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Sara Dodd

Management and Organizational Behavior Professor Trottier


What truly defines him as a leader?

"Facebooks mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and
connected." Facebook Mission Statement

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Today, we live in a world that is completely dominated by technology and social media.
Individuals are so consumed into this new revolution that they do not pay attention to anything
besides their phone screens and computers. Although this is a new trend, social media has taken
over. From sites such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook individuals take great pride
in sharing things with their friends and followers. People can share their own thoughts and
photos that they may have. When talking about these new trends it is important to consider the
creators and how they came up with these million, and even billion dollar ideas. The first, big
name, social media site that came around when I was a teenager was Facebook.
On May 14th, 1984 an ingenious man was born. Mark Zuckerberg was the second, and
only boy of four children. He and his siblings grew up in the suburbs of New York. His parents
were very intelligent individuals and maintained high positions within their areas of expertise.
His father was the owner of a dentistry next to the familys house. His mother was a successful
psychiatrist. At an early age, Mark became very interested in programming and technology at an
early age. He was always looking for new ideas on gadgets that he wanted to make. He carried
this passion with him all throughout his career and helped him to reach his success.
In 2002, Mark Zuckerberg started his college career at Harvard University. By his second
year of his studies he had already created a name for himself; the software developer. In 2003,
on a hot summer evening, Zuckerberg was sitting in his dorm room and came up with an idea for
a new website. This site was called FaceMash. This website was designed to select 2 pictures of
2 random students at Harvard. Zuckerberg designed the program to put the pictures of the two
girls next to each other and students would log onto the website and vote on who they thought
was hotter. As soon as the news started spreading around campus about this new website, so
many people were trying to access it at the same time and the site crashed due to overload. He
then had to appear before the committee of computer hacking at the University and he was then
disciplined. As you can tell, Zuckerberg was very intelligent even at a young age. He was
hacking into computer systems and creating websites that eventually crashed due to popularity.
He carried these skills into some of his later, even bigger achievements.
Carrying on through his college career he decided to team up with some colleagues on a
new project that they had wished to accomplish. This project was called the Harvard Connection,

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and was later renamed ConnectU. This site was designed to allow people to share their photos,
personal information and useful links. Zuckerberg worked mainly on the programming of the site
and creating a specific source code which allowed the system to be as efficient as possible. While
working with his classmates on this new project, he started coming up with some ideas of his
own. On February 4, 2002 he began TheFacebook.com. Today, we know this website worldwide
as Facebook.com, but when this site was originally created it could only be used within Harvard.
Soon after launching his new site, he had reached 4,000 actively registered users. Once he had
realized just how popular this was becoming he decided that he needed to hire new programmers
for their services. He contacted his neighbor who then helped him expand the network to
students at Columbia University, Yale and Stanford. Eventually, the server was opened up to all
Over time, the site kept growing in popularity worldwide. At this time Zuckerberg started
to look for investors. He received donations on behalf of the benefit of his business. Because of
his investors and generous donations TheFacebook.com was able to grow even faster than
before. In less than a year after it was founded, more than 1 million people joined the social
network (Success Story of Facebook Founder and CEO). By 2005, Facebook became easily
accessible to institutions and universities all across the United States. Zuckerberg was shocked
by the success of his site. Little did he know, his network was only growing larger and larger
over time. Soon after his site was open to all college students, he decided to make Facebook
open to the public.
Facebook brought about many different benefits to its users. This website was designed
to help bring people together. The main thing that immediately attracted users in Facebook, is
that friends who meet in real life now could communicate with each other online. It was
something new (Success Story of Facebook Founder and CEO). People from all around the
world were able to connect and learn more about each other. Once Facebook was open to the
public, Zuckerberg had approximately 50 million users worldwide. At this time, large-scale
companies such as Yahoo, offered millions of dollars to Zuckerberg for his project. Just to put
things into perspective, Yahoo offered Mark 900 million dollars for his website.

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Over the course of Zuckerbergs career he did encounter a couple scandals against his
website. The main incident came into play when his former colleagues found out about his new
website. Six days after Zuckerberg had launched Facebook to the public, the people that he had
previously worked with started making claims that Zuckerberg stole one of their ideas for his
website. This case went to court and was fought for quite some time. They claimed that in 2003
hired Zuckerberg to make him complete the establishment of the social network
HarvardConnection.com. According to their testimonies, Zuckerberg did not provide them the
results of his work, but used the original source code to create Facebook (Success Story of
Facebook Founder and CEO). As soon as this statement came out, Zuckerberg was enraged and
started looking for any way possible to clear his name. His former classmates filed a lawsuit
against him in hopes to prove that Zuckerberg was guilty. The truth of this case was never 100%
clear. Finally in 2009, Zuckerberg countersued and they ultimately reached a settlement of $65
million in 2009 (NZ Herald News). At this time, ConnectU (previously named UConnect) had
less than 100,000 users and Facebook had approximately 150 million.
Facebook was increasing their net value constantly. Big name companies and individuals
started investing in this company. Microsoft acquired 1.6% equity stake in Facebook for an
impressive amount of $240 million dollars (Success Story of Facebook Founder and CEO). This
fact alone shows that people believed in Zuckerberg and his social media empire that he had
created himself. Despite the few setbacks in his career and the lawsuits filed against him, he was
able to be resilient and bounce back from any setback. In 2013, Facebook was valued at $7.87
billion. The social media revolution started when Facebook as developed. Facebook opened
many different doors for its users. This site facilitated the ways people communicated with each
other, made it easier to connect, provided relevant advertisements and videos that keep people up
to date on what is going on in our world today, and so much more. More than 1 billion people
now use Facebook each day, on average, viewing videos more than 8 billion times daily. A shift
to mobile advertising has driven up the social network's revenues (Forbes Magazine). Mark
Zuckerberg is still currently making adjustments to his website to make it even bigger and better.
Each new update increases his revenue. In October 2014, Mark Zuckerberg completed purchase

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of WhatsApp for $22 billion. Facebook paid $4.59 billion in cash and 177,760,669 shares in the
company (Success Story of Facebook Founder and CEO).
Today, Mark Zuckerberg is valued at $45.7 billion dollars and he is only 31 years old. He
is a self-made billionaire who has changed the worlds perspective on social media. Although he
had a few setbacks in his career and dropped out of college at age 19, he proves that you dont
necessarily need a college degree to be successful in life. He is married and is expecting a child
soon. He and his wife also actively donate some of their revenue to different charities and other
organizations. In May Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, were among the funders who
invested a combined $100 million in AltSchool, a new company working to promote high-tech
personalized education. In June the couple also donated $5 million to a college scholarship fund
for undocumented immigrants (Forbes Magazine). Mark Zuckerberg is passionate about what
he does in life and even takes the time to help benefit others that do not have the same luxuries in
life that most do.
What exactly classifies Mark Zuckerberg as an influential leader? Throughout his 31
years of life so far, he as truly accomplished the unimaginable. At the time of his creation, he was
a 19 year old college drop-out from Harvard. His passion for engineering and technology has
gotten him to where he is in life. He not only cares about the well-being of Facebook, but he also
cares about his subscribers. His successes derive from his first few accomplishments. If it
werent for the sites he made while he studied at Harvard, he would not have had the expertise to
create Facebook. Experience is what enables a person to grow and develop as an individual.
Zuckerberg was labeled a billionaire at age 23. By that time he had to endure several legal battles
and has overcome each one. He sets self-improvement goals for himself each year so that he
does not become stagnant. Mark Zuckerberg is known for his passion, purpose, product and
partnerships. He has always been inspired by technology used to bring people closer together.
Mark Zuckerberg is a firm believer that the purpose of his technology breeds a sense of
belonging, and a huge sense of employee and customer loyalty. Mark has stuck by Facebook
during the good times and the bad, this shows his dedication to not only his product, but he is
very dedicated to his users as well.

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Mark Zuckerberg has a lot of qualities that make him a great leader, there are some
controversies regarding his leadership tactics. It has been said that he has poor communication
skills, but based off a recent article, he has worked to better himself. Many people criticized him
for his lack of public appearances. As mentioned by CNET Commentator, Ben Parr, in The
Evolution of Mark Zuckerberg as a Leader, Zuckerbergs public speaking style is now poised,
confident and articulate. It may have been a struggle for someone who started out as a tech guy,
but Zuckerberg is now admired for his ability to effectively speak with his team and with the
world (Center for Work Life). Zuckerberg has often been ridiculed for his lack of a college
degree. This statement to me is invalid. He has proved that you do not necessarily need a college
degree to pursue your dreams in this world. According to The Daily Caller, Mark Zuckerberg is
listed as one of The Top 16 Successful People who do not have College Degrees. In the face of
adversity, he was able to thrive. Zuckerberg also just recently released a statement saying that he
and his wife will be donating 99% of Facebooks shares to charitable causes over the course of
their lifetime. They hope that by making these donations, they will help to make the world a
better place. He is a selfless person who genuinely cares about everyone around him. His main
goal was never to make a profit, but to make communication easier worldwide for all of his
Overall, I think that Mark Zuckerberg is an outstanding leader. Although he dropped out
of college, he did it with good intentions. He was passionate about perusing his dream and
turning it into a reality. He takes on endeavors that are bigger than himself, head on. He has dealt
with his fair share of discrimination throughout his career and still continues to thrive today.
Making a profit was never his initial goal, he wanted to make communication easier between two
or more parties and he has done much more than that. He is responsible for starting the social
media revolution that is still going on today. With the advances he has made in the technology
industry he has opened up so many doors for others. Zuckerberg has many admirable qualities
that have made him the man he is today. Mark Zuckerberg once stated, The biggest risk is not
taking any risk... In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to
fail is not taking risks.

Works Cited

"How to Lead Like Zuck." Inc.com. N.p., 14 May 2014. Web. 09 Dec. 2015
"Is Mark Zuckerberg Difficult to Work With?" - Quora. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2015.
"Mark Zuckerberg - Profile." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2015.
"Mark Zuckerberg Biography: Success Story of Facebook Founder and CEO." Astrum
People. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2015.
"Mark Zuckerberg's Leadership Qualities." Center For Work Life. N.p., 05 Mar. 2014.
Web. 09 Dec. 2015.
"10 Surprising Facts about Mark Zuckerberg - Technology - NZ Herald News." The New
Zealand Herald. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2015