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The Most Popular CEO in America Is...Who?

"[The] vision of management and Mark Zuckerberg [is] to prioritize long term goals over short term ones," writes a Facebook project manager on Glassdoor.com.

And perhaps that's what really sets Zuckerberg apart from other CEOs. Facebook users have come to embrace many of the features that sparked fury on first release, like diminished privacy, the mini-feed, and face recognition. Zuckerberg played the long game; he didn't just revolutionize online sharing, he revolutionized our attitude toward it.

The man doesn't care what you think. While many CEOs are more inclined to the quick buck, Zuckerberg's indifference to money "is almost pathological," Time wrote in its 2010 Person of the Year profile. Perhaps he is so liked, because his motives seem pure. As Zuckerberg told the magazine: "I just want to focus on what we're doing."



More than anything, Zuckerberg has nailed the fundamental secret to popularity: Not caring whether you're popular. Certainly, Zuckerberg didn't become a success because he was the guy everyone wanted at the party. In her recent book, "Lean In," Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg recounts a piece of advice Zuckerberg gave her after six months on the job:

"Sheryl, you care too much about being liked. You are trying to please everyone all day long and you can't do it. And if you never say anything that anyone disagrees with, you're not going to say anything at all."

It turns out, people like what Zuckerberg has to say.



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