I have already watched this talk two times in two consecutive days and will certainly watch it again. I recommend it.
Here are some highlights from the talk.
Mr. Zuckerberg says, “It’s not enough to have a sense of purpose for yourself, you also have to create a sense of purpose for others.” He says he found that out the hard way. His goal was never to start a company. He wanted to have an impact. As Facebook was growing, and people started joining them, he just assumed that they also just wanted to make an impact. So he never took the time to explain his vision of what they could build together. That is, he didn’t take the time to help others who were joining create a shared higher purpose for themselves. Two years in, a big company wanted to buy Facebook. Zuckerberg didn’t want to sell. He wanted to see if they could connect more people. Nearly everyone else on the leadership team wanted to sell the company. As Zuckerberg explains, “without a higher purpose, this was their start-up dream come true.” It tore Facebook apart. He says, after one particularly tense argument, a close advisor told him that if he didn’t agree to sell the company, he would regret that decision for the rest of his life. Relationships were so torn that within a year, everybody on their management team was gone. Zuckerberg says that was his hardest time leading Facebook. He was lonely. He questioned himself whether he was being realistic or was just acting as a 22-year-old kid who didn’t know how the world worked. Looking back, Zuckerberg says, he understands that’s what happens when there is no higher purpose.
Acting as the leader that he is, Zuckerberg took responsibility for the lack of shared higher purpose within the team. He says, “It was my fault”. Why? Because it is the leader’s responsibility to cast vision and help create a shared higher purpose.
Zuckerberg gives 3 Ways to create a life where everyone has a higher purpose that is bigger than themselves.
- Taking on big meaningful projects together.
- Redefining equality so that everyone has the freedom to pursue their purpose.
- Building community.