If your company is looking for a leadership role model, you might look no further than Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page. Recently tapped as Fortune’s 2014 Businessperson of the Year and lauded by Forbes as being one of the ten most powerful people (he’s number nine), Page is undoubtedly a success. And his company’s results speak for it—Google posted third-quarter 2014 earnings that marked a 20% year-over-year increase, and among other successes from its vast array of products and services, Google now commands more than 2 million internet searches per second. But it’s more than the numbers Page and his company put up. It’s his way of getting people to perform—and perform not just well, but spectacularly.
It starts with Page’s personality. Clearly, he’s intelligent and creative. He’s also driven, ambitious, and collaborative. All of these traits lead to his appreciation of innovation and his desire for others to bring innovative ideas and new thinking to the table, as evidenced in his work philosophy—“We should be building great things that don’t exist.” That thinking propels the company to take on radical-seeming projects (called “moon shots”) that push the boundaries of whatever is currently the “norm.” And that thinking drives his rigorously pushing employees to do their best, to set their own expectations for the moon. According to Fortune’s Miguel Helft, there’s a well-loved joke circulating the Google offices. The joke goes something like this: “A brainiac who works in the lab walks into Page’s office one day wielding his latest world-changing invention—a time machine. As the scientist reaches for the power cord to begin a demo, Page fires off a dismissive question: ‘Why do you need to plug it in?’”
Employees note that the joke captures Page’s demand to drive technology forward, which reminds them to always aspire to more—and it works. Without a doubt, Larry Page is inspirational for Google employees. It’s evidenced by the company’s continued innovation and great success. And it’s even more evident in his personal cache within the organization: He has garnered a 96% approval rating on employee-driven career site Glassdoor. A quiet introvert who will truly listen to others’ ideas, Larry Page is a leadership role model.