$$$ Mark Cuban $$$


Quick Facts:
Net Worth: 2.8 Billion
Age: 50
Home: Dallas
Largest e-commerce transaction: Bought Jet for 40 Million
Purchased a majority stake of Dallas Mavs for 285 Million

Mark's Blog Feed
blog maverick

Early Trait Theories:
Attitudes Toward Goals: Cuban set goals for himself at the very beginning of his career. Cuban had a desire to start his own business from early on and after being terminated from his sales position at Your Business Software attained his goal. Cuban started his first business, MicroSolutions, with the help of a number of his former clients from Your Business Software. Cuban sold his business in 1990 for $6 million dollars, getting one step closer to attaining his second goal of retiring by age 35! Cuban also challenged himself to learn about any and all businesses. He viewed every job as an opportunity to learn so that the knowledge he gained from one work experience could be applied to make his next business venture all the more successful.

Conceptions of Work: As an entrepreneur, Cuban will be the first to admit that there are no short-cuts when you are trying to establish a successful business. Working hard and being able to put yourself in a position where you can see an opportunity and then capitalize on it is the strategy Cuban employs when establishing companies. In 1995, Cuban saw an oportunity on the horizon and co-founded Audionet, combining his love of basketball and webcasting. Audionet became Broadcast.com in 1998. Cuban's risk of starting this company paid off. In 1999, during the Dot-com boom, Yahoo acquired Broadcast.com for $5.9 billion. After this acquisition, it would have been easy for Cuban to retire, but he wasn't about to stop now. Cuban went on to co-found HDNet, the first high definition satellite television network. Cuban is afraid of failing, but uses this fear to motivate him to work harder. Cuban used some of the money he had made to buy the Dallas Mavericks in 2000, for $285 million, it was every sports fan's dream come true. But unlike most team owners, you won't find Cuban watching his team from a skybox, Mark Cuban prefers a more hand-on role and sits alongside fans cheering and letting his thoughts be known without hesitation.

Relationships With Others:
Cuban has a close knit relationship with the players and coaches of the Dallas Mavericks. Showing his consideration for the team, Cuban upgraded many team amenities including the Boeing 757 plane the team flies on, stocking the locker room with plush towels and installing high tech video equipment in each player's locker. Cuban wants to ensure that his team has a positive relationship with one another and that they will be successful. Cuban is not afraid to work alone, as his entrepreneurial ventures suggest, and to say that Cuban is not conflict averse would be an understatement. Cuban is not afraid to voice his opinion if he doesn't agree with someone, as can be seen on his blog or if you have ever seen a Maverick's basketball game (Cuban is infamous for berating referees or anyone else who dares to get in the way of his team's success).

Mark Cuban displays both an autocratic as well as a democratic leadership style. As a businessman, Cuban knows what he wants and works hard to surround himself with the right team of people who will follow his rules in order to ensure the success of the business. In regards to his ownership of the Mavericks, Cuban shows a more democratic style. The players of the team are not afraid to voice their concerns to Cuban, at one point asking for the dismissal of their coach, because they know he has the best interest of the team in mind. Cuban shows a great deal of consideration for his team by providing them with a superb arena to play in as well as amenities other teams do not have.

external image Cuban%20Dancing.jpg

What Would Mark Cuban Say
...and what do his words say about his leadership style?

"As any successful CEO will tell you, leadership, vision and motivation has far more impact on results than any tax cut or increase. "
  • According to Kotter, leadership and management are two completely different guiding forces within an organization. The vision and motivation to which Cuban refers is a contribution that a leader makes by motivating action through empowerment and the basic need for gratification. Conversely, the tax cuts/increases to which Cuban refers is a manager’s contribution of planning and budgeting.

"Motivate those who in the past couldn’t , wouldn’t or didn’t, into those who can and do. Motivate those who can and do, to continue to innovate and increase productivity."
  • Transformational leaders inspire and excite others to high levels of performance. Cuban motivates those who aren’t easily encouraged to work hard or well.

"Entrepreneurs live for the juice of making their dreams come true. Of having a vision and fighting to see it come true. The joy of mission accomplished and the scoreboard of the financial rewards."
  • Mark Cuban, being an entrepreneur, fits the description of an opportunistic manager, or one who aims to maximize his self-benefit.

"It’s OK to start slow. It’s ok to grow slow."
  • Also, according to the Leadership Grid, this quote demonstrates that although Cuban has an entrepreneur spirit that can lead to a desire for financial gains, he strikes a balance between his concern for production and his concern for people.

"I could be an idiot. But I think now is the time."
  • This quote shows that Cuban is a charismatic leader. Charismatic leadership in times of uncertainty is important. Cuban’s decision (“…I think now is the time.”) carries risk (“I could be an idiot”), but carries a great potential for achievement and performance.

"Creating a close connection to those you do business with has its many risks, rewards and consequences. There are few things in business I have encountered that are more difficult than firing someone, particularly if that someone has always been, or has become a friend. On the flipside, I have been rewarded with many friends."
  • The close connection that Cuban aims to create with his business partners show that he has a democratic leadership style. He takes collaborative, reciprocal, and interactive actions with followers, or those directed by a leader in the work environment.

Quick Links:

For more more information on Mark Cuban, please visit:
  • Forbes Rich List for more information on his financial success. Forbes has named him #446 on the list of the world's billionaires for 2008.
  • Mavericks: Mark Cuban Biography for more his biography page as owner of the Dallas Mavericks.
  • Blog Maverick for Cuban's personal blog. He shares not only his viewpoints on current economic situations, but also on the elements that contributed to his success.