Saw Mark Zuckerberg Speak Today

Mark Zuckerberg - a founder of Facebook

I had the privilege of seeing Mark Zuckerberg, one of the founders of Facebook, speak today. He was at BYU (in Provo, Utah) and spoke to about 10,000 people. Senator Orrin Hatch did an interview style presentation with him. The big question to ask is, “Why does this matter?”


The number one reason why this matters is because Mark Zuckerberg has found a way to be very successful and make a positive difference in the world. As a leader reading this right now, would you say that having the example of a billionaire at age 26 would be valuable to you? My my perspective is it was. Here’s what I learned today.

A Major Key To Success

Mark was asked many questions in the presentation today. Here’s one:

If you want to be successful, what should you do?

Mark’s reply: “Be passionate about and absolutely love what you do.”

To expound a little further, I’ll explain this. Mark said that there are going to be challenges to overcome in anything you do. If you are looking to build a business or create an idea, then be prepared to face a whole multitude of challenges. He says if you do not absolutely love what you do, then at the first sign of challenge or difficulty, you will just give up. At the first sign of not having fun, you will give up. When you truly believe and have faith in something you are doing, then no obstacle will turn back the effort.

Translate this to what you are doing. Do you absolutely love it? Are you passionate about it? When you are working on it, do you find yourself wishing you were doing something else? These are simply clues to use to see where you are at.

Who does Facebook Look For To Hire?

When asked this question, Mark has one simple response.

“We look for people who have already taken initiative to build things.”

What a swift analysis and useful golden nugget. Were I to try and get a job at Facebook right now, I’d show all the things that I am building right now at the forefront of my portfolio and presentation in the interview. Mark also added this.

“We look for people who are passionate about something.”

“We look for people who have an idea of what to come in and add value to for Facebook already.”

Those are clues not just for getting hired at Facebook, but for any job position. And if you are a leader looking for great people, these three insights from Mark are worth their weight in gold. I shall explain.

Someone who takes initiative to build things, is passionate, and knows where they can add value follows some of the core principles of the Hedgehog Concept. This is a principle that shows what the key principles are for creating success. It’s like the basketball player that comes early and stays late to get extra shots and work in. It’s like the student who takes the extra time to master her classes. It’s like the servant that goes above what is expected to serve the master.

Contrast that with the person who takes no initiative. The person who has no real passion or idea of where to add value. What is the chance that person can compete with someone of passion, focus, and results? It’d be like taking a lump of coal and asking it to produce results over a person who can move and get things done. There really is no comparison.

The Verdict

These two responses, how to be successful, and what to look for in great people are the biggest takeaways from the presentation in my opinion. Passion, desire, love for what you do, along with initiative to create are at the core of what I believe makes a great person. I would also add that one should have a lifelong learning and continuous improvement mindset to achieve success. At any rate, I am thankful I was able to be near Mark today and pick up on some of his energy. Were I to speak to him in person, I imagine he would speak the same way he did to the audience.

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