Facebook is the largest player in the Internet Segment, valued at $17.928 billion as of 2015, which makes Mark Zuckerberg one of the wealthiest people in the world according to Forbes.
Unlike other leaders who have held their positions for longer, Zuckerberg is a young leader and thus there is not much literature that has been written about his leadership styles. His personal and professional conduct, various interviews, employee confessions and discussions at various platforms provide insight into his leadership philosophies.
In an interview with Advise America, a firm that specializes in training and management, Mark Zuckerberg exhibits transformational leadership style, which is evident from his ability to aggressively work towards his goals while at the same time encouraging his employees to strive towards their full potential and in the process contributing to organizational growth (Rose, 2014). Bass (1990), notes that transformational leadership is characterized by increasing confidence of followers, elevation of their expectations at the workplace, encouragement of change of behavior and motivation of followers to attain their potential and achieve a higher level of personal and professional achievements. His employees report that Zuckerberg is always open to ideas and suggestions from his employees and followers and oftentimes incorporates them in decisions concerning the company, a key characteristic of a transformational leader.
Employees at Facebook describe Zuckerberg as a highly demanding person who has very high expectations for personal and organizational growth, innovation, which is a key requirement for the ever-changing social media and technology world. He encourages his employee to come up with new ideas, listens to them and supports their implementation, which has ensured that the company continues to meet and exceed users needs and preferences.
A lover of challenges, Zuckerberg pushes encourages his employees to exceed their targets, which demands very hard work, sometimes under stressful and pressuring conditions in order to ensure that the company continues to meet client’s needs. His employees, therefore, regard him as a ‘tough but fair’ boss (Carlson (2012-1).
Despite his calm demeanor, Zuckerberg is known to stand up to his board of directors if he feels that some of the decisions they make are not best for the company, or if he feels that an idea that is beneficial to the company has to be pushed through, thereby highlighting his autocratic attributes.
Mark Zuckerberg’s greatest achievement is that he founded one of the most interesting social media platforms at a tender age of 20, which changed the way the world interacts. He subsequently continues to lead it to greater heights, becoming one of the largest and most profitable companies today. Zuckerberg is also a prominent philanthropist, having donated millions of dollars to various charitable causes in different parts of the world. His most important contribution to philanthropy is his lifetime donation, together with his family, of 99% of the company to charity.
The 21st-century business environment provides significant challenges to businesses and leaders alike, in their quest to attain and retain leadership positions in their various industries, facebook is no exception. Key among these challenges is competition from upcoming and indigenous social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp etc. These competitors have packaged their offerings based on some of the perceived downsides of facebook such as privacy challenges, mostly youthful audience etc and in the process a large percentage of Facebooks original users have shifted to these other platforms. According to a 2013 survey on why users quit facebook, at least 48% percent noted privacy concerns as their primary reason for leaving facebook, 13% disliked their facebook ‘friends’, while about 14% left as a result of what they termed as ‘general dissatisfaction’. Other challenges such as numerous legal suits resulting from the aforementioned privacy issues, facebook addiction and even loss of lives are some of the concerns that Zuckerberg has to contend with in his role.
To remedy these challenges, the company has strict privacy procedures that allow users to secure their accounts from unauthorized information sharing, access, and views. To underscore the seriousness of this policy, the company has had to delete many accounts that have violated privacy policies. In compliance with the US child protection laws, a 2011 study indicates that Facebook deleted at least 20,000 accounts due to a violation of a minimum age policy, with underage users risking their safety online.
Comparison with competitors
The above discussion depicts Zuckerberg as a transformational and sometimes autocratic leader. A close comparison with Google Inc’s leadership, a technology, and Internet company segment player reveals several similarities and contrasts. With Larry Page and Sergey Brin at the helm of the company, Google Inc is deemed to be one of the best companies to work for, in the world. Employees feedback and publicly available information depict a leadership that is anchored on a culture of people empowerment and independence of thought.
To underscore the leadership’s commitment to employee empowerment and transformational agenda, Google’s employees enjoy the opportunity to come up with ideas on how the management can improve the business. The unique employee time allocation rule of 70/70/10 which allows employees at least 10 percent of their time to generate new business ideas depicts the leadership at Google as both transformational and democratic.
In their quest for employee empowerment and encouragement to attain higher goals, Google creates a unique and enabling work environment, including amenities such as free transport, lack of dress codes, laundry services, lunch and snacks as well as access to recreational facilities. It also offers a competitive compensation package, coupled with many non-cash benefits such as 18-week maternity leave, 6 weeks paternity leave, and gratuity payments among others. The attractive package, together with an enabling work environment highlights the leadership’s commitment to encouraging employees to attain their highest level of productivity, motivation, and commitment to the company.
Conclusion and reflection
The foregoing discussion gives insights into the leadership of two giant technology companies and how their styles of leadership have influenced and encouraged their followers to attain their full potential while contributing towards the successes of their respective organizations at the global scene. It is important to note that despite their slightly differing approach to leadership, Larry page and Mark Zuckerberg are strikingly similar in their drive for results, need for success and ability to influence the high performance of their followers, subordinates and employees. Their leadership styles and skills, concern for others and commitment to the success of their respective organizations are admirable traits that are universally useful in running 21st-century businesses, and especially in the fast changing internet and technology world.
Carlson (2012-1). Confessions of a Facebook employee: What It’s really like Working for Zuckerberg. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/confessions-of-a-facebook-employee-what-its-really-like-working-for-zuckerberg-2012-1
Rose, C (2014) Mark Zuckerberg Leadership Style: Available at http://www.adviseamerica.com/mark-zuckerberg-leadership-style/
Bass, B. M. (1990). From transactional to transformational leadership: Learning to share the vision. Organizational Dynamics, 18(3), 19-31.