Lots of people have written about what it takes to be a good manager. For high fact finders, like me, sometimes opinions and points of view are not satisfying enough. Now Google has weighed in with data driven and validated research on this subject. A summary of Google’s finding were published by Inc. Magazine. Here is a link to that article.
This is no minor study. The data includes 10,000 manager observations including performance reviews, surveys, and nominations for top-manager awards and recognition. Former Google VP of People Operations, Laszlo Bock’s team narrowed in on the “Eight Habits of Highly Effective Google Managers.” Although technical skills made the list, it came in dead last. Here is a complete list via Business Insider (listed in order of importance):
- Be a good coach;
- empower your team and don’t micromanage;
- express interest in employee’s success and well-being;
- be productive and results-oriented;
- be a good communicator and listen to your team;
- help your employees with career development;
- have a clear vision and strategy for the team; and
- have key technical skills, so you can help advise the team.
How To Be A Great Boss
Those first seven results all start with genuinely caring for your employees. Providing guidance, not instruction. Sharing goals, not the individual steps. Allowing two way communication. Seeking feedback. Focus on the strategy and the end goals; not the tactics and the intermediate steps.
The challenge for most of us is that no one teaches us how to be a great boss. There are lots of books out there with theory. Gino Wickman and Rene Boer have written a book which provides practical, immediately usable actions for being a great boss, entitled How To Be A Great Boss. Their definition is that a great boss has to be both a good leader and a good manager. As Warren Bennis has famously said,- “Leaders do the right things; managers do things right”. Depending on your scope and authority you may do more of one than the other, but you almost always have to do both.
If you feel like you can improve in this area, you would do well to read their book.