Building better managers at Google

Interesting story in the Sunday NYT on Google’s journey to improve managers. Being Google, a tremendous effort was undertaken in analysis leading to  – the Eight Google Rules. Nothing earth shaking here as paraphrased:

  1. Be a good coach
  2. Empower your team, don’t micromanage
  3. Express interest in team members success and well being
  4. Don’t be a sissy, be productive, results-oriented
  5. Be a good communicator, listen to your team
  6. Help your employees with career development
  7. Have a clear vision and strategy for the team
  8. Have key technical skills so you can advise the team

Interesting that coaching skills is number one. In my last corporate role, we set on the journey to build a a high performing workplace. Success here was predicated on managers and leaders being great coaches. However, we discovered that current managers/leaders were terrible coaches. Why was that? These manager/leaders never received coaching in their formative roles. When presented with 360 feedback, many struggled since this was the first time these individuals received candid feedback from peers, leaders and subordinates.

Hopefully Google will invest development for all managers to become excellent coaches since I suspect that’s not a developed skillset.

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