Larry Page is one of the icons in the technology industry. He is well known for creation of Google Company, and nurturing it to one of the largest and profitable companies in the world today. His interest in the field of information technology is no surprise, having born in a family of computer scientists. Larry’s Father, Carl Page, was among the first few individuals to earn a Ph. D in computer science, during the formative years of this field (White, 2007). His mother was a computer scientist as well. Therefore, he was exposed to computers from a very young age, something that helped him to gain wide knowledge on issues related to computers. He was always interested in inventing things, and as early as from 12 years old, he had already had an ambition of forming his own company. Together with Sergey Brin, Larry created Google Company, based on what they had learnt while doing a Ph. D project at Stanford University (Brandt, 2011). As the CEO of the company, Larry is in charge of the day-to-day operation of the company, and controlling the product development and technology strategy in the company. The growth rapid growth of Google Company is based on his leadership style, and the efficiency and effectiveness of his management team.
Leadership style and philosophy
Larry’s leadership style was influenced by his academic pedigree and his own preferences for independent thinking and research, particularly with regard to employee empowerment and inspiring them to bring forth innovative ideas and to put them into practice. Generally, Larry’s leadership style can be described as a democratic/participative leadership. Although democratic leaders are the final decision makers, they are always ready to engage their team in the entire decision-making process. They inspire creativity, and they highly engage their team members in projects as well as decisions (Manimala and Wasdani, 2013).
Larry’s democratic leadership could be easily determined from the way he has handled Google since 2004, when he took over as the CEO of the company. He believes that sharing ideas between the team members is the easiest way that the company is likely to achieve better things. As such, he tends to encourage his team members to always pay attention to their crazy ideas and nurture the best of them. Particularly, Larry always urges his teams to have faith in in daring ideas (Elmer, 2011).
Since he took over, bureaucracy has reduced significantly within the company. He has never been a fan of the traditional management style. To achieve greater things, the team members should have the freedom of coming up with new ideas and trying out new things within the company (Brandt, 2011). This can only be attained if the degree of bureaucracy is minimal. With little bureaucracy, the team members do not need to seek permission from various offices before implementing or testing their ideas, and this is the reason why Larry became determined to reduce bureaucracy in Google. Similar strategies have worked effectively in other leading companies, especially in Apple Inc. Moreover, his perception on bureaucracy is a reflection of his business philosophy. Larry believes that the company “should be building great things that do not exist” (Levy, 2013). Perhaps, this is one of the reasons why his company is less concerned about competition who are producing similar products. The company always tries to be the frontrunner within the market.
Larry’s leadership approach is with the culture of the company with regard to the value attached to the employees. The company has put in place mechanisms of empowering employees; to not only achieve personal goals and objectives, but also those of the organization. Selection of new strategy or product is not dictated by the top management, but through competition of ideas based on their merits. The idea of allowing employees to have significant autonomy in product development within their teams enhances the innovativeness of individual employees to the benefit of the organization as a whole. Team members develop a sense of being in control of their fate, hence they get motivated to go an extra mile in their undertakings; and this is what Larry values most in his leadership approach (Brandt, 2011).
Personal and Organizational values
Larry’s personal values are based on the way he was brought up, as well as the experience he has had in the world of business, particularly within the technology industry. For instance, he considers innovation as a key to greater things. He also values individual creativity, and perhaps this is why he tends to encourage people to be free in exploring their various ideas to make the best of them. Moreover, he values team work, and personal autonomy at the workplace; and this is clearly seen in the manner he treats employees in his company (Lowe, 2009).
Arguably, Google’s values shows the picture of what its creators had in mind during its creation, and how they anticipated the company to grow over time. One of the company’s values is aiming at working with great people. Therefore, the company has a policy if aiming at attracting highly qualified employees. In addition, the working environment has been designed to allow its employees to flourish. The company recognizes innovation as its lifeblood. Therefore, its objective is to develop the best technology and products in the global market. The other value is ensuring that working at the company is fun (Lowe, 2009). As such, it is expected individuals to know and enjoy each other, and rejoice the company’s success and individual accomplishments. Other values include: not taking success for granted, earning customer and user loyalty on a daily basis, as well as caring and supporting the communities where it operates (Fortune, 2007).
Influence of his values on ethical behavior
As the CEO of the company, Larry’s personal values are likely to influence the ethical behavior within the company. For instance, appreciating the role the employees play in the company influences the way the employees are handled within the company (Olanoff, 2013). The employees are permitted freedom in their work and they do not take this lightly, which keeps them on ethical grounds. Besides, the employees have developed a sense of teamwork, which allows them to work together to realize greater goals, rather than competing against each other. To some extent, this deters unethical behavior amongst the employees. Furthermore, employees are encouraged to “think outside the box” in solving problems in the company. In turn, those who perform well are well rewarded for their efforts. Moreover, the employees are encouraged to have fun in the course of their work, and this is an important motivating factor from the employee’s perspective (Fortune, 2007).
Strengths and Weaknesses
One of the strengths of Larry is that he is a visionary individual. He has a clear vision of how to manage his company, and where he intends it to be in the future. He is also concerned with the trend of the performance of the company that is why he considers innovation as the key to a better future for Google. To secure companies competitiveness in the market, Larry has initiated various strategies including acquiring patent rights on various products and partnering with other companies (Lowe, 2009). The other strength is that he is a democratic leader. He has created a democratic atmosphere within the company, which has created favorable working conditions for the employees. The employees are involved in the decision-making process, making them feel part of the company. Lastly, Larry is strong willed and determined. Together with his co-founder, he encountered various challenges in creating and nurturing the company to what it is today (Brezina, 2013).
However, he also has significant weaknesses. First is that Larry is relatively a weak public speaker and a very private individual. Therefore, it is not an easy task for him when it comes to launching and marketing new products; an important element that has proved to be a big difference in other companies such as Apple Inc. Second, he allows employees to have high degree of freedom at the workplace. Although this encourages teamwork in the company, sometimes employees may put personal objectives first before those of the organization. Lastly, Larry relates poorly with his followers. Being a private individual, it is challenging for him to relate with other people, perhaps because he likes sharing little about himself (Lowe, 2009).
Quality attributed to his success
Larry’s success is could be attributed to his understanding of the technology industry. He has been dealing with computers for almost his entire life, having been born in a family of computer experts. He created Google following a wide research on various aspects affecting the information technology industry. Together with being business minded, he has been motivated to promote the growth of his company.
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Brezina, C. (2013). Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, and Google. New York: Rosen Pub.
Elmer, V. (2011) What would Larry page do? Leadership lessons from Google’s doyen. Retrieved from http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/04/18/what-would-larry-page do-leadership-lessons-from-googles-doyen/
Fortune. (2007). 100 Best Companies To Work For 2007. Retrieved from http://www.money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2007/snapshots/1.html
Levy, S. (2013) Larry Page’s First Year as Google CEO: Impatience is a virtue. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/business/2012/04/opinion-levy-page-first-year/
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Olanoff, D. (2013) Google CEO Larry page shares his philosophy at I/O. Retrieved from http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/15/google-ceo-larry-page-takes-the-stage-at-ceo-to-wrap up-the-io-keynote/
White, C. (2007). Sergey Brin and Larry Page: The founders of Google. New York: Rosen Pub. Group.