Google chief executive Sundar Pichai’s secret to great leadership

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Sundar Pichai
Source: EPA/RAJAT GUPTA

The secret to successful leadership lies not in the ability of the ruling leader but in their ability to build other great leaders, says Google chief executive Sundar Pichai.

“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,” said Pichai during a recent visit to the Indian Institute of Technology in West Bengal.

Pichai graduated from the college in 1993 and visited it after more than 20 years this month, reports Quartz India roving editor Devjyot Ghoshal.

Pichai revealed how heavily vested his leadership is in collaboration and empowering others during a talk to a small group of students at the college.

“I have an outstanding leadership team,” said Pichai.

“It’s learning to let go and really empowering people at all levels of the organisation, and trusting them to doing the right thing.

“As a leader, a lot of your job is to make those people successful.”

It’s this approach, says Ghoshal, that has catapulted Pichai to the top job at Google in just 10 years.

“Pichai emerged as the nice guy who could pull teams together and get work done,” says Ghoshal.

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Dinushi Dias is a journalist at StartupSmart and multimedia content producer. When she’s out of the office, she works on social projects with her We Love It Productions family and buddying filmmakers.
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