5 business lessons to learn from Mark Zuckerberg

The tech visionary has proved himself time and again as one of the most brilliant business leaders of today. By Satyaki Sarkar

Mark Zuckerberg founded the multi-billion dollar Facebook when he was just 20 and is currently worth a whopping $68.5 billion, making him the world’s sixth richest man. Zuckerberg’s journey of founding Facebook, taking it from an idea and a roughly conceived startup to the incredible success it is today, is one that is awe-inspiring. Throughout his career Zuckerberg has showcased some brilliant business and leadership skills that have kept Facebook at the top of its game. Here are a few you should take note of.

1. Innovate constantly
As a business leader it’s important to not let yourself become complacent with your level of success, but rather keep innovating, exploring new ways to offer better services; finding ways to fill different client needs. This helps your company stay relevant and grow. Zuckerberg and Facebook are a great example of this. Facebook is always working on new features and setting up different tools, like Facebook Live, in a constant effort to stay one step ahead of its users, and to fulfil their every social media need. It also changes its algorithm quite regularly to stay on top and keep users coming back for more.

2. Know when to take help
Trying to do it all by yourself will only lead to burnout, which isn’t good for you or the company. You’re only human, so don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. Also, everyone has a unique set of skills and it takes the joint effort of a lot of people to take an idea and make it a reality. A shy eight standard student once asked Zuckerberg how he managed to overcome all the challenges he faced, like securing investors, promoting the brand and building it into the behemoth it is today. In his response Zuckerberg stressed that he didn’t do it all by himself; nobody knows how to do each and every thing. One needs a group of people, be it team members, friends, or family, who provide help and support. Zuckerberg said that with the right support he is able to achieve anything he sets his mind to.

3. Deep thinking
Zuckerberg knows that in order for him to fully understand the scope, viability, and pros and cons of a particular idea, he needs to explore it to its deepest foundations. As such, taking a step back and devoting time to critically inspect each and every idea is immensely important before committing to it. Zuckerberg displayed his keen interest in getting to the bottom of things and figuring out how they work from a very early age. After receiving his first computer, when he has in Std 8, the first thing Zuckerberg wanted to do was find out how exactly it worked a deeper, basic level, how the programs worked, how certain codes created certain actions, etc. So rather than simply grasping at the first idea that sounds good, Zuckerberg thinks about it extensively before he commits to it.

4. Maintain equanimity
One of the best qualities Zuckerberg has showcased as a business leader time and again is his immense capacity to stay calm and composed in the face of trying situations. From having to battle multiple lawsuits to tackling real-time crisis situations, he never loses his cool. He keeps his composure because he knows that anger or frustrated outbursts don’t solve anything, but rather alienate the team and make them lose faith. Holding on to your composure through the worst of times helps in maintaining relationships with colleagues and shareholders, and provides clarity, which is essential in brainstorming solutions when in a tight spot.

5. Always keep an eye out for talent
A business is nothing without its employees. However great the idea, it is the execution that ultimately decides its fate. A successful business needs an efficient and powerful team that can drive the company’s vision. So it pays to be able to recognise talent when you see it as well as keep an eye out for the kind that will bolster your business. Zuckerberg demonstrated this pretty well when he did all he could to hire Sheryl Sandberg, who was then with Google. He knew and recognised the value that Sheryl, currently the COO of Facebook, would bring to the company. As he had foreseen, after Sheryl joined Facebook the company’s annual revenue started rising at a remarkable rate. 

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