6 Lessons for CEOs from ‘Boy CEO’ Mark Zuckerberg

We all know the stale tale of how Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard to focus on Facebook, but the lesson for CEOs is how Zuckerberg became a skillful manager able to scale his company to monster proportions despite his utter lack of management experience. Here’s what other CEOs can learn from this self-taught CEO.

March 22 2012 by ChiefExecutive.net


The Social Network gave the back story on Mark Zuckerberg: he dropped out of Harvard while developing Facebook and has become one of the most famous, powerful and youngest CEOs in the world. But there’s more to it than that.

Other CEOs know that running a company is more complicated than just developing a product. And there’s more to Facebook than what we saw in the movie. What makes Facebook what it is now is its management, structure, and ability to successfully scale to meet astronomical demand.

Fast Company chronicles a very important part of what has made Mark Zuckerberg such a successful CEO: Zuckerberg made his own evolution as a leader a top priority.

Barely out of his teens and without any management experience, Zuckerberg took many proactive steps to mold himself into the mogul he is today. Here are 6 lessons from Zuckerberg’s rise to fame:

  1. Make your own development a priority - Zuckerberg knew he needed to be a leader (and not just a tech guy) if Facebook was going to go anywhere, so he hired an executive coach to learn management and leadership skills
  2. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes: Zuckerberg says, “So many businesses get worried about looking like they might make a mistake, they become afraid to take any risk. Companies are set up so that people judge each other on failure.”
  3. Create a real office culture: Facebook’s is the Hacker Way and so it “questions assumptions, moves fast, takes risks, shares information and learns from other smart people,” says FC.
  4. Ask questionsThe Hacker Way asks employees to question assumptions, which can lead to disruptive innovation
  5. Be open - keeping your employees in the loop on where the company is going (especially in a fast-growing start up) enhances confidence and unity
  6. Involve everyone in hiring practices - when Facebook was growing, everyone helped to bring in new talent and all had interviewing duties (even engineers)- after all your current employees will be the ones working with the new hires

Read: Read: “Boy CEO” Mark Zuckerberg’s Two Smartest Projects Were Growing Facebook And Growing Up