It seems nearly everyone has heard of Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook co-founder and CEO. Mark and his team have transformed an idea designed to connect people into a huge business that was taken public last week in the largest IPO in US history.
Mark and many of his team members are millionaires and billionaires today as a result. So does that make Mark a great leader?
I contend it does not. Short term success, no matter how big, does not equal great leadership. Great leadership of a company is measured, at least partially by the company’s success over a long period of time. (Remember the Collins book, Built to Last?)
By all accounts, Mr. Zuckerberg is doing what he thinks is necessary to become a great leader for Facebook. It seems he is genuinely interested in seeing Facebook succeed long-term. I recently read the this article from Fast Company magazine about Mr. Zuckerberg’s approach to leadership development.
The article describes how Mr. Zuckerberg has grown as a leader over the last several years. I was impressed with what appears to be a willingness to study other leaders, learn from them, and develop his own style based on what he has learned.
Growing Facebook from an idea to a major company with more than three thousand employees and the biggest IPO in US history took amazing leadership. Recognizing the importance of Facebook team members and their contributions to the company while maintaining a focus on Facebook’s vision of connecting people takes a strong leader.
Mr. Zuckerberg is off to a good start.
I am excited to see what happens with Facebook over the long haul. More importantly, I am interested to see the kind of leadership Mr. Zuckerberg provides to Facebook.
Mr. Zuckerberg may very well be a great leader. But time will be the judge of that.