Leadership is about making others successful

There are more than enough lead­er­ship philoso­phies. Some of them are clear and under­stand­able, oth­ers are rather a loose series of com­mon catch­words. Since lead­er­ship has to do with peo­ple, lead­er­ship philoso­phies always pro­vide insight into the respec­tive con­cep­tion of man. Sun­dar Pichai has found a very con­cise and pos­i­tive phi­los­o­phy for him­self and Google, which should inspire many on the way to New Work: Lead­er­ship is about mak­ing oth­ers suc­cess­ful.

Much has been writ­ten about mod­ern lead­er­ship and espe­cial­ly the lead­er­ship of knowl­edge work­ers. Lead­er­ship is only legit­i­mate if it serves the pur­pose of self-man­age­ment of the peo­ple entrust­ed to it, Götz W. Wern­er once put it. Lead­er­ship must pro­vide ori­en­ta­tion with max­i­mum auton­o­my but with­out fear or micro­man­age­ment.

If we, you said, only take peo­ple as they are, we make them worse. If we treat them as if they were what they should be, we take them wher­ev­er they should be.
Johann Wolf­gang von Goethe

It’s not easy to devel­op a lead­er­ship phi­los­o­phy suit­able for the sit­u­a­tion and for the peo­ple involved from this pletho­ra of ideas. This task becomes even more dif­fi­cult in an orga­ni­za­tion that con­sists almost exclu­sive­ly of high­ly qual­i­fied knowl­edge work­ers. Sun­dar Pichai has suc­ceed­ed in doing just that, and he has also put his appar­ent­ly very suc­cess­ful lead­er­ship prin­ci­ple into a very sim­ple for­mu­la:

As a leader, a lot of your job is to make those peo­ple suc­cess­ful. It’s less about try­ing to be suc­cess­ful (your­self), and more about mak­ing sure you have good peo­ple and your work is to remove that bar­ri­er, remove road­blocks for them so that they can be suc­cess­ful in what they do.
Sun­dar Pichai (Source: QUARTZ)

Sun­dar Pichai delib­er­ate­ly does not focus on indi­vid­ual excel­lence, but on a cul­ture of col­lab­o­ra­tion. While else­where the strug­gle for vis­i­bil­i­ty for the pur­pose of an indi­vid­ual career hin­ders col­lab­o­ra­tion, Pichai wants a cul­ture in which peo­ple enjoy work­ing togeth­er:

I also val­ue team­work quite a bit and I think it’s real­ly impor­tant to build organ­i­sa­tions where peo­ple real­ly want to work togeth­er. Every­thing comes out of that. So, set­ting up col­lab­o­ra­tive cul­tures is anoth­er big thing I’ve been try­ing to focus on.
Sun­dar Pichai (Source: QUARTZ)

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