Mark Zuckerberg recently announced a change to Facebook’s mission; “To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”

In one sentence the Facebook founder has created in image in people’s minds that shows why Facebook exists. He has shown his team what their North Star is and with it, empowered all employees in his multi-billion dollar company to be more autonomous in their everyday work.

Now, after leading the creation and communication of this vision, Zuckerberg can allow employees to ideate and work to facilitate ways for their two billion users to find common ground and unite. This is what leaders do. They decide where their group needs to go and what that future looks like, then let the team work towards making it a reality.

Dive deeper into the mission and you find there is a target of getting a billion people into “meaningful groups”, which provides a quantifiable measure for the team. Another sign of a clear vision, is that sucess can be measured.

I have one note of caution for Zuckerberg in his gallant quest, however. These “meaningful groups” are a matter of opinion in many cases. ISIS believe their quest is meaningful… should this be a supported group? It’s an extreme example, but from climate change deniers to pretty much anything that enters the political arena, there is seldom a cut and dried “right” answer. Facebook’s new mission might have just set the company up to be the custodians of what is ‘right’. The ISIS example says to the Western world that a line has to be drawn, but where and how is a debate all by itself.

Regardless, I applaud the mission and use it as a positive example of how leaders are able to cast a vision for people to follow. This is effective leadership.

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