What makes a good boss according to Google

Google decided in 2009 to apply its prowess at technical research and analysis to find out what made great managers stand out from merely good or bad ones. It analyzed mountains of performance reviews, surveys, and other sources of information and submitted them to extensive crunching, pulling apart “more than 10,000 observations about managers—across more than 100 variables,” according to the paper. The main result was a list of “eight good behaviors.”

1. Be a good coach.
2. Empower your team and don’t micromanage.
3. Express interest in team members’ success and personal well-being.
4. Don’t be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented.
5. Be a good communicator and 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 help advise the team.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/frederickallen/2011/03/13/google-figures-out-what-makes-a-great-boss/#23e7daad7111

Holacracy: all voices matter

…an organization, like a plane, is equipped with sensors in the form of its people, all of whom are capable of sensing the reality around them. Unfortunately, in command-and-control organizations, not everyone’s voice matters–some voices are considered more important than others. Consequently, the voices of the supposed less important people, like the low-voltage indicator, can be ignored because they have no vehicle for processing their insights into meaningful action.

— Brian Robertson, the creator of holacracy. Source: Huffington Post

Better one-to-ones

Of all the things I do in my job, one-to-one’s are my favourite – yeah I know, crazy eh? I love talking with my team about their ideas, challenges, goals; giving (and getting) feedback; and helping them (and me) grow. And I’m sure they were Captain Kirk’s favourite too.

Check out my latest article on Medium about running better one-to-ones.

Lead with “why”

From Bruce Temkin’s blog:

Lead with why. Most corporate communications focus on “what” and “how,” telling people what needs to be done and how they should accomplish it. This command and control pattern may elicit short-term compliance, but it’s efficacy decays quickly and it loses value completely when situations change and the “how” no longer applies. Leaders need to elicit buy-in from people by starting communications with “why,” explaining the reason that something is important to the company and to the people who are being asked to do something. To fully empower people, share “why” a goal is important and “what” success looks like and leave it up to the individuals to figure out “how” to make it happen.

8 Core Beliefs of Extraordinary Bosses

Great article on the Core Beliefs of Great Bosses on Inc.’s site. Below are the Extraordinary Boss traits:

Extraordinary bosses…

  • see business as a symbiosis where the most diverse firm is most likely to survive and thrive. They naturally create teams that adapt easily to new markets and can quickly form partnerships with other companies, customers … and even competitors.
  • see their company as a collection of individual hopes and dreams, all connected to a higher purpose. They inspire employees to dedicate themselves to the success of their peers and therefore to the community–and company–at large.
  • set a general direction and then commit themselves to obtaining the resources that their employees need to get the job done. They push decision making downward, allowing teams form their own rules and intervening only in emergencies.
  • treat every employee as if he or she were the most important person in the firm. Excellence is expected everywhere, from the loading dock to the boardroom. As a result, employees at all levels take charge of their own destinies.
  • inspire people to see a better future and how they’ll be a part of it.  As a result, employees work harder because they believe in the organization’s goals, truly enjoy what they’re doing and (of course) know they’ll share in the rewards.
  • see change as an inevitable part of life. While they don’t value change for its own sake, they know that success is only possible if employees and organization embrace new ideas and new ways of doing business.
  • see technology as a way to free human beings to be creative and to build better relationships. They adapt their back-office systems to the tools, like smartphones and tablets, that people actually want to use.
  • see work as something that should be inherently enjoyable–and believe therefore that the most important job of manager is, as far as possible, to put people in jobs that can and will make them truly happy.