Larry Page has earned his name in the history books. He co-founded the company that is now known as Alphabet. The name Google has changed the world and the brand is a household name.
There are many who aspire to be a leader who has an impact on the world, but very few achieve it. Here are seven leadership skills that you can learn from Larry and implement in your life.
Lesson #1: Leaders Don’t Chase Money
When Larry and Sergey Brin met at Stanford University and built PageRank, a precursor to Google, they weren’t trying to change the internet with a billion dollar idea. All that they were interested in was building a technology that they thought was very exciting.
In late 1995, Larry was involved in a research project that birthed the idea for Google. He noticed that there were many links on the World Wide Web, and no one was really paying attention to them.
Larry saw this as an opportunity to study these links and try to rank them based on which links were important. This, he thought at the time, would be something fun to do and at the same time it would be something practical that would have real impact on the world.
Back then, when people searched for something like Stanford University, they were presented with links from the website at random. The search engines had no way of telling which links were important and which ones were relevant to the person performing the search. PageRank solved this problem and it later grew into the multi-billion revenue generating brand known as Google.
Lesson #2: The World Won’t Care Until You Make It
Most startups think about selling to a multinational after they grow large enough. There was a time when Larry and Sergey also considered selling. The only problem was that most of the companies they spoke to weren’t interested in the technology that they had built.
It was easy to recognize the talents of Larry and Sergey, and the big companies wanted to hire them. The company the duo built was seen more like baggage they had to take on.
Larry and Sergey got fair offers for their company and they could have become millionaires right then. However, they decided against the idea of selling because there was no point in selling the company to people who didn’t care about this new technology.
Lesson #3: If You Don’t Have Experience-Read!
Larry didn’t really have a mentor who taught him how to lead. What he relied on was reading. He read a lot of books on a variety of topics.
There are books on all sorts of management and leadership topics. Larry once jokingly said that he had read three books on how to name a company, which according to him is more than what anyone else would probably read on the subject. Larry went around calling himself an expert on naming companies after reading those books.
It pays to read. It doesn’t matter how big or small the subject matter.
Lesson #4: Know Your Handicap And Learn to Compensate
As the CEO in his late 20s, Larry knew his biggest handicap was his age. This problem posed challenges right from hiring people to managing his team. But, he found a way to compensate for this handicap.
The technical skills that Larry had as a young man allowed him to have a vision about the future. He was able to clearly see where the industry was headed. This helped him to compensate for his lack of experience.
Lesson #5: Big Ideas Take Time to Grow
At Google, Larry and his team always try to do things that they believe will have a huge impact on the world. Not all of these ideas work, and some of them that do work take a long time to become a huge success.
One of the innovations of the company that probably everyone has heard about is Google Maps. However, this technology took seven years for them to build. They started on this technology even before phones allowed people to use maps. The only place you could you use it was on your computer.
Big ideas like Google Maps take time to build and deploy. However, it is this hard work and ability to envision a better future that helps create successful businesses.
Lesson #6: The Biggest Motivator of Them All
How do you feel about Monday mornings? If you are a small business owner, imagine what your employees feel on Monday mornings. Do you think it is the same feeling that Larry and his team have?
Money can never be a motivating factor while working at a job or running a business. We all need money to pay bills and go on holidays, but life is much larger and grander than that. Larry often says that if they were motivated only by money they would have sold the company a long time ago.
For Larry and his team, it is important for them to feel that the work they are doing is impactful. People at Google know that they are working on technologies that will change the world. Getting up to go to work becomes a lot easier when you are on a mission to change the world.
Lesson #7: Know Your Employees And You Will Know Your Future
Larry takes keen interest in hiring people. He is personally involved in the hiring process.
When companies grow, it is natural for it to become bureaucratic. Larry hates that. That is why he created an approval system of hiring that he is a part of. In 2015, when Google hired 6,000 people around the world, Larry approved each and every one of them.
Being involved in the hiring process is empowering for Larry. He feels that his involvement helps him understand what’s really going on in the company.
The Job of a Leader
After all that is said and done, the core job of a leader is to try and see ahead of the curve and help the team to get where the company needs to go. While this may sound easy on paper, leaders know just how hard it is. Still, you can achieve much by just putting in the necessary work!
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