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Here’s How Google Knows in Less Than 5 Minutes if Someone Is a Great Leader

Great companies are built by great leaders. (That’s why the ability to identify and attract talented people is almost as critical as the ability to develop talented people.)

But since leadership is more art than science, how can you objectively determine if someone is a great leader?

That’s a good question, one Google has spent considerable time and effort trying to answer. It only makes sense that one of the most analytical companies in the world puts some of its analytical horsepower into determining how great teams are built and led.

Over time, the company identified the key behaviors of its best team managers. Then Google began asking team members to answer the following questions on a scale of 1 (strongly agree) to 5 (strongly disagree).

Here are Google’s leadership evaluation questions:

  • My manager gives me actionable feedback that helps me improve my performance.
  • My manager does not “micromanage” (get involved in details that should be handled at other levels).
  • My manager shows consideration for me as a person.
  • The actions of my manager show that he/she values the perspective I bring to the team, even if it is different from his/her own.
  • My manager keeps the team focused on our priority results/deliverables.
  • My manager regularly shares relevant information from his/her manager and senior leaders.
  • My manager has had a meaningful discussion with me about career development in the past six months.
  • My manager communicates clear goals for our team.
  • My manager has the technical expertise (e.g., coding in Tech, selling in Global Business, accounting in Finance) required to effectively manage me.
  • I would recommend my manager to other Googlers.
  • I am satisfied with my manager’s overall performance as a manager.

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