This Sunday’s Business Section of the New York Times carried one of the best stories on management I have ever read. It had to do with an internal study Google conducted to determine not only the best qualities in the best managers, but how are they ranked. Considering this was Google, you would have thought that technical expertise would be first or second on the list. In fact, it was dead last. What employees valued most were even-keeled bosses who made time for one-on-one meetings; who helped people puzzle through problems by asking questions, not dictating an
swers; and who took an interest in employees’ lives and careers.
The Eight Basic Qualities, according to Google, are:
- Be a good coach
- Empower your team and don’t micromanage
- Express interest in team members’ success and personal well-being
- Don’t be a sissy: 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
- Have key technical skills so you can help advise the team
Yes, they sound like the basics, but these are the essential tools for managerial success. Google is the first firm that really studied these qualities analytically. The result is a clear and
unbiased study that everyone can use.
Anecdotally, this has been my experience over the past 30+ years running PR agencies. The only thing I might change is the ranking of #7: having a clear vision and strategy for the team. I’d move that quality up a few notches. Otherwise, right on Google!