Introduction to Larry Page and Google

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Larry (Lawrence) Page, born on the 26th March 1973 in Michigan, is the current CEO of Google Incorporation. He received Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Michigan University and Master of Science in Computer Science from Stanford University. That explains why his earlier hires were graduates from these two universities. In 1998, together with Sergey Brin, they founded Google. Google gradually became more popular over the years, and is now the No. 1 search engine worldwide. It is credited to be the best company to work for, and has about 46000 employees. It must be a tiring and difficult job to be the CEO for such a large company!

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Leadership – Leading his team

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Larry Page stated that his team should believe in audacious ideas. “By tackling big ideas that could really change the world, you attract incredibly smart people and achieve something worthwhile, even if it’s not your original goal.” He focuses on allowing employees to pay attention to their crazy ideas and cultivate the best of them. When he replaced Schmidt as CEO in 2011, Google was already very successful. Nevertheless, Page did not rely on that success. Instead, he continued to lead his employees towards new horizons of advancing technologies and innovations. Currently, he is working to train a nimbler and faster management approach. Page says that his employees should follow the qualities: • Be a good leader • Empower your team and don’t micromanage • Express interest in your team members’ success and well-being • Be productive and results-oriented • Be a good communicator and listen to your team • Help your employees with career development • Have a clear vision and strategy for the team • Have technical skills so you can advise the team Page uses the participating leadership style and laissez-faire management style. He gives much freedom to his employees so they can make the most out of their creativity.

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Leadership – Recruiting his team

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At Google, professional interviewers have conversations with the interviewee, then a phone interview, and finally an on-site interview at any Google offices. A part of the interview is to ask interviewees challenging questions to test their creative minds. Google hires people who are smart, determined, team-oriented and have more ability than experience. Unlike other big companies, Larry Page wants to find new candidates as quickly as possible, by giving a final answer to interviewees within weeks rather than months. He personally receives regular spreadsheets that allow him to review each candidate. Page hires employees from all over the world so there is a diverse workforce and different backgrounds. I think that the recruitment process at Google is very fair and open because they hire people of any nationality, race and religion. However it is difficult to get a job at Google because competition is high and the recruiters look for extreme creativity.

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Leadership – Motivating his team

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Larry Page provides employees with both financial and non-financial motivation. Google’s benefits and perks include:

  • Health insurance/health care coverage
  • On-site physicians, nurses and convenient medical services and
  • Retirement benefits
  • Free massages, fitness and gym facilities (so employees can be healthier and more relaxed)
  • Free first-class meals
  • Free transportation
  • Travel insurance and emergency assistance (even on personal vacations)
  • Time off and family allowance for new parents

Page focuses on the relationship between families and employees these perks help create. Employees at Google are equal and have the freedom to create whatever they want, which makes them feel empowered and also a sense of belonging.

The motivation theories Larry Page uses are Mayo & Herzberg’s theory and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. A participative management style will encourage the greatest motivation. He believes that treating people well is more important than making money.

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Leadership – Communicating with his team

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“Google should be like a family” he said. Larry Page believes that if employees feel that the company is like family, you get better productivity. Rather than caring about hours worked, he pays attentions to the output. Larry Page innovates and builds stronger relationships with employees while figuring out the best things he can do for them. Google’s health care costs have increased a lot less quicker than other companies because it looks after employees’ health by making sure they stay healthy and quit smoking. Since then, employees have been happier and more productive. Page asks the main staffs out of approximately 40000 employees to write him 60-word updates on their current projects. He encourages faster decisions and openness. Top executives only have to go to the company meeting once per week to collaborate and make quick choices.

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The organization structure of Google

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Structure

Google’s organizational structure is neither too tall nor too flat, though it tilts towards the flat side. The positions are further divided into interests. Experts say that this hybrid multidivisional structure is beneficial to a company like Google. The centralized are able to plan while small business units have flexibility to innovate.

I think that for such a large company like Google, a hybrid organizational structure balances the work delegation. Since all employees are bright and creative, this structure allows them to have more freedom.

The culture within Google

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Google doesn’t follow a specific corporate culture as it has a mixture of all. Inspired by his grandfather, Larry Page states that his job as a leader is to ensure that every Googler has opportunities. He wants his employees to feel that they’re having a meaningful impact and are contributing to the good of the society. Google strives to maintain an open culture where everyone is a contributor and feels comfortable sharing ideas and opinions. Every week, Googlers can ask questions directly to Page and other executives about any company issues.

Page is also known for his principle of “fire your assistant” where he encourages employees to ditch intermediaries. His secretary scheduled too many undesired meetings for him which caused her to become fired. He wants people to meet him personally to schedule appointments.

The company policy made by Larry Page is to think outside the bubble. He uses the 70/20/10 rule where employees spend

  • 70 percent of time on core business (search and advertising)
  • 20 percent on related projects (e.g. Google News and Google Earth)
  • 10 percent on unrelated new businesses

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