Larry Page Leadership Style: A Detailed Analysis Of Its Positive And Negative Impact
Task: Provide a detailed account of the impact created by Larry page leadership style and the impact created by it in the 21st-century modern world.
In this report, we have conducted a detailed study on the Larry page leadership style and the comprehensive influence it had made on the approach towards business in the twenty-first-century global world. The success of the story of Larry in implying the particular leadership is considered in this report for conducting the detailed analysis. In the initial part of the report, we have mentioned the major advantages that the company has faced by implying the Larry page leadership style. It was the concepts of transactional and charismatic leadership style that were majorly implied by Larry Page in his professional career. It is in the subsequent section of the report that the weaknesses of Larry page leadership style are discussed by taking into account the decisions made by him as the CEO of Google Inc. The characteristics of Larry page leadership style, like attitude towards business, behaviour with subordinates, the strategies adopted to tackle the challenges, etc. are being considered for analysis.
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It is the ability to convince and persuade the subordinates towards a particular objective by displaying proper behaviour by following a particular set of rules and guidelines that are termed to be leadership (Rubin, 2013). The leader in a company is expected to face the challenges by using appropriate logic and tackle the skirmishes raising within the working environment. The main objective of the leader should be to somehow lead the whole group of employees in achieving a common target. Larry Page, one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the twenty-first century, is considered in this study so that the particular Larry Page leadership style he implied while being employed as the CEO of Google Inc. could be analyzed for the future generation. After conducting the analysis, this report would also propose some of the substitute measures, and he should have taken to further develop and incorporate in the organization.
Background of Larry Page
Even before being appointed as the CEO of Google Inc., Larry Page was well known as one of the co-founders of the internet system besides Serge Brin. The role and contribution of Brin in Google Inc. could only be limited to the structuring of the organization and the total credit for the Google services could be entitled exclusively to Larry Page. As per the observation made by renowned scholar Keskes in 2014, the management structure of Google company has been effectively designed by Larry Page since he possessed a high level of patience, approach towards encouraging the staff members, innovational stance when facing random challenges, etc. It was because of these characteristics that he was later awarded the title among 50 highest-rated CEOs in the world by the independent annual survey for CEO by Glassdoor agency.
If analyzed the personal character of Larry Page, it could be observed that he is a very introvert person. It was strongly advocated by Drew, a business specialist, in 2010 that the personality should be outgoing and extrovert to practice effective management in the internal politics of the company. He claimed that it would be very hard for an organizational leader to control the internal environment of an organization of if his personality is introvert. It is in the case when a leader has to manage a team of a very proactive nature that the introvert style of leadership would become more effective. Most of the job profiles in the Google company demand a higher level of engagement and innovative approach. Hence the introvert approach of Larry was best suitable in the context since it would help the leaders in sustaining higher listening skills and encourage an innovative approach among the employees. Independent agencies like Fortune have conducted a detailed study on the reason behind the success of Larry page leadership style. Some of their observations are listed in the below section: -
- Implying very brief and efficient organizational structure.
- High focus on team-level performance.
- Avoiding the approach of bureaucracy.
- Eagerly learning towards the implementation of innovative strategies so that the opportunities could be utilized to their best.
- Identifying the significance of minor initiatives taken in the business processes (Bel, 2010).
Analyzing the organizational structure
It was in 1998 that Sergey Brin and Larry page had together laid the foundation of Google Inc which later developed into a multinational company. In the initial stage, it was just derived as a system that calculated the ranking of the conventional search engines. It was in the later stage that the company started analyzing the link between various websites. The organization of Google currently retains around 53000 employees, and because of its innovative and modern working environment, it is labelled as the best working place by Fortune. By the implementation of Larry page leadership style, a free-thinking approach was developed in the working culture of Google. Larry was successful in reducing the employee turnover to zero percentage by the implementation of 70-20-10 strategy in the organizational structure (Nging & Yazdanifard, 2015).
Apart from focusing on the advancements and strategies of the competitors, the company has shifted its emphasis on the augmentation of services offered by Google. The working environment of Google has turned out to be the most suitable for the innovative employees since it offers huge scope for employee benefits, the nonexistence of any supervision of performance, implementation of transformational leadership, etc. (Al-Asfour & Lettau, 2014).
The negative aspect of Larry page leadership style
Though in the modern world, Larry Page is considered to be the finest CEO in the history of global business, the management strategies implemented in the early phase of his career and some official decisions had led to the emergence of ineffective management in Google. The decision to remove any sort of supervision from the organizational structure is considered to be the first official blunder of Larry Page. The intent behind introducing such a move was to achieve a level of self-sufficiency in the official environment. But the result was quite contrary to the expected outcome, since, the deadlines were never met by the employees, which ensued chaos between management and employees. The second blunder was to give engineers a higher level of a priority compared to other employees. Larry was highly invested in evolving Google into a more advanced and practical search engine. The heavy contribution of engineers was required to achieve this target. The approach had created a heavy work burden in the engineering team, and other teams were not even focused on by Larry. The major reason behind the downfall of Larry Page as the CEO of Google is considered to be this aggressive and product focus leadership. The major step in enhancing the employee benefits like the introduction of IPO was commenced by successive CEO Eric Schmidt. It was in 2011 that Larry page was elected again on the designation of Google CEO after a very long period (Oke et al., 2009).
Evaluating concepts followed in Larry page leadership style
Charismatic leadership style: The objective of establishing an innovative approach in the organization is primarily for the individual who exerts as charismatic leaders. The high level of motivation delivered by Larry to his substitutes and the visionary ideologies followed by him in Google makes him one of the best examples of a charismatic leader. The impact created by him was very large on the working culture of Google, and the same has been witnessed during the official tenure of Eric Schmidt since employees pursued approval of innovative decisions from Larry Page. The innovative strategies with futuristic ideas are implied by the charismatic leaders to achieve foresighted targets (Stephen, 2007). It was the unique characteristics of Larry page leadership style that helped the Google Company is evolving into one of the most successful companies in the world. If analyzed the efficiency of the employees on Google, it could be observed that all the candidates appointed at higher designations have the financial and intellectual ability to start their own organizations. Though they have sufficient resources to start a new organization for themselves, they are continuing to work with the company because of the charismatic leadership implied by Larry Page.
It was argued by Sadri in 2012 that employees would gradually develop the perception of dependence within the charismatic leadership style since they would not perceive any danger to their job in the future. The specific department of engineers employed in Google was exclusively brought under the direct guidance of Larry Page. Though the official approval of Larry Page was required in every decision, the employees were allowed to suggest innovative ideas for future projects. The same fact makes the future of Google unpredictable since Google may not witness another charismatic leader like this.
Transformational leadership style
The leaders who follow the ideologies of transformational leadership style try to change the strategies as per the changing environment and conditions and thus encourage the employees to suggest innovative measures so that new visions could be designed (Lowe, 2009). During the tenure of Page, he had implied the transformational leadership in Google through five stages which are idealized influence, brainstorming, inspiration and motivation, and subjective customization.
Larry was always updated about the current projects undertaken by each manager since the periodic summarized report was submitted punctually to him. The system of 70-20-10 was introduced in the working environment of Google to sustain the motivation among the employees. The employees were provided with the privilege to spend 10 % of the working time on personal or recreational activities. Various other concepts like drive less car were introduced by Larry for the employees of Google (ANDI, 2018). The monotonous routine of just working before the laptop was discouraged by Larry, and he proposed the managers to work through offline media like papers, charts, etc. so that the proper level of innovativeness could be maintained among them. The managers at higher designations were encouraged further to work along with the subordinates so that the workers would not feel alienated.
Transactional leadership style
The leader is expected to concentrate on the approach of supervision of performance delivered by the various team in the organization by transactional leadership style as per the definition mentioned under Weber’s theory (Marcello, 2013). The proper behaviour and interaction among the employees were ensured by Larry Page since he implemented the transactional leadership style in Google. The regulation is implied by making sure that the employees are provided with adequate resources. Three major factors, active supervision, contingent reward, and passive supervision, are considered to be the pillars of the transactional leadership style.
The awards like the employee of the month are awarded to the workers by following the ideology of contingent reward system. The concept of passive management is followed by Larry until a very serious and intimidating situation arises before the employees. In such demanding cases, he would use active management to bring the condition under control.
Characteristics of Larry page leadership style
The person designated as the leader should have the required leadership skills so that the employees and associated teams could be effectively managed towards a particular goal. The characteristics like efficient management of conflicts, productive team-building approach, periodic evaluation of employee performance, goal-oriented strategies, high problem-solving ability, good negotiation skills, ability to think constantly at an innovative level, etc. should be possessed by the person to practice transactional leadership style.
It would be very hard for the leader to lead the company towards success if he/ she lacks proper visionary skills (Brandt, 2011). The decided goals could only be attained by the proper execution of the plans. The engineers of Google Inc. were assigned with SMART goals which were made possible by the high visionary skill of Larry Page. He retained some exceptional qualities like optimistic thinking, action-oriented work, taking personal responsibility for any official initiative, honest and working towards the integrity of the company, self-inspired, etc. which classified Larry Page as an excellent visionary.
The efficiency of the employees highly depends on the level of motivation provided by the management of the company. The company could also provide the employees with some non-financial benefits rather than just giving the monetary award for exceptional performance. It was according to the principles of Herzberg's two-factor theory and Maslow's two-factor theory that the motivational strategies were structured by Larry.
The person could be more reflective in the environment if he or she retains the introvert approach in organizational management. The approach would provide the leader with appropriate time to think over the decision to be taken and consecutively help in sustaining a work-friendly environment in the institute. As per the study conducted by Steinbauer and his colleagues in 2014, it is the leaders with extrovert nature who are more successful in the corporate environment. Though it has been revealed in recent studies that the introvert approach is the best one if the organization retains very proactive human resources. In the working environment of Google, a leader with a little shy and conserved approach was required, which was appropriately filled by the Larry page leadership style. The focus of the company was deviated from competitor analysis to product innovation because of the conservative approach followed in Larry page leadership style. It is has been observed in a lot of cases that the leaders with the introvert approach are very good listeners which would aid them in recognizing and addressing the issues faced by employees and sustaining an innovative mind. However, it should also be understood that the shy behaviour of Larry had restricted him from acting as the spokesperson of Google before the media.
The appropriate people skill could only be developed by the reader if the approach of optimism and empathy is maintained towards the employees. The leader could sustain communication with employees at an emotional level only if they possess people skills. Larry had always treated the employees as his family throughout his tenure, which later created a constructive impact on the turnover and success of the company. Page was always updated with the problems of employees since an open communication platform was installed in the office environment. The approach has helped him in addressing every workplace issue in a timely manner.
Alternative recommendations for Larry page leadership style
By the evaluation done in the previous section of this report on Larry page leadership style, it has been revealed that style should be further updated and modified so that the future of the company could be secured. The work culture in the company should be further groomed since there may exist some performance issues among various teams. We have provided some effective recommendations for Larry page leadership style in the below section.
- Profit optimization
The turnover and financial success of the company was not much focused upon by Larry Page. Instead of it, he limited his focus on invention and new innovative aspects of product development. The company could only be successful if the financial turnover is strictly scrutinized on a periodic basis, and every leader is required to focus on it. The company will cease to exist if it gets struck by financial imbalance. Google had to bear huge financial losses because of this approach of Larry Page. To control the situation, and the overall management system should be introduced in the company.
- Alteration in leadership style
Though Larry page is known to be one of the most charismatic leaders, the same fact is making all the employees excessively dependent on him. The ideologies of participative leadership should be practised in the company so that more leaders with appropriate leadership could be developed. Google is an internet company, and its working environment is very dynamic. Any future misfortune will be blamed upon Larry if the same situation continues. The use of a participative style would help the leader in sharing risk with other people.
- The point of focus should be changed.
It was on the non-monetary factors that Larry had majorly focused upon to sustain motivation among the staff. Though as per the survey and review of Glass Door, the employees of the company are paid fairly less than the employees of other IT firms in Silicon Valley. The monetary structure for the employees should be revised so that the level of satisfaction among them could be sustained.
In this report, we have conducted a detailed analysis of the Larry page leadership style. We have observed in this study that though there were some initial backlashes, the Larry page leadership style was successful in developing the company to be one of the most successful companies in the world. The high level of satisfaction secured by the same approach has helped the company in retaining very highly skilled employees. Though with respect to the changing business surroundings, there should be appropriate changes made in the Larry page leadership style so that Google could sustain its leading position in the market.
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