Leadership

Why Mark Zuckerberg encourages his employees to act like hackers

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg reveals he's still learning how to lead the social media giant from its time as a 10-person tech startup based in a Harvard dorm room to the over 20,000 employees who work for the company today.

But it's his mentality as an engineer and hacker that he suggests his employees can learn from today.

While the self-made billionaire probably no longer pulls all-nighters coding, Zuckerberg discusses what he's learned from transitioning from an engineer to CEO in an interview with LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman for his podcast, Masters of Scale.

"This is a really interesting shift, from being an engineer to running an organization," he says. "One of the great things about being an engineer is that you can actually go build something yourself," Zuckerberg tells Hoffman.

"It's one of the few professions where you can sit down and code something, " he says, "and then at the end, you have a product."

"Be entrepreneurial about it, and be a hacker and go do it." -Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder & CEO

As CEO, he's learned to find the best people for the job who can fulfill his vision for Facebook.

"When you switch to building an organization, what you learn is that you're doing a bunch of different things, and that you can't do things yourself," says Zuckerberg.

Now, he says, it's important to delegate.

"If I want to accelerate the development of something," he says, "the best thing that I could do is not go work on it myself, but make sure that a really good person is working on it full-time."

At Facebook, Zuckerberg tries to share this mindset with other employees.

"When I do performance reviews with folks, a lot of the review is not just based on what they do over the period of the performance review," he says. Instead, he asks: "Do you have a good successor? Are all your key positions filled?"

Zuckerberg says he values those who are doers to help grow Facebook for the future: "I think good engineers and good technical entrepreneurs have that instinct where, when there's something they want to build, just go do it."

"Be entrepreneurial about it," he adds, "and be a hacker and go do it."

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