Most people probably know Mark Cuban from the popular ABC television series “Shark Tank.” In “Shark Tank,” Cuban and other investors listen to pitches from hopeful entrepreneurs who have business ideas or products that they would like to take to market. Individual panelists on the show get to decide whether they would like to invest in the contestant’s concept. Participating, in other words, means putting real money on the line.
A few of the business concepts Cuban has invested in include:
- Ten Thirty One Productions, a Los Angeles entertainment company (Cuban paid $2 million for a 20 percent stake in the business).
- Hugo’s Amazing Tape, an adhesive product that Cuban and Lori Greiner co-bought for $100,000.
- Mush, a company that focuses on overnight oats.
- Fat Shack, a restaurant that sells sandwiches stuffed with 2,000 calories each.
Overall, Mark Cuban has invested in about 100 “Shark Tank” ideas and still has stakes in nearly 60 of them.
Watching Mark Cuban on TV – or your favorite streaming service – might give you some insight into his leadership style. The way someone acts in front of an audience, however, doesn’t always tell the full story. In the following article, we will look at common leadership styles, discuss Mark Cuban’s leadership style, and explore how his leadership style influences his business success.
What Are The 4 Types Of Leadership Styles?
While you can make a much longer list of leadership styles, most business researchers use four high-order categories defined by a few general traits.
Autocratic leaders demand that people follow their orders. Typically, they do not want to hear any contradictory perspectives. They believe that they know how to run the organization best, so everyone needs to follow instructions without question.
The term “autocratic leadership” sounds negative to most people. An autocratic leader that takes a benevolent approach to management, however, could help a company thrive. The results largely depend on whether the leader has successful ideas.
Other autocratic leaders make the workplace uncomfortable. Often, subordinates worry that they will get held responsible for fulfilling impossible tasks. They might also worry that the autocratic leader expects them to know details that have not been made obvious.
Of course, it’s difficult for ambitious people to work with autocratic leaders. When you know that you have to let the CEO execute a plan that will lead to disaster, you might discover that looking for a new job is your best position.
Steve Jobs of Apple (AAPL) typified an autocratic leadership style. He had a clear vision and he executed it in spite of objections or pushback from others. His eagle eye for details propelled him to push forward in spite of any obstacles faced.
Democratic leadership, also known as participative leadership, tends to work well in companies working in highly competitive industries.
Democratic leaders recognize that they cannot have all of the answers. No matter how much experience they have in business, they need feedback from trusted advisors. They might also want to hear from low-level employees to find fresh ideas that could streamline processes.
A democratic leadership style tends to improve employee morale. Most people like to know that executives take an interest in their ideas and well-being. They also like knowing that they can approach their leaders to speak openly about their concerns.
Democratic leaders rarely punish subordinates for bringing problems to their attention. In fact, this type of leader will likely reward people who know how to think critically and communicate concerns instead of waiting for catastrophes to emerge.
Laissez-Faire leadership, which also goes by “free-rein leadership,” gives ample freedom to employees and managers to explore their ideas independently without constantly checking in with executives for permission.
Some employees love Laissez-Faire leaders because they get to work on projects that interest them. As long as they work hard and get results, they can get paid to pursue their interests. They find the leadership style freeing and motivational.
Other employees struggle under this leadership style because they need someone to tell them what to do. Without a list of tasks to accomplish, the employees might sit at their desks wondering what they should do.
The Laissez-Faire leadership style can also backfire when team members take their own approaches to solving problems instead of consulting their colleagues. It can lead to a chaotic, inefficient work environment that creates a lot of stress and setbacks.
The term “paternalistic leadership” is probably getting a bit stale in an age when more women are taking the helms of massive corporations. Still, the term does manage to describe a leadership style that emphasizes the importance of guidance and encouragement.
Paternalistic leaders usually want employees to have all of the tools needed to succeed. They are also more likely to have open-door policies that encourage people to talk about the challenges and opportunities they discover during work.
While the term might sound a bit sexist to modern ears, people who work under paternalistic leaders tend to enjoy their jobs and do not fear taking chances.
Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) might best exemplify this leadership style. He combines it with a laissez-faire leadership style where he trusts his leaders to execute and is very much a hands-off leader at the helm.
Mark Cuban Biography
Mark Cuban has always found unique ways to reach his goals. As a teenager, he used a Pittsburgh newspaper strike as an opportunity to make money delivering publications from nearby Cleveland. He decided not to attend his final year of high school. Instead, he applied to the University of Pittsburgh and gained admittance as a full-time student. He soon transferred to the University of Indiana and graduated from the Kelley School of Business with a degree in management.
Mark Cuban had many jobs after graduating from IU and moving away from Bloomington. He moved to Dallas and became a salesperson for one of the industry’s first PC software retailers. He didn’t last long, though. The company fired him after Cuban met with a client to discuss a new business venture.
Obviously, Mark Cuban did his best work when he could control business strategies. Still interested in software, he started MicroSolutions, a company that resold software and integrated software features. He managed to grow MicroSolutions to $30 million in revenue. Then, he sold the company and earned about $2 million from the sale.
Future interests for Mark Cuban included:
- Broadcasting college sports over the internet (he and the co-owners sold the company Broadcast.com to Yahoo! for $5.7 billion in Yahoo! stock).
- 2929 Entertainment, a vertically integrated company that produced and distributed films.
- Landmark Theatres, a chain of arthouse theaters.
In 2004, he participated in his first television show series, “The Benefactor,” that awarded a cash prize to the contestant with the best business idea. The show did not gain momentum, but it paved the way for “Shark Tank.”
Other projects and businesses Mark Cuban is involved in include:
- Magnolia Pictures
- Buying the Dallas Mavericks
- esports betting platform
- Professional Futsal League
Mark Cuban has expressed interest in politics. He claims that he has a libertarian perspective on governance.
When it comes to financial policy, he considers himself conservative. He considers himself a centrist when it comes to social policy.
He considered running against Donald Trump, but did not follow through with the plan despite putting quite a bit of work into early surveys.
What Leadership Style Does Mark Cuban Have?
Mark Cuban has a participative leadership style. You can probably see this when watching him on “Shark Tank.” Cuban enjoys interacting with the contestants and asking them questions.
He’s an ambitious entrepreneur who gets people excited about their ideas. He also has keen insights into how people can tweak their business concepts to achieve better results.
In other words, Mark Cuban likes to participate in the process. It’s a style that has earned him a stellar reputation throughout the business world.
What Makes Mark Cuban A Great Leader?
Mark Cuban has several traits that make him a great business leader. Perhaps most importantly, he wants to hear what other people have to say. He doesn’t tend to cut people off mid-idea. He wants the total picture before he gives praise or feedback.
At the same time, Cuban isn’t afraid to offer criticism. As someone who participates and has significant authority, he knows that he can use his reputation to influence business plans – even when he doesn’t want to invest in them.
Mark also stands out as a great leader because he isn’t afraid to have fun trying new things. His philosophy seems to be that as long as enough of your business generates profits, you can afford to try concepts that have lower chances of success.
What Type Of Entrepreneur Is Mark Cuban?
Mark Cuban is a fairly aggressive entrepreneur. You can see the evidence by watching his TV show. When he picks up on an idea he believes has promise, he jumps at the opportunity to get involved.
He makes smart, informed decisions, of course. There’s nothing reckless about his approach. He does, however, seem to take more risks than other entrepreneurs.
Cuban also likes to test the limits of his industry. He isn’t satisfied with using today’s technology. He’s always looking forward to embracing an emerging technology that could change the world.
Mark Cuban Bitcoin Prediction
Is every successful business leader required to make bitcoin predictions now? It sure seems that way.
Cuban has a pretty objective view of bitcoin. He believes that it will become increasingly accepted and will, therefore, reach a higher value than it has currently. At the same time, he warns that the digital coin’s volatility will likely increase as the value grows.
Cuban supports bitcoin, but he doesn’t make outlandish statements like some enthusiasts do. He simply sees an increase in demand that will lead to higher prices.
Mark Cuban Leadership Style: Conclusion
Mark Cuban stands out as one of the more likable business leaders working today. The Mark Cuban leadership style inspires others, encourages educated risks, and acknowledges the power of passion.
His appearances on TV and willingness to work with new entrepreneurs have certainly influenced the way people see him. For the most part, he gets recognized as an intelligent investor with a quick wit and warm personality.
The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Financhill has a disclosure policy. This post may contain affiliate links or links from our sponsors.