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After 10 years of research, Google has found out what makes a great boss

Google is a massive data processor. That’s no surprise that they wanted to go beyond the Internet and find out how to make the company even more healthy. With data, of course.

Project Oxygen launched in 2008, aiming to provide answers for this question – what makes a great manager? In this project, Google was investigating managers’ behavior in correlation to the key metrics, such as employee turnover, satisfaction, and performance.

They identified eight characteristics of a good manager. But the company grew. They refined the characteristics and learned new things. And Google continued to grow. What they found out was that the habits that brought the best results grew and changed with the company growth.

After a decade of Project Oxygen research, we can learn not only based on what we ‘feel’ but also what the data has to say. So here they are, 10 characteristics of a good boss:

  1. Is a good coach
  2. Empowers the team and does not micromanage
  3. Creates an inclusive team environment, showing concern for success and well-being
  4. Is productive and result-oriented
  5. Is a good communicator – listens and shares information
  6. Supports career development and discusses performance
  7. Has a clear vision/strategy for the team
  8. Has key technical skills to help advise the team
  9. Collaborates across the company
  10. Is a strong decision maker

Well, what can we add here? Most of these are not revolutionary. We all know that. What’s interesting here is the fact that it’s all based on data. It also connects to various metrics that bring value to the company. It’s as clear as ever that following these 10 habits can turn ‘a leader’ into a great leader.

Why are there still so many managers that keep ‘People leave managers, not companies.’ statement alive? There might be many theories but one will be true to every case. The theory is one. Practice is the hardest part.

For the full story, head over to Inc.


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