Sundar Pichai

Silicon Valley is not the easiest place to break into and for those who reach its pinnacle by either creating successful companies like Mark Zuckerberg with Facebook or coming in later to lead already successful companies like Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, they become inspirations for the rest of the world.

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Sundar Pichai has one of the most understated personalities of any big wig in Silicon Valley. He is frequently described as shy and soft-spoken but almost no one argues about the talent and leadership chops that Sundar Pichai exudes.

He had been with Google for a decade serving as a  low-profile executive when he was appointed the CEO in August 2015. It was an unprecedented jump that many have tied to his ability to create exceptional products and his remarkable leadership style. Sundar Pichai was apparently the nice guy who brought people together and helped create great things.

Sundar Pichai

Pichai visited his alma mater, the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur on January 5, a truly famous son of the institution. He spoke to eager students about his leadership style and we have an excerpt from that speech that will give you a glimpse into how collaboration and trust make for effective leadership.

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Sundar Pichai says;

“When you’re trying to run something at the scale of Google, we have now over 60,000 people…you rely on other strong leaders. A lot of what I do is… I have an outstanding leadership team. It’s learning to let go and really empowering people at all levels of the organisation, and trusting them to do the right thing.

“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. So that’s how I’ve always thought about it.

“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.”

With the success that Sundar Pichai has recorded, not only are his words very attractive to employees, they should also serve as great advice to CEOs and leaders who hope to create great things.