A key leadership lesson from Zuckerberg and The Social Network…



In the 2010 movie, The Social Network, there’s a great scene between Mark Zuckerberg and the attorney representing the Winklevoss twins.



I was reminded of this clip after Thursday’s post: How Pizza Hut marketing counteracts, “We’re in America. Everyone should speak English!”  In the post, we discussed a framework for overcoming the problematic (for some) need to learn Spanish when the dominant language in the U.S. is English.



Zuck doesn’t want to be there.


But in order to do things he wants to do later, he knows he’s gotta do things he doesn’t want to do now.



To get through the process, Zuckerberg takes charge of his emotions.

He deliberately allocates the minimum amount of attention to his inner rage – and the lawyer.


He doesn’t let his anger get the best – or most – of him.


“You have part of my attention, you have the minimum amount…. the rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room including – and especially – your clients are intellectually or creatively capable of doing.”


If you dislike the fact Hispanics are on your jobsite who haven’t learned English…

But you see the benefit in communicating with them in their language of preference…

Take charge of your emotions.



Deliberately allocate the minimum amount of emotion to this jobsite reality.

You don’t have to like it.

But don’t let it make you less of a leader and manager.

Acknowledge your feelings and set them aside.


This frustration has part of my attention, the minimum amount…. the rest of my attention is back at the jobsite where my colleagues and I – English and Spanish-speakers alike – are running a safe and productive jobsite.



So be like Zuck.

Things turned out OK for him.




Bradley Hartmann is founder and El Presidente at Red Angle (www.redanglespanish.com), a training and consulting firm bridging the English-Spanish (and a bit of Polish…) language gap in the construction industry.    

If you enjoyed this post and would be interested in other related content, subscribe to our monthly Newsletter – the Red Angle Revista. Once a month, no fluff, no sales pitches. Just ideas and language skills to help you run a better job.

Categories: Jobsite Leadership

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: