Leadership Style of Google Ceo; Eric Schmidt Assignment

Leadership Style of Google Ceo; Eric Schmidt Assignment Words: 2331

This paper analyzes the leadership style of Google CEO; Eric Schmidt based on the of leadership concepts outlined by David Missies in his essay “On the Psychological Exchange Between Leaders and Followers”. Eric Schmidt measures up very well on all the dimensions except Protection-security. In his paper, Missies analyzes leadership by focusing on the relationship between leaders and followers. Missies postulates that followers chose to be led because doing so provides them certain benefits. In choosing to be led, the followers act in ways beneficial to the leader.

Thus leaders and followers are inked together in a symbiotic psychological relationship by exchanging benefits. Missies identifies five dimensions along which this exchange of benefits takes place. Benefits Leaders offer Followers Benefits Followers offer Leaders vision- Direction Focus-Self Direction ii Protection-security Gratitude-Loyalty iii Achievement-Buckminsterfullerene-Effort iv Inclusion-Belongingness Cooperation-sacrifice v Pride-self respect Respect-Obedience The first benefit of a Vision-Direction provides focus to the efforts of followers.

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It helps followers visualize a future state that is better than the current and titivates them to work towards it. Leaders provide answers to the questions “Why are we here”, “What is our purpose”, “Where are we going” and “How are we going to get there”. If the followers identify with the leaders vision, they are more likely to take ownership of the vision and work towards the goal with minimal oversight. As the followers work towards the goal they expect leaders to provide them security, stability, continuity and a sense of purpose especially during times of uncertainty.

In return, the followers feel an obligation towards the leader and his cause thus strengthening the bonds between them. On the ext dimension of ‘Achievement and Effectiveness”, Leaders convince their followers that audacious and difficult goals are achievable. The followers work hard sacrifice their own self-interest and are committed to the leader’s goals. This common goal bonds the members of the group together increasing cooperation and chances of success. Leaders also foster the human need for belonging in the next dimension of “Inclusion and Belongingness”.

By being part of group the followers can enjoy the successes of team members as if it were their own. Followers with a sense of belonging are more likely to make sacrifices for the embers of the group. This leads us to the next dimension of “Pride and self- respect”, where followers feel valued for their contribution to the group and take pride in the group’s achievements. Thus followers feel a sense of ownership in the outcomes of the group and are self-motivated. Even though the five dimensions are listed separately they are entwined. Leaders will find it hard to make a change on one dimension without affecting the other.

However under certain conditions (e. G. War) one dimension may be more important than another. Eric Schmidt Eric Schmidt has a B. S. In Electrical Engineering from Princeton and a Masters ND PhD in Computer Science from University of California, Berkeley. He spent 14 years at Sun Microsystems progressing through various technical jobs, eventually leading the development of the Java language and becoming the Chief Technical Officer. In 1997 he took over as CEO of Novel with the goal of turning the beleaguered company around. After Schmidt arrival the profitability at Novel increased.

However the internet bust of 2000 greatly slowed demand, leading to Novel’s acquisition of consulting firm Cambridge Technology Partners (CT P). Mr.. Schmidt relinquished Novel’s CEO position and assumed the role of chief trashiest. In 2001, he joined the Google’s board of directors and later became the CEO. Even though Eric is the legal CEO of Google he shares power with the founders Larry Page and Sergey Bring in a triumvirate . The leadership style of Eric Schmidt can be summarized in the following key points 1. Get to know your followers. 2. Create new ways to promote your followers. 3.

Let your followers own the problems you want them to solve 4. Allow people to function outside the company hierarchy 5. Review your team’s results by someone they respect. How Eric Schmidt measures on the Mickey’s five dimensions I. Get to know your followers Eric success at Sun, Novel and now Google can largely be attributed to his efforts at energize the workforce of software engineers (technologists, geeks). He is intimately aware of their strengths and weaknesses. E. G. An engineer’s obsession with being truthful and precise. When asked a question, they are more likely to answer only that specific question and nothing else.

They are so particular about being truthful, that someone not familiar with this behavior may interpret the engineer to be concealing facts or even Yin. However, when asked the right question, they provide highly effective information. Society stereotypes engineers and technologists as having poor social skills. While true in general, engineers are very social within their community. They communicate effectively amongst themselves and are organized into different sub-communities (mainframe-era graybeards, Unix people, PC-web generation, Linux aficionados etc. ).

They enjoy publicity, are deeply interested in having an impact, and making the world a better place. This leadership style primarily provides benefits on the “Vision-Direction” dimension. It helps Eric formulate a vision, his followers are more likely to accept and be motivated by. When Eric joined Novel, the company’s future was very much in doubt. He correctly recognized a culture of fear that pervaded the organization. Bright engineers with revolutionary ideas were reluctant to voice them for fear of being fired. The engineers however, complained vociferously amongst themselves leading to a culture of corporate cynicism.

Recognizing this pervasive bellyaching, Eric asked two engineers he met on the company shuttle, to give him the names of the smartest people they knew in the company. Eric met with each of them, and asked them in turn to identify the 10 smartest people they knew. In a few weeks, Eric had a list of 100 engineers he considered critical to Novel’s future. He met with each of them personally, encouraging them to take chances and follow their instincts. He removed the possibility of reprisals by their managers for voicing their opinions. This inspired the engineers and focused their efforts, resulting in innovative and improved products.

These changes helped Novel transform itself from a loss of $78 million to a gain of $102 million. II. Create new ways to promote your followers Erie’s opinion is that most of the engineers in a corporation do not aspire to be executives or managers. The traditional approach of promoting people by turning them into managers is not attractive to many engineers. He suggests creation of a technical career ladder that runs parallel to the executive ladder. To recognize outstanding achievements, other incentives like corporate awards, stock option grants need be handed out to the top performing engineers.

This management technique primarily benefits in the “Achievement Effectiveness” dimension in Mickey’s theory. During Erie’s tenure at Novel, 20 of the top employees and spouses were invited to the Presidents award program dinner each year. They were recognized tit plaques and stock option grants. Even though the executive effort for such a recognition is small, it serves as a great morale booster to the people being recognized, enhancing their self-esteem and commitment to the organization. Another example of promoting engineers is to let them present their products at sales meetings.

It allows the engineers to see, first hand, the positive impact their efforts have on customers realizing their dreams of making the world a better place. At a sales meeting for Sensor’s, Eric persuaded an engineer from Utah to recount his experiences of how a few engineers from Utah had pulled gather as a team, with no support from management in California to build this amazing product. The message resonated with the audience and helped suppress the culture of fear that existed in Novel at that point in time. At Google, Eric organizes a 5+ hour video presentation called “The Factory Tour”, where different teams present their work.

This event is broadcast over the web and archived for anyone else that would like to see it at a later date. On the video Eric comes on stage with a light saber from Star Wars, sending out the signal that Google celebrates the eccentricities of its engineers. Ill. Let your followers own the problem you want them to solve. This management technique is a consequence of getting to know your followers. Engineers like to solve difficult problems. They are invigorated by the challenge posed by intractable problems. But they only solve problems that interest them.

A leader with a good understanding of his follower’s interests can transform the problem into one that the engineer is interested in. The leader needs to articulate a challenging and significant end result, but leave out the specific steps the followers should take. This allows the followers to interpret and internalize the objective utilizing their creative talents in meeting the leader’s goals. “Vision-Direction” is the primary Missies dimension that benefits from this technique. At Google, Eric has stated the company’s goal as “… Organizing the worlds information making it universally accessible and useful”.

An engineer working to index billions of web pages can easily identify with this laudable goal. As a practical matter the goal of making information universally accessible is a more meaningful goal for the engineer, interested in making his mark on society, rather than a mundane goal of increasing Google’s revenues by $300 million Lars. Eric considers this transfer of ownership to be so important that while at Novel he created a quarterly in-house radio show modeled after Nap’s “Car Talk”. He even made tapes available for in-car listening. IV.

Allow people to function outside the company hierarchy Companies make the mistake of promoting their most productive and creative engineers into research, strategy or management positions. In strategy they produce brilliant documents that never get used. In research, they get Gottfried. In management positions they end up devoting most of their time making sure everyone else is following corporate policies. A similar problem is caused by managers who are not as smart as the people reporting to them. These managers inhibit innovative ideas coming from their bright subordinates.

Eric suggests the best way to manage engineers, is to let them self-organize outside the company hierarchy. Engineers seek out like-minded people with complementary skills and organize themselves into a team. As teams organize, a natural leader emerges from their midst. Team members report to a manager in the traditional company hierarchy but are not forced to spend all their time on the manager’s priorities. On Mickey’s dimensions, this technique provides benefits in the “Inclusion-Belonging” and the ‘Achievement-Effectiveness” dimension.

By allowing engineers to chose their own groups, it fulfills the engineers desire to belong. Since the members of the team join by choice rather than management decree, they have a high probability of reaching their peak performance. The engineer also has the latitude to work on a problem that interests him the most. At Google engineers are given the latitude of spending 20% of their time experimenting in areas they consider interesting. This lets loose their creative persist, giving Google a distinctive competitive advantage over its competitors.

The history of software is replete with cases, where few people come up with a brilliant piece of software. A couple years later a few hundred people struggle to follow-up on their idea e. G. The Maxilla browser, Unix, Linux, Java etc. This novel method of organizing teams has helped Google come up with innovative products like Google Earth and Resort. V. Review your team’s results by someone they all respect. Even though the previous management techniques increase the probability of team success, it is not infallible. Teams of brilliant engineers fail when they are following the wrong idea, are on the track or have poor execution.

Checkpoints and reviews are used to identify problem teams. The challenge then, is how to pass on this unpleasant message to the team members. Eric management style is to let the team’s progress be reviewed by individuals the team respects. In most companies there exist a few individuals that are universally respected or at least more respected than everyone else. These individuals have a way of articulating principles and have very good memories. Since they are considered impartial, teams are more open to receive feedback or sections even if the decision goes against them.

This technique mainly provides benefits in the Pride-Self-respect dimension. Conclusion The preceding discussion on Erie’s management style mentions only engineers since they are the people he is most involved with. However, the techniques can be extrapolated to non-engineering professions as well. In summary, Eric Schmidt provides benefits on Mickey’s entire dimension list except t]Protection- Security”. The lack of benefit along “Protection-Security” dimension is not as serious as it may first seem since this dimension has more relevance in times of AR and crisis.

Software engineers consider themselves to be living in a golden era with rising salaries and stock options. Vision-Direction is the dimension that benefits most from Erie’s management style, followed by Achievement- Effectiveness, Inclusion-Belongingness and lastly Pride-Self respect. Effectively articulating audacious (organizing the worlds information) and meaningful (making it universally accessible) goals allows the employees at Google to be motivated and highly committed. They have internalized Erie’s vision, and expanded their own thinking releasing a sequence of innovative products.

While others businesses have focused on serving the Fortune 500 or Fortune 1 000, Google has expanded its horizons to serve the Fortune 1 million, all the while ensuring the end-user gets the fastest and most relevant search results. Thus Eric Schmidt in his role as a leader has set forth the right conditions enabling his follower’s success and consequently the company’s success.

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