Distributed Leadership at Google: Lessons From the Billion-Dollar Brand
Ivey Business Journal
Google has been ranked as the best place to work in the United States. It practices a time allocation method of 70-20-10, with 70 per cent of employees’ time devoted to Google’s core business of search and advertising, 20 per cent to off-budget products, and 10 per cent to ideas based on personal interests and competencies. Luxury perks and generous rewards for employee innovations improve the likelihood that employees stay at Google instead of forming competing ventures. The firm is notable for its employee loyalty and investor confidence; the two founders and the CEO, Eric Schmidt, even took an annual salary of $1 just before the initial public offering in 2004. Schmidt’s leadership practices can be summarized as follows: 1. Get to know your employees. 2. Create new ways to reward and promote your high-performing employees. 3. Let your employees own the problems you want them to solve. 4. Allow employees to function outside the company hierarchy. 5. Have your employees’ performance reviewed by someone they respect for their objectivity and impartiality. This article concludes with the eight qualities of Google’s leader-managers, which relate to coaching, empowering, well-being, productivity, communication, career development, vision, and technical skills.
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