Mar 16, 2011

Google finds a Good Boss is about people

We all knew that from research about EQ and IQ - so much so that maybe someone will look at Google Oxygen a management effectiveness project - and say "Hey Google, you rediscovered the wheel".

It wanted to delve into its data and figure out what kind of people make good bosses in Google.

Guess what? It's the same kind of people who are better bosses in other places too. Read the results here:

Amplify’d from

For much of its 13-year history, particularly the early years, Google has taken a pretty simple approach to management: Leave people alone. Let the engineers do their stuff. If they become stuck, they’ll ask their bosses, whose deep technical expertise propelled them into management in the first place.

But Mr. Bock’s group found that technical expertise — the ability, say, to write computer code in your sleep — ranked dead last among Google’s big eight. What employees valued most were even-keeled bosses who made time for one-on-one meetings, who helped people puzzle through problems by asking questions, not dictating answers, and who took an interest in employees’ lives and careers.

“In the Google context, we’d always believed that to be a manager, particularly on the engineering side, you need to be as deep or deeper a technical expert than the people who work for you,” Mr. Bock says. “It turns out that that’s absolutely the least important thing. It’s important, but pales in comparison. Much more important is just making that connection and being accessible.”