What Makes a Highly Effective Manager? Ask Google Employees.

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Effective Managers

When it comes to great models of leadership, we often look to companies that have achieved widely acknowledged, global success. Google is one such example of a company whose decisions are carefully scrutinized but also admired by its peers, customers, and competitors.

So when Google took a deep dive into its performance reviews and applied data analytics in a way only a company like Google would, the result was a workplace manifesto that has come to be known as “Eight Habits of Highly Effective Google Managers,” as recently highlighted by Inc.

The main takeaway is that of the eight leadership behaviors they honed in on, “technical expertise ranked dead last.” The Google study highlights what many of us already know or have experienced from our own managers – that technical competency does not in and of itself lead or translate to successful management capability.

To be clear, its existence on the list means that technical expertise is still important, but that in the eyes of employees, relational and interpersonal skills are traits they value more in their bosses and managers.

Below are the key relational leadership skills that stand out from the Google list:

  • Be a good coach
  • Be a good communicator and listen to your team
  • Help your employees with career development

Transitioning to this level of leadership requires a shift in mindset. Managers who may have previously been the “doers” now need to redirect their focus from the work itself to the people who get the work done, and invest their energy there.

To help cultivate this leadership mindset, it’s essential to equip managers with the right skills and train them with a holistic view of leadership. By balancing the domains of strategy, work, and people, highly effective managers act as the liaison between the work that needs to get done and the people tasked with doing it. Ultimately, making connections and taking an interest in the people you manage can help drive success, improve employee engagement, and pay dividends within your organization.

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yEighty Strategy Execution is a global leader in project-focused training, enabling people to close the strategy execution gap and drive higher performance by strengthening relational and technical skills. By combining the best of cutting-edge university research and proven business techniques, we deliver training designed to increase alignment and engagement across teams, business units, or the entire enterprise. Learn more today at strategyex.com. Join the conversation on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Tim Wasserman
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Tim Wasserman

Chief Learning Officer at TwentyEighty Strategy Execution
Tim Wasserman, Chief Learning Officer for TwentyEighty Strategy Execution, is responsible for leading the strategy and content of all Strategy Execution learning solutions. He is an expert in the successful implementation of large-scale organizational behavior change, with over 25 years of experience developing and implementing enterprise-wide initiatives for Fortune 500 companies.
Tim Wasserman
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