The success of the world’s largest social networking site Facebook is apparent. There are about 1.71 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2016, with the number still growing. Approximately half of those users log in on a daily basis to update their status, post photos or upload videos.
But did its 5 founders – Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, and Chris Hughes – expect that their site developed in their college dorm room in 2009 would become this big? I don’t think so.
Since Mark Zuckerberg rose into the ranks of the wealthiest and most influential people in the world in 2010, it is now everyone’s curiosity how to become the extraordinary entrepreneur that he is. Does his closet full of H&M gray t-shirts and blue jeans help in Facebook’s unprecedented glory? Not really. Is it just pure luck that he emerged to become the frontrunner of the most celebrated social network? Not at all either. Perhaps because of the genius that Zuckerberg is? Well, maybe.
A website called Optimal Thinking has dissected and analyzed Zuckerberg’s thinking during Facebook’s 2013, 2014, and 2015 first quarter earning conference calls, and rated his commentary according to their own Hierarchy of Thinking Styles. In the hierarchy, thinking is categorized as optimal, extraordinary positive, moderate positive, moderate negative, extraordinary negative and totally negative.
What primarily appeared in the analysis over the 3 conference calls is the dominance of Zuckerberg’s moderate positive thinking and extraordinary positive thinking, with optimal thinking just behind.
Having the biggest slice of Zuckerberg’s thinking pie is the moderate positive, which relates to his organizational stability. Being a leader of a networking company, he demonstrates understanding of the language of connection, through appreciating the support and hardwork of his employees. This is evident in his speeches which are effective in presenting information with the right amount of self-confidence minus the hint of arrogance. Zuckerberg blurts out in his speeches words like “increasing”, “improvement”, “better”, and “normally”; phrases like “good sign”, “good quarter”, “pretty meaningful”, “building the knowledge economy”, “strategy of improving quality” and “improving the world through sharing”.
The next biggest slice in the pie of Zuckerberg’s thinking is attributed to extraordinary positive, which focuses on his ability to innovate and differentiate products. As the name of the thinking suggests, he does not let obstacles and roadblocks along the way ruin his progress, and does what he can in order to overcome them – and the results are visible. From his conference calls speeches, the website noticed the use of Zuckerberg with words like “innovate”, “improvement”, “new”, and “amazing”; along with phrases such as “great progress”, “big fundamental believer”, “very big contributors”, “amazing journey”, “growing environmental consciousness”, and “talent management processes”.
While both of those thinking works well with Zuckerberg, he needs to have more of optimal thinking to empower individuals, teams, departments, and entire organizations to be their best. This thinking is already visible on Facebook’s values, standards and directions, which in a speech, Zuckerberg said, “…Our core business is to focus on helping people to see the best ads and basically make the most money per moment that people are spending at the lowest cost in most efficiency in terms of serving people.” Moreover, optimal thinking can also be discerned in his personal and organizational maturity by mentioning tests to quantify and quality optimization initiatives. In another speech he mentioned, “We just have to do it right… to get the right content to the right people. That this is the right path going forward as well.” At the back of Zuckerberg’s mind, optimal thinking is already there; he just needs to display it more in his next speeches.
No matter, now we know how Zuckerberg’s mind works, and what kind of thinking he uses during his speeches. I guess his success secret is no longer a secret?