Google’s CEO Is Facing Intense Criticism for His Leadership. His Response is Pure Emotional Intelligence

Last month, Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, confronted criticism over his leadership style within the type of a New York Times piece. The report depends on 15 present and former executives who’ve expressed discontent over–among different things–the period of time Pichai takes to make selections. 

According to the Times, staff expressed frustration that “Google didn’t transfer rapidly on key enterprise and personnel strikes as a result of he chewed over selections and delayed motion.” For instance, the sources complained that Pichai took a yr to fill an vital place, even when there have been certified candidates. They additionally pointed to the truth that Google didn’t buy Shopify for example of Pichai’s flawed decision-making course of. 

It’s value mentioning that had Google (or most precisely, Google’s mum or dad firm Alphabet) tried to amass Shopify, it might have definitely drawn even larger antitrust scrutiny than the corporate faces already. Never thoughts that it might have put itself in direct competitors with Amazon.

The article factors out that the corporate has misplaced 36 vice presidents up to now yr. That appears dangerous till you dig a bit of deeper. And, by dig a bit of deeper I imply, learn the subsequent paragraph, which mentions that Google has 400 VPs. It’s definitely truthful to critique leaders on the high of any group, however that is hardly a mind drain.

Besides, it is not as if Google underneath Pichai has made a sequence of missteps or fallen behind. Perhaps it hasn’t moved ahead as rapidly as some would really like, but it surely’s nonetheless probably the most dominant American companies. 

With the exception of what seems to be a rising present of discontent amongst some staff, the enterprise itself seems to be hitting on all cylinders. That is not to say that the discontent itself is not a problem, but it surely’s not an issue with the enterprise mannequin, per se. It’s one thing fully completely different, which we’ll get to in a minute.

Google, in the meantime, is probably the most useful, most worthwhile corporations on earth. It has billions of customers which are usually pleased with the providers it provides–often for free. 

I believe you can argue that have of utilizing Google Search has deteriorated as the corporate continues so as to add extra promoting, however that does not change the truth that it is the default place individuals go to reply questions. It’s nonetheless essentially the most worthwhile promoting platform ever constructed.

There is, nonetheless, one thing hanging about your entire story to me. Mr. Pichai didn’t present a response for the New York Times piece, which accommodates the usual “The firm declined to make Mr. Pichai, 49, obtainable for remark.” It did, nonetheless, make some staff obtainable for interviews. 

I learn a couple of dozen follow-up tales that coated the Times report, and I didn’t discover a single story with a quote from Pichai. I even contacted Google, which had nothing so as to add. 

Not to make an excessive amount of out of the silence, however I truly suppose it is a highly effective lesson for each chief:

First, whenever you face criticism, it is okay to let it go. It’s good to withstand the urge to reply publicly. At a time the place it isn’t unusual for individuals with a platform to make use of it to undermine their critics, there’s one thing to be mentioned for saying nothing in any respect. 

There’s one thing to be mentioned for permitting individuals to criticize you, even within the New York Times, and letting the chance to reply publicly move you by. That’s very true when there’s virtually nothing to be gained by lashing out aside from assuaging a sore ego–something that does not appear to be in character for the famously laid-back Pichai.

Second, whenever you face criticism internally, ask your self what you possibly can be taught. If the critics are proper, then change. If they are not, ignore it and proceed doing what you suppose is the fitting factor for all stakeholders.

Finally, shifting slowly and intentionally is not essentially a foul factor. Google is not a “transfer quick and break issues” form of firm. It’s one of many largest, most influential corporations on earth. It impacts the day by day lives of billions of individuals, lots of which use its services as the first approach they convey and work together with the world round them.

When you concentrate on it, Google is at a dangerous second with regulators and lawmakers taking purpose at its dimension and enterprise. Having a considerate chief who is not serious about breaking issues is a bonus at a time like this. It’s additionally an excellent instance of emotional intelligence.

The opinions expressed right here by columnists are their very own, not these of

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