3 Illustrations Of Incredible Leadership From The Silicon Valley
Leadership in the technology industry not only determines success, but has the potential to transform the definition of success. Leaders in the tech industry now hold one-on-one conversations with world leaders, change the course of Internet history and make consequential decisions that impact millions and billions of people. It’s not just big-tech either. Let’s imagine a startup which is on a viable pathway to success or making a break in the tech space. The fast-paced environment demands leadership that is able to shoulder an enormous amount of responsibility. It would be close to impossible to formulate an ideal construct of what makes a tech leader so great. The meaning of leadership is evolving quickly and dramatically. There are always lessons in the past and present, if we knew how to look for them. Here are three tech leaders and some highlights from their career that encapsulate the idea of transformational leadership.
Marc Benioff’s Alliance
In 1999, Salesforce emerged on the scene as a gamechanger in the IT industry. Over the years, Marc Benioff had pioneered the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, making Salesforce one of the largest IT companies in the world. A meeting of the minds in 2003 determined the future direction of the company. Marc Benioff took a trip to Cupertino to meet the legendary CEO Steve Jobs. The idea of the cloud software ecosystem was born during the conversation that followed. Steve Jobs advised Marc Benioff to “build an application economy.” In 2006, The AppExchange was born. It was an instant phenomenon. Currently, 85% of Fortune 100 companies utilise AppExchange to find apps that fit their business needs. Marc Benioff didn’t initially name it The AppExchange, It was originally registered as AppStore.com. As a gesture of their professional friendship, the unused domain was later gifted to Apple when they launched the AppStore.
Alliances and collaborations can mean a lot in the highly competitive landscape. Leaders have so much to gain from other leaders.
Sundar Pichai’s Added Value
In just 15 years, Sundar Pichai went from being the VP of Product Management to his current position as the CEO of both Google and Alphabet. His meteoric rise is a testament to his prowess as a leader and innovator. When the company was facing some of it’s biggest challenges, Sundar Pichai had all the right answers. He was ahead of everyone in realising that Google had to have its own search engine. After being initially shot down, the idea for Chrome was greenlit. Today, Chrome has a worldwide browser market share of 63.58%. In other words, chrome is the gateway to the internet for most people in the world. But Sundar Pichai did not stop there. Sundar Pichai was an incremental force behind the launch of services like ChromeOS and Chromecast. He spearheaded several new renovations in Android. In his long experience, Sundar Pichai always pursued ideas that would add value to the product. He pursued them relentlessly and tirelessly.
Leaders in tech need to have the resolve to capitalise on opportunities. In a dynamic world, a leader has to think ahead and stay ahead.
Eric Yuan’s Change Mindset
Today we use ‘Zoom’ as a verb and a noun. Last year, when COVID-19 forced the whole world to go into lockdowns, Zoom became the go-to platform for virtual connection. Contrary to common perception, Zoom’s overnight success wasn’t actually an overnight success. Launched in 2011 by Eric Yuan, the company had a clear vision about the potential of video conferencing to the future of communications. However, their path to the present wasn’t always smooth. As an immigrant in the United States, Eric Yuan knew the importance of adapting to change. When COVID-19 led to skyrocketing downloads for Zoom, the company had to meet the enormous demand. They needed a lot more data centres, a lot more employees and a lot more emphasis on reliable support. With the whole world working remotely, Eric Yuan’s team had to scale up their capabilities in a very short time period. With Eric Yuan’s leadership, Zoom was able to beat giant companies like Google and rise to the occasion. Zoom earned its recognition by addressing privacy concerns, increasing security measures and quickly responding to the needs of a world surviving a pandemic.
To great leaders, change is ground zero for development.