How You and Mark Zuckerberg Will and Won’t Change the World

What You Should Learn Now About Where Great Ideas Come From

Following Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of Facebook’s new organ donor status option, I have been reading about the origin of the idea with a smile.

Ever wonder how some people are full of bright ideas? How do they always manage to come up with ways to wow the world? The truth is, we rise and fall on the quality of our influences. Same is true of you. |Photo by khalid Albaih

Imagine a simple option on a social network that may actually save some 7000 people each year (about 18 daily), who die awaiting organs in the US alone.What amazes me is that the idea did not come from a national taskforce on organ donation. It did not come from a UN Summit.

It came from dinner, casual reading and the death of an icon. It is key for you to note that the idea came from many sources outside of Mark Zuckerberg himself.

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4 People that Influenced Mark Zuckerberg’s Decision

If Facebook cracks the organ scarcity problem, “they” will say “Mark Zuckerberg changed the world”. They will be right and they will be wrong. Here are the main people who have influenced Zuckerberg in his leadership.

1. Priscilla Chan, His Girlfriend.

While launching the tool, Zuckerberg shared how he and his girlfriend, a medical student, had discussed the organ-shortage over dinner.

 From Chan he learned of one boy in need of a heart transplant. His skin had turned blue from lack of oxygen, but within weeks of receiving a transplant he was out again playing sports. (Russell Goldman wrote

2 & 3. Sheryl Sandberg & Dr. Andrew Cameron.

Dr. Andrew Cameron, a transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore is being celebrated as one of the big inspirations behind Facebook’s new buzz. Cameron’s concern would have been mere words for the wind however, had Sheryl Sandberg not taken note.

Sandberg, Facebook’s COO is an Harvard alumni like Cameron. Cameron wrote about the problem in a Harvard Reunion Class report. His college friend Sandberg read it. The rest we hope, will soon be history.

4. Zuckerberg’s friend and mentor: Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs’s death has been a major prompt for Zuckerberg, who once called Jobs a mentor and friend.

Zuckerberg… said many of the people involved in the project were inspired after Jobs’ death.

“That definitely, I think, was something that we all had in mind as we were building this out… His story is just one of many, of people who both were able to have an organ transplant that made his life longer and he was extremely thankful for that,” Zuckerberg said. (abc news)

4 People Who Will Determine the Measure of Your Impact

You and I, like Zuckerberg are highly driven by influences emanating outside ourselves.  No doubt, the greatest, most creative ideas you will ever come up with will all be influenced by at least 1 of these 3 groups.

There are categories of people in our lives who will influence us in our decision making, regardless of how strong we think we are. Will your groups influence great works in your life, like Zuckerberg's? Photo by tantek

1. The people close to your heart.

God, Family, friends, significant others – these people have an undeniable push or pull effect. No matter how smart you are, your heart – the seat of your emotions, desires, dreams and ambitions – is really what directs you. Whatever influences your heart, influences your life.

  • What concern is this group bringing to your attention?

2 & 3. Your colleagues (And Your Colleagues’ Colleagues).

As iron, sharpens iron – so a brilliant COO like Sandberg sharpens a CEO like Zuckerberg. The chain continues though. If Sandberg was not close enough to quality surgeon like Dr. Cameron, maybe she would never have seen the need for an organ donation emphasis.

  • Do your colleagues invest in their own growth and development? (If Sandberg wasn’t reading her Harvard Reunion Class report maybe this initiative would not have been born). Forget who you read and listen to – who do they read?

4. The people you allow to inspire you.

We will probably never rise much higher than our heroes. Ensure then that your heroes are high up!

  • Are the people you now emulate really worth the high estimation you give them?

Who are the people influencing your big ideas?





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