Boss Zuckerberg

How to Be a Successful CEO

In all the attention given to Facebook’s public offering, it has been repeatedly emphasized that Mark Zuckerberg will retain complete control.  The public can buy stock but it won’t be able to vote him out.  The youngest CEO of such a large company, he arouses speculation and worry about his ability to assume such responsibility.  Can he handle it?

That misses the point.  Few CEO’s operate by themselves.  There is always a team that manages collaboratively at the helm of any large enterprise.  Zuckerberg’s job is not so much to manage the company as to put together the team the company needs to think about what is required for it to survive and thrive.  They will debate, disagree and usually arrive at a consensus on policy

To be sure, Zuckerberg has the major responsibility in putting together the team and making sure it works well, but that’s not the same thing as sitting in his office and strategizing by himself.  And so far it seems as if he has made some very good choices about his team members and has managed to work well with them.

Big companies are too complex for any one mind to encompass.  The problems and dilemmas they face are too varied for anything but a multifaceted and multi-talented team to figure out.  The boss will have the final word.  Somebody has to have that job.  That doesn’t mean he does all the thinking.

But it does seem important that the boss really care about the company and deeply value what it stands for.  If the business becomes just another way of making money, he is sure to undermine the mission and fail.

This is particularly true for start-ups.  After all, in the beginning they are merely dreams and promises.  The entrepreneur has to galvanize others with his vision — and that won’t work if all he aims to achieve is a lucrative buy-out.