Mark Zuckerberg: Leadership Style, Behavioral And Trait Approach

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The success of an organization mostly counts on the leadership capacities of its managers. Feeling relaxed and comfortable in a position of leadership and having authority are two of the requirements for developing great leadership skills. Some personality characteristics that create a great manager are the flexibility, motivation and good communication. (“The ten most important leadership qualities”, n.d.)

One of the most critical factor is the behavior approach of the leader towards his/her subordinates. Boosting the moral and building up confidence of the team members is a crucial element which is born from the good behavior of a leader. Otherwise, the lack of good behavior will eliminate the leader. (Sinha, 2015)

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The Path – Goal Theory, which is based on clarifying a leader’s behavior and style that best fits the work climate, has the objective to develop employees’ satisfaction and motivation so that the productivity increases. “The path-goal theory can best be thought of as a process in which leaders select specific behaviors that are best suited to the employees' needs and the working environment so that they may best guide the employees through their path in the obtainment of their daily work activities.” (“Path-Goal Leadership Theory”, n.d.)

Mark Zuckerberg is the Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, the most popular social network worldwide (“Global Social Media Ranking”, 2019). He is a great example for all the young entrepreneurs because he achieved his goal in a short period of time; he became billionaire at a young age.

His personality type of entrepreneur is an INTJ personality (Introversion, Intuition, Thinking and Judgment). Due to his type of personality, he has a vision and he proceeds to work on the direction to develop it and reach his goal. Being an introvert, he communicates very little during presentations to investors. Keeping up a structure, schedule and controlling the essential resources to achieve what he longs for, is one of the habits that he has. Zuckerberg has a notebook which consists of all ideas and concepts for the future path of Facebook, which he calls “The Book of Change”. What makes him a proper INJT type of person is not being bothered about his appearance and his indifference of getting in tune with the latest fashion. Mark Zuckerberg was never afraid to take risks (which is an important trait), but also knows that building a big successful company requires a great team, because doing everything by himself is not possible (confidence in his team). He is also social responsible, as we can deduce from what Smita Bhardwaj said on her article for “Business Alligators” (2017): “Mark Zuckerberg wants the world to be a better place and for this, he has donated $992 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation in 2013, $75 million to the San Francisco General Hospital in 2014 and has pledged to donate $3 billion for the scientific research for the cure and prevention of diseases. He has donated $100 million to save the failing systems in Newark Public Schools in New Jersey and has signed the ‘Giving Pledge’ with a promise to donate 50% of his wealth to charity.” On the other hand, a personality trait that helped him and his team to create more stuff and learn quicker is moving fast. He follows the feedback approach which is crucial in the development of the organization. (Bhardwaj, 2017).

Mark Zuckerberg is characterized more as a democratic leader and focuses more on group relationships and on the sensitivity to his people. The members are highly stimulated to share individual opinions and their unique ideas. Based on creativity and innovation, his leadership style gives better job satisfaction and higher capacity of productivity. On the other hand, he is characterized to be encouraging and aggressive too. He seeks for constant innovation and growth which makes him love debates and challenges. (Chris, 2015)

An interesting fact about Zuckerberg is that he also pushes his staff to the limits, by making them work harder and faster under a lot of pressure to deliver produces more than what is already set. With this in mind, it is easy to observe that it can be stressful, but actually very helpful because his employees “are seeing their output way more than what he demanded.” (Chris, 2015). He is always open to ideas and suggestions from his subordinates, which leads to the improvement of his concept. As Jospeh Chris said in his article, the CEO of Facebook is also known “for not providing appreciation vocally to his people”.

In fact, he aims his attention both on group maintenance and task – performance.

The five P’s factors of success that Zuckerberg uses are: purpose, passion, people, product and partnership. Purpose means to identify the desire and have a significant movement to realize a great product. Passion means “something, about which you know most of the things and tend to know more and more.” (Mishra, 2018). People means creating a strong team that is able to reach the goals that are set. Product means more that only a product; it means to develop innovative products which change everything. As well, partnership means to build powerful partnerships with people who are filled with admirable imagination.

Mark Zuckerberg is an effective leader, certainly. When something does not go well, he deals with certain circumstances in a creative way. An important and meaningful strategic leadership that he has is that he feels and knows when to stop and say no, and when to let go. Working hard on fixing his faults and trying to learn from them is a crucial strength of Mark. (Chris, 2015). So, what also make Mark Zuckerberg an effective leader are the leadership styles. These are the skills of communication, interpersonal skills, problem solving skills, the vision and last but not least, the passion which without it, no one can perform in a way that he does. (Shegani-Hamzallari, 2016).

From the beginning, Mark Zuckerberg set up a free and open communication with his staff. Possessing and establishing an open communication with the persons that he hires makes him a valuable and effective leader. Over time, many employees of him revealed that he always talk with everyone, walks around, asks and tries to know them personally. Also, Zuckerberg is characterized by being the people’s people who allows his employees to openly perform their interests. He gave the opportunity to take risks and allows employees to work and develop the projects they are interested in. These interpersonal skills are really powerful. Another skill of Zuckerberg that makes him a successful leader is the problem solving skill. What made Facebook the most successful company was his focus on innovation and solving problems. On the other hand, “Zuckerberg has always been involved in philanthropic work with his wife Priscilla Chan they created the Chan Zuckerberg initiative. The initiative aims to develop new technology that can drive science forward.” (Shegani-Hamzallari, 2016). At the end, the passion that he owns about what he does and being absorbed by connecting people and working with computers made him a wealthy and strong leader. (Shegani-Hamzallari, 2016)

Thus, what differentiate Zuckerberg from other leaders is the powerful relationship he assembles with his staff and partners. What makes a wealthy company is also the potential of partnering with the right investors who have similar ideas and complete them, and a strong management team, as well. (Shegani-Hamzallari, 2016)

Mark Zuckerberg could have been improved his communication with investors. Due to his introverted style he communicates little during presentations with the investors. According to the article of Patrick Hull posted for Forbes, there are three strategies that can help developing this area, which are: having written monthly reports (as formal communication devices), monthly conference call updates and in-person quarterly or annual meetings. The first strategy is useful because it cannot go in a wrong way. The monthly reports that involve P&L information are a good source to inform the investors about the current position of the company and also where funds are being divided among. The second strategy shows commitment and willingness to face any tough and tricky question from investors. This approach adds a personal touch to the action. Also, by beginning a conversation with investors is helpful for brainstorming ideas and it is easier to share advices and the ideas than on email. The last strategy is the most useful and effective one. Providing time to share knowledge and advises to investors is really important. The opportunity of face-to-face meetings make possible for the investors to see where the improvements can be made, and they also can see the operational side of the company. (Hull, 2013)

In conclusion, the leadership style, the behavioral approach and the trait approach are some really crucial concepts to take into account when leading a team and managing a successful company. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook is an effective leader due to his characteristics. He has a vision and proceeds to work on the direction of the direction to reach the goals. He is also creative and innovative, he is never afraid to risk, he is social responsible, he has an open communication with his staff and he focuses on group relationships and sensitivity to his people. At the end, he has a lot of passion about what he does, which is the most important because without it, he could not develop himself as a person and obviously he could not improve his organization at a high level. I believe that he is a great example to follow for all the entrepreneurs and leaders.

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Mark Zuckerberg: Leadership Style, Behavioral And Trait Approach. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from
“Mark Zuckerberg: Leadership Style, Behavioral And Trait Approach.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022,
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