In 2010, Facebook master Mark Zuckerberg was named by “Time Magazine” as one of the 100 wealthiest and most influential personalities in the world. Creating a Google+ account after his social network was unveiled, he became a most-followed in 2011, outranking Larry Page and Sergery Brin.
Despite being considered a traitor in social networking, he is still running a billion-dollar company now because of it, even becoming a more influential figure. With his brilliantly created social network, he made the world a smaller place, regardless of age and interests. The way he runs his company perfectly demonstrates transformational leadership in action.
Mark Zuckerberg Leadership Style
Described as aggressive and encouraging, Zuckerberg’s leadership style sees him often demanding constant innovation and growth, as well as loving challenges and debates. There are even times when he is not acting like a CEO, making important decisions on his own without consulting his board. After all, he never gets intimidated by them even if they are much older and has a firm understanding with his ideas’ worth. He also pushes his people to make and deliver outputs more than what is set (making them work faster under too much pressure), which can be confusing and stressful, but is very helpful because his staff members are seeing their output way more than what he demanded.
Being familiar with his weaknesses, Zuckerberg is always open to suggestions from his subordinates, granting them with opportunities to speak to him on suggestions and improvements for Facebook. While this behavior has led to debates sometimes, Zuckerberg is known for not providing appreciation vocally to his people, but is able to adapt quickly to critical situations and respond immediately to user complaints. Focused on building the right kind of relationships, the young CEO does not exaggeratedly show that he wants to control everything.
Zuckerberg is also more of a democratic leader, focusing on sensitivity to his people and on group relationships, where members are highly encouraged to share individual ideas and suggestions. When it comes to having to deal with different expertise, including product marketing, communications management, software engineering, vendor management and data engineering, this leadership style is well suited to Facebook.
Another reason why Zuckerberg is seen as a democratic leader is because his leadership style promotes better job satisfaction and higher productivity, based on innovation and creativity. Focusing on his mission—making the world more open and connected by giving people the power to share whatever they want and be connected to whoever they want, no matter where they are—he leads his team with his 3-pillar strategy, which involves building the best and most ubiquitous mobile product; building a platform where every new app created can be social and enable people to share; and building strong monetization and economic engine that will build Facebook into one of the most valuable companies in the world. Aside from these, Zuckerberg also uses his 5P’s elements of success, which are:
Passion – Always be fully committed and keep the energy fully charged all the time by chasing something you believe in.
Purpose – Find the purpose and have a meaningful movement to create a great product.
People – Build a strong and powerful team, which is able to achieve the visions and goals.
Product – Do not just create a normal product, but create innovative products which change everything.
Partnerships – Build strong and powerful partnerships with people who are filled with great imagination.
Under Zuckerberg’s wings, Facebook has been one of the leaders in the creation and implementation of strong corporate culture that fosters 3 sub-types, including Play, Aggressive and Process. Corporate culture has been a critical element for the company, which helped it become humongous successful. Though Facebook’s hierarchy is known to be flat, its culture focuses on less hierarchy and more collaboration and creativity. It is open, relaxed and instructed by trying to attract the best talents in the industry and allowing them to work on projects with a sense of openness in a fun atmosphere.
Facebook’s organizational structure sees Zuckerberg at the top of the chain of command; after all, he is the CEO who holds the most authority and power, as well as formulates organizational objectives. The company’s structure is a good example of a narrow span of control, where there are fewer subordinates who are accountable to a manager. As you might observe, it has a flat organizational structure with fewer levels with corresponding managers having narrow spans of control. This way of removing levels from hierarchy has helped Facebook improve its business by reducing costs, improving communication speed and creating more flexible working practices.
With regards to recruitment, one method employed by Facebook is using the Crazy Social Media Recruiting technique, which is actually a newer and more daring act. This is also used by most recruiters to find great candidates. Another new feature the company came up just recently is the so-called Graph Search, which caused the decline of popularity of applications, like BranchOut. Zuckerberg, himself, arrogated that this new feature makes his social network the perfect place to search and recruit for talents.
According to statistics, Facebook is the best place to work in 2013. It motivates employees by giving them various benefits that can help them balance their work and personal life. A few examples of these perks are paid vacation days, free food and transportation, monetary support for new parents, day care reimbursement and much more. Also, if employees need to unwind from the stress brought about by their work, they are provided with facilities, where they can play table-top and video games. By motivating its employees, the company is making them satisfied with their jobs, performing at their very best.
When it comes to communication, Zuckerberg has close relationships with his colleagues, where they see him practically every day; though he is busy, he is always accessible. There are also weekly management meetings, where co-workers would present different questions and ideas to the young CEO. Zuckerberg does not position himself far above his employees and encourages interaction between them to promote a more creative and productive work flow, which is highly important especially in tech companies, such as Facebook.
Effective or Not?
There is no doubt that Mark Zuckerberg is an effective leader—he deals with certain situations in a unique way when something goes wrong. He knows when to let go and when to say no, which is a crucial and important element of his strategic leadership. Also, he works hard on correcting his mistakes and learning from them, and is a very passionate young man who believes that there is no such thing as failure if one should pursue his dream. He also believes that false starts are simply invaluable learning experiences towards the creation of the next set of ideas to develop a product.
Seeing where Facebook is now, we can safely assume that the Mark Zuckerberg leadership style is definitely effective.