In his book, Work Rules! Laszlo Bock, Google’s longtime head of People Operations, lists the decisions managers at Google cannot make unilaterally:
Whom to hire
Whom to fire
How someone’s performance is rated
How much to increase someone’s salary or give a bonus or stock grant
Who wins awards for great management
Whom to promote
When code is of sufficient quality to be incorporated into the Google code base
Final decision on a product and when to launch it
So, what exactly do managers actually do at Google, Fortune magazine’s seven-time #1 Best Company to Work for in the world?
“Managers serve the team,” says Eric Schmidt, Google’s former CEO and Executive Chairman.
A manager’s job is to clear roadblocks and inspire their team.
Which is a great working definition of servant leadership, our leadership philosophy at PCI.
Servant leadership is a long-term proposition, i.e. you don’t have a meeting, decide to call yourself a servant leadership organization, and then everything is different. But with time – in our case over twenty years – servant leadership has changed how we operate.
It’s made us a much better company.
Reflection: What are my underlying beliefs about the people on my team?
Action: Have a conversation around Google’s philosophies on management.