How many Google brains does it take to identify a great boss?

Posted March 16, 2011 in Latest News & Insights

This blog post is highly valuable and you, my dear subscriber, are getting it for FREE because that’s how I roll. The information contained in this post is the result of the tireless work of a team of data-miners at the mother of all data-crunchers:  Google.  In 2009 statisticians within the company embarked on a mission to research what made certain Google bosses great.  After a year of number crunching, analysis, and goodness knows how many $$, they came up with the “8 Habits of Highly Effective Google Managers.”  Then, they decided to spend even more money to rank these 8 habits and, (insert drumroll here) here’s the results:

According to the “people analytics teams” (not just team my friends, but TEAMS) at Google, the key things that employees valued in their managers were:

  1. Even-keeled bosses who made time for one-on-one meetings;
  2. Bosses who helped people puzzle through problems by asking questions (not by dictating what to do);
  3. Managers who took an interest in employees’ lives and careers.

Anyone else out there fascinated by the fact that it took a team of statisticians over a year to figure this out?  Couldn’t they have just cracked open Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffmans’ book First Break All the Rules released, by the way, in 1999?

I found this a bit of a testament to the fact that really smart people can often waste a lot of time trying to overcomplicate very simple things.  So, to boil it down one step further… to be a great manager, you need to…

  1. Meet with your staff regularly and ask them how they’re doing;
  2. Don’t jump into solve all their problems for them.  Ask questions; and,
  3. Find out what they did on the weekend.

Happy leading!


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