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Eight Critical Leadership Skills

Google, as you know, is one of the most influential businesses of our time. There’s one thing in particular that they do better than anyone else…they relentlessly research their own corporate practices. Whether it’s hiring, firing, promoting, or rewarding, they do it according to analytical research, not by feel. One of their biggest projects was a study code-named Project Oxygen. This study focused on finding out why some managers were more effective than others. Beer Dubey, a People Analytics manager for Google said, “Oxygen was a huge success for us, it helped clarify what differentiated good managers from everyone else and how we could help people improve.”

From Project Oxygen came a list of eight critical management skills. Some of these are obvious, but others aren’t. Some even seem irrelevant to leadership. However, when they’re combined with the rest of the list they form a safe and compelling work environment. Here are the characteristics that the best managers possess:

  1. They’re a good coach
  2. They empower their workers and don’t micromanage
  3. They express interest and concern in their subordinates’ success and well-being
  4. They’re results oriented
  5. They listen and share information
  6. They help with career development
  7. They have a clear vision and strategy
  8. They have key technical skills

Although this was a list designed for business, it’s not difficult to see how a coach could possess these same characteristics. It’s hard to argue with the people at Google. Their effectiveness in creating superior work environments is unquestioned. It would do our profession well to take notice of their research.

If you’d like to delve deeper in this topic, then you may take a look at the book titled Work Rules! Insights From Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead. Laszlo Bock, the Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, helps to explain why Google is considered one of the best places to work.

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