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Really, really, really developing leadership at Google


Apologies for only just blogging on this now, but it takes me a while to sift through the Sunday Times each week...Anyway, if you read the Sunday Times a few weeks back (3 April edition) you’ll no doubt have read the huge spread on Google and the fact that co-founder Larry Page is taking over from Eric Schmidt as chief executive after a decade of heading up the role.

Google has become an institution since it was created, revolutionising the way that we all use the internet, responsible for the verb ‘Googling’ getting into our language. What was interesting in the article on Sunday was not how Google as a brand has climbed the corporate ladder, but rather how it has. The focus for the business has been to put the right people in the right place and giving them key responsibilities. 

Sounds simple, but when you’re growing at the rate that Google is, it would be easy to take your eye of the obvious. There is now a real desire to cascade the cohesive nature at the top of the business, such as the fact that the co-founders used to be able to finish off each others sentences, throughout the rest of the organisation.

One of Google's mottos is “it's best to do one thing really really well”, and this is echoed in their approach to empowering the people within their company. But it’s not all sunshine at Google HQ, it has lost important senior leaders to Facebook - four of Facebook's 13 top execs used to work at Google, and this has clearly given the company leaders food for thought. It will be interesting to se how this plays out, and see just how focused this innovative and technology-based company can be on developing leaders within the organisation for Google top roles, rather than Facebook's

James Pentreath, Leadership Consulting Partners
Download our latest whitepaper at Leadership Development Programme: How to identify underperfoming teams 

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