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SNHU - MBA-550 - Leading in an Organization
Written by: Chris Bell - May, 2017

Self Assessment, Leadership and Management Compared to Mark Zuckerberg

Self Assessment

My professional self-assessment results showed that my strengths were competition, maximizer, individualistic, futuristic and a relator to others. I found these traits to be very accurate but I wouldn't have thought about them without taking the test. For example, I've always been competitive between friends and family, I've been a bit of a loner because I like to read, gather thoughts, and work on websites, I constantly think about the future and retirement and I like to relate to others to see how they perceive the world. Many of these thoughts became clearer after seeing the results. One area for development includes my patience level for problem solving because I will sometimes get angry and frustrated when problems arise. Instead, I should understand that solving problems is a normal part of business by quickly and systematically working it out. I also tend to have trouble understanding when subordinates are fully trained and tend to think that they know everything that I already know. It can be hard to make sure I don't treat them as if they're uneducated but to also make sure I train them efficiently.

My skills, abilities and tendencies include preparing for the future such as reading, learning, always taking one online class whether I already have a degree or not, continuous improvement of myself and my work, and caring for people. I tend to lean more to the republican side, but I know that my democratic side comes out when I think about the pyramid type of structure in companies. I don't like when the top 5% of the pyramid makes as much money as the rest of the company, and when they decide to lay off employees instead of taking a short term cut in pay. I have the ability to solve problems like this in a fair and just way, such as forcing everyone to take one week of unpaid vacation during the year (including executives) in order to make everyone suffer a little instead of some suffering a lot. I'm able to think this way because I have the tendency to put myself in other people's shoes and look through their eyes.


Compared to Mark Zuckerberg

My self-assessment results compare and contrast to that of Mark Zuckerberg in many ways. I wish I could say that they all compare so that I wind up being a billionaire, but that's not the case. I found an article on Inc.com that discusses Mark's five P's of leadership; Passion, Purpose, People, Product and Partnerships (Walter, 2014). There was also a quote by Zuckerberg pertaining to two of these categories, "I think as a company, if you can get those two things right--having a clear direction on what you are trying to do and bringing in great people who can execute on the stuff--then you can do pretty well. (Mark Zuckerberg)" My passion comes from growing up in the family business that my father started when I was 6. I used to make wire harnesses in my basement when I was 10, I worked in the shipping department in high school and I started working in sales, and on the website, when I got out of college. Since then I've been taking an online class, one at a time, all to continue learning about how to grow a business. My purpose is to extend my father's legacy, I understand everything about wire and cable products, and I'm beginning to care much more about people and partnerships as I enter into my mid-30's.

Leadership and Management

Focusing on the management roles and functions of Mark Zuckerberg's professional career track and growth I can see that he's made a lot of important decisions related to his 5 P's. The job description for leaders constantly changes and leaders need to adapt to the new role as they move from hands-on activities to board meetings and decision making. It's clear that Zuckerberg hasn't lost focus of a futuristic vision as he takes on numerous management roles that get in the way of his leadership. As long as he follows his own advice about hiring the right people and creating the right relationships he shouldn't have a problem taking yet another step in the right direction. Before starting Facebook, Mark created many technology services that he considered cool instead of profitable. He doesn't require money or recognition, he simply wants to create new technology services that help the world connect and communicate. "We don't build services to make money; we make money to build better services. (Mark Zuckerberg)"

The impact of Mark's leadership skills are seen in his ability to improve organizational structure, operations and communication by first creating a vision of a new service, then hiring the right people to execute his vision. Mark's entire premise is based on communication, proven by starting a communication device out of his Atari when he was 12, so that his family wouldn't have to yell to each other from room to room in their house. He has people that work on the organizational structure an operations for him, "At Facebook, Zuckerberg provides the imagination, while Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, provides the execution around his vision. (Walter, 2014)" Based on my research so far I would say that Mark is much more of a leader and a doer than a manager of people and operations. Since his executives believe in his vision so dearly they execute the management functions for him.

The impact of Mark's management roles are seen in his ability to improve organizational structure, operations and communication by growing a company from $0 to $400 Billion with very few hiccups along the way. Even though I think he's a better task-related leader than a manager, let's not forget that he graduated from Harvard University, and after creating Facebook he started a hiring process on campus by putting students through a tough programming competition. "Task-related in this context means that the behavior, attitude, or skill focuses more on the task to be performed than on the interpersonal aspect of leadership. (DuBrin, 2010)" Management skills come naturally to Harvard graduates because they're smart and confident. He indirectly manages more than 17,000 employees with his amazing vision and he has an amazing staff to help him in any area he doesn't feel comfortable with.


References:

DuBrin, A. J. (2010). Leadership: Research findings, practice, and skills. Mason, OH: South-Western/Cengage.

Walter, E. (May, 2014). How to Lead Like Zuck. Retrieved from:
https://www.inc.com/ekaterina-walter/as-zuckerberg-turns-30-leadership-lessons.html