What leaders can learn from Google’s Project Oxygen

Google ran an experiment to prove that managers are unhelpful.  The found something different – the right managers can be very helpful.

Google established the 10 Oxygen behaviours of Google’s best managers (behaviours 3 and 6 have been updated and behaviours 9 and 10 are new):

  1. Is a good coach
  2. Empowers team and does not micromanage
  3. Creates an inclusive team environment, showing concern for success and well-being
  4. Is productive and results-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 Google
  10. Is a strong decision maker

While leadership is a contested topic (you can read my posts on the history of leadership here), Google has been able to avoid the common pitfalls of (opinions, selection bias and post hoc analysis) by rigorously investigating what makes leaders successful in their organisation.   While care needs to be taken when translating this into your organisation (you will probably have different people, process, technology and culture), these behaviours provide a great basic framework to build on.

You can find more resources from Goole here.