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How Google effectively assesses its leaders



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Google is notorious for its quirky and atypical interview questions. However, when it comes to leadership evaluation, the technology giant turns to the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

To identify the key behaviours of its best team managers, Google asked team members to answer the following questions on a scale of 1 (strongly agree) to 5 (strongly disagree).

  1. My manager gives me actionable feedback that helps me improve my performance.
  2. My manager does not micromanage (get involved in details that should be handled at other levels).
  3. My manager shows consideration for me as a person.
  4. The actions of my manager show that he/she values the perspective I bring to the team, even if it is different from his/her own.
  5. My manager keeps the team focused on our priority results/deliverables.
  6. My manager regularly shares relevant information from his/her manager and senior leaders.
  7. My manager has had a meaningful discussion with me about career development in the past six months.
  8. My manager communicates clear goals for our team.
  9. My manager has the technical expertise (e.g., coding in Tech, selling in Global Business, accounting in Finance) required to effectively manage me.
  10. I would recommend my manager to other Googlers.
  11. I am satisfied with my manager’s overall performance as a manager.

Then Google employees are asked to complete two other questions: 

12. What would you recommend your manager keep doing?
13. What would you have your manager change?

The majority of the questions above are based on soft skills, instead of technical skills, affirming the purpose of leadership: Being an excellent communicator that nurtures and develops his or her team to meet the goal.

In terms of mother nature, the alpha male or female of the wolf pack who is aggressive towards invaders and cooperative within its whole pack epitomises the role of the leader. Without the pack, it will just be a lone wolf who lives most of its time alone. It might be more capable than others but when it comes to hunting, it will encounter more difficulties and dangers.

Very often, engagement, satisfaction and connection with the leader is based on the autonomy and independence a leader offers.

The story was first reported by Inc

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