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Larry Page’s Leadership Style in the 21st Century

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Introduction

Current paper focuses on Google Inc’s CEO Larry Page. It analyzes his leadership style, values and the entire organizational culture. Google Inc’s profits and growth performances have continuously improved since its launch in 1998. The firm’s management and CEO are credited for this level of performance especially since it enjoys dominance in SEO related products and services. Subsequently, the firm’s performance results from the current strong organizational culture, which cannot be copied easily by competitive companies. Google’s management has continued to foster favorable working conditions by formulation and adoption of a workable organizational culture. The culture has facilitated recruitment of the best employees, retention of an effective workforce and also promoting elements of innovation that has gone a long way to affect performance positively.

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Larry Page’s Leadership Style

Larry Page is both the co-founder and current CEO of Google Inc. He practices both democratic and transformational forms of leadership styles while executing tasks and making decisions. According to Limbare (2012), democratic leaders exercise fairness in all their undertakings. They are positive and motivational in their attitude to the junior employees. Larry Page engages all of the employees in the underlying tasks. For instance, he has recently called for the firm’s organizational change where executive manager would be appointed to head important product divisions. He also puts more emphasis on high levels of collaboration, communication and unity amongst the company’s numerous teams. The recently formed “L-Team” is a group of the company’s senior Vice-Presidents who report to him directly (Shipman, 2006). They also work closer to his office during most part of the week in order to encourage collaboration and integration of different product divisions.

Subsequently, democratic leaders expect their followers to exercise their creativity for the purpose of ensuring effective decisions are made at all times. Consequently, they enjoy great levels of participation and cooperation in the course of decision making process (Shipman, 2006). Larry Page often seeks advice from his trusted sources and thereafter uses the counsel to optimize the level of corporate structure. One of such trusted sources is Mulally with whom Page consults regarding the information on how to operate organizations more effectively (Helft, 2014). His motivational and fair attitude is evident from his influence on most of his employees in terms of emulating his working prowess to increase production. For instance, it is ascertained that Larry Page sometimes prefers to work using his Nexus phone for a week. This move is meant to elicit mind growth and employee talents put into use. He also prefers radical changes in relation to firm’s products (Shipman, 2006). Recently, he summoned Gawley, head of Gmail, and his cohorts and challenged them to come up with a new communication services to customers.

His transformational leadership prowess is reflected by his openness to new ideas and the curiosity to come up with workable ideas that will provide a solution to existing societal and technological problems (Shipman, 2006). His supportive nature towards employees has really cut down on the firm’s turnover rates hence saving lots of resources.

Alignment of Google Leadership Style, Philosophy & Culture

Google Incorporated practices an open culture. The culture model allows each and every employee to use a firsthand approach while contributing to the decisions and operations of the firm (Limbare, 2012). In fact, it was under Larry Page’s supervision that “TGIF-Thank God Is Friday” was created (Helft, 2014). It is a form of open culture where each Friday of the week all of the company’s employees are allowed to contribute and post ideas through a teleconference program. The program ensures that the gap existing between the junior employees and top management is filled completely. As a result, it fosters a lot of creativity and loyalty on the part of employees.

Equally important, the firm adopts a 70/20 rule meaning that all employees are expected to commit at least 70 per cent of the daily work to important projects (Shipman, 2006). Another 20 percent is committed to new projects and ideas related to core projects while 10 percent is dedicated to independent ideas (Helft, 2014). Larry Page promotes these two activities and has even made it mandatory for all employees. Considering his democratic leadership style, Page ensures that all employees pitch their top notch ideas in weekly meetings. An open culture has ensured that the firm always maintains positive atmosphere among the employees.

Google Incorporated operates on a “Don’t Be Evil” slogan. In essence, most of its policies and corporate decisions are formulated and implemented in relation to this philosophy. Due to this, the firm’s employees are rated as the happiest since they are involved in the mission and future success of the company (Helft, 2014). Larry Page adopts this philosophy in his leadership style as he does not dwell much on critics, but rather spends most of his time trying to make a positive influence. As a democratic leader, Page always emphasizes on standards and attention to details of his philosophy in order to maintain high integrity practices (Shipman, 2006). He continues to scrutinize the firm’s vital products and demand improvements like in the case of Google Now and Inbox (Helft, 2014). The philosophy allows employees to limit their talents and creativity to ethical considerations.

Larry Page philosophy also focuses on building products and services that do not exist yet. This is the reason as to why the firm does not pay much attention to competitive companies working on similar products (Shipman, 2006). However, he always strives to stay upfront with his innovative ideas, talent and capacity by funding such technologically-viable products like Robots, self-driving cars and Glass. This strategy is reflected in his leadership style that allows employees a chance to engage in continuous innovations and also work extremely hard to cut down on competition (Shipman, 2006). The firm always favors their human capital since it is people who drive its success. The firm’s culture is oriented on hiring only talented and smart individuals as it favors personal capacity over experience. Furthermore, he makes sure that all ethical implications are analyzed before making crucial decisions (Shipman, 2006). He understands that unethical innovations might cause financial challenges of the firm.

Larry Page’s Personal and Organizational Values

Google, like any other organization, should put much emphasis on core values, which provide the direction of decisions made in the future. Most importantly, management’s values should match with the organization’s culture in order to avoid possible conflicts of interest. When analyzing any successful CEO, it should be evident that they possess similar values as those of the organization (Helft, 2014). Larry Page’s personal values are significantly related to the overall Google’s values and this in fact is depicted by the numerous success stories accorded to him. Google’s core values are all enshrined within the slogan: “Don’t Be Evil”, which despite much criticism has survived.

Larry Page’s personal values are inclined towards working with the most intelligent and talented people across the globe, which clearly matches the firm’s fundamental value of working with only able and talented graduates despite their inexperience. Recruitment of employees does not rely on their experience but rather on their capacity to execute tasks coherently (Helft, 2014). Considering that these fresh graduates have opportunities to work on projects, all programmers are granted at least 20 percent of the work time to engage in independent activities. Instead of emphasizing on innovation, the firm made it a mandatory part of every working day routine. As a result, it triggered lots of innovations for the company.

How CEO’s Values Influence Ethical Behaviors

CEOs provide a necessary platform for the overall culture of a firm, which later promotes its growth, performance and employee behavior. They make strategic decisions that impact their own values upon the firm’s overall culture. It is important for all CEO’s to exercise caution and care whenever their personal value to work is concerned since they are easily imitated by employees and thereafter the employees develop their own behavior (Davis, 2013). Any level of personal values depicted by CEOs in relation to the firm’s values can affect the level of employees’ efficiency within the firm. This is attributed to the fact that CEOs values influence ethical behaviors among all employees. Following this line of reasoning, it is important that CEOs personal values match with the mission and philosophy of a firm in order to prevent possible conflict of interest. Davis (2013) argues that caution to avoid conflict of interest is crucial because any mishaps might be detrimental to the performance and success of an organization. It is mandatory for CEOs to formulate ethical standards and policies thus, positive personal values should be fundamental in the implementation process.

It is crucial to ensure that the CEO’s and employees’ values are similar in order to assure positive ethical behavior, which is useful for conducting successful operations.

CEO’s Strengths and Weaknesses

The success of CEOs is determined by their ability and willingness to acknowledge not only their strengths but also their weaknesses in executing tasks. The manner, in which CEOs handle challenges, criticism and attitudes, interlink to uphold either favorable or unfavorable working environment. Whenever CEOs acknowledge their respective strengths and weaknesses they are fairly positioned to comprehend the effects of their actions and decisions. Some of Larry Page’s strengths and weaknesses are discussed below;

Strengths

First, Larry Page is an introverted person. This is strength on his part because research indicates that introverts turn into successful and perfect leaders for such practical workers like Google employees (Helft, 2014). Introvert leaders like Larry Page are perfect listeners and focus most of their time on implementing other people’s ideas. In Google, Larry Page’s introvert tendencies have allowed top notch innovation, which has resulted to a strong company’s value. Secondly, Larry Page is a smart and innovative person. In fact, he is a major innovator of Tesla Motors, which is by far the largest electronic car manufacturer in the world (Helft, 2014). As a smart and laid back individual, Larry Page has ensured that talented engineers have their say in the course of production. As a result, this has fostered new technological devices highly embraced in global markets.

Weaknesses

Most of the CEO’s weaker points are reflected in their attitude, which hinders possible success. Larry Page is said to have temper tantrums resulting in showcasing a negative behavior to employees (“Larry Page and Google’s midlife crisis,” 2012). Notably, he sometimes makes critical decisions based on intolerance, which has hindered him from exercising full scale operability of other experienced managers within the firm.

Recommendations Necessary for Larry Page’s Leadership Improvement

First, there is a need for him to embark on a campaign trail meant to ensure that all employees’ abilities and talents focus on the organization’s overall mission and vision. Secondly he should adopt effective communication skills given that he lacks public speaking prowess. In fact, improvement in public speaking skills will likewise advance the organization’s public image. It will also go ahead to market the company’s products in a clear and convincing way. Third, he should avoid using his principles in micro-managing activities. For instance, it is said that he requires all of his product division managers to work in close proximity to his office in order to guide them.

Ways in Which Communication, Collaboration, Power and Politics Influence Group

Collaboration and communication processes assist in influencing activities of any given working group. It is a fundamental tool useful for making effective decisions pertaining to different circumstances affecting the operations of a firm (Levin, 2012). It can be a useful alternative to traditional ways of affecting organization changes like coalitions and task forces. A traditional model structure puts a group member in a vertical position so that decisions flow from top to down of the chain. The top managers derive their level of influence and power from their positions within a given hierarchical order that facilitates effective use of power, politics and significant level of influence (Levin, 2012). The idea of integrating communication and collaboration of team members proves efficient in fostering positive working relationships and performance.

Conclusion

To sum up the discussion, it can be seen that Larry Page practices democratic and transformational leadership styles for the benefit of Google. He allows all employees equal chances to innovate and present ideas directly to him. He certainly ensures that his personal values align well with the overall organization practices. As a result, this fosters positive ethical behaviors and performance. As much as he is a strong leader, Larry Page also shows some elements of weakness. For instance, his major strength rests upon the fact the he is an introvert who provides effective listening capacities to innovative and proactive employees. However, he is full of temper and sometimes makes decisions out of prejudice. He also ensures high standards and practices are accomplished at any given time making him a nuisance. Thus, he is able to improve his leadership skills and align with the leaders of the 21st century by fully delegating duties and allowing his employees enough time to conduct activities without constant supervision.

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