It seems that not only are those genius’s over at Google interested in changing the world through technology – they’re also passionate about leadership and people skills. A recent project conducted by Google, called Project Oxygen, aimed to find out what their very best managers do that creates better performing individuals and teams. Here’s what they found out – it can be transferred to football as well.
The project gathered data from more than 10,000 observations about managers – from performance reviews, feedback surveys and other reports. From the data they were able to draw a number of conclusions that have become ‘Google’s Rules’ for leadership behaviours:
Be a Good Coach: Provide specific, constructive feedback, balancing negative and positive. Have regular one to ones, presenting solutions to problems tailored to employees’ specific strenghts
Do you the soccer coach take time to become the very best coach you can be? It sounds obvious right, yet in my many years of working in the game I’ve found some coaches to be little more than babysitters. I’ve found some coaches who just wanted to do courses because it ‘ticked a box.’ I’ve found some coaches who weren’t passionate about communication skills, leadership skills, tactical analysis, technical understanding. Be the very best coach you can be
Empower your Team and don’t Micromanage: Balance advice with freedom. Make ‘stretch’ assignments to help the team tackle big problems
Do you the soccer coach ask questions rather than just bark out instruction. Do you give your players the freedom to uncover how to reach their personal best? Do you offer silence alongside prompts? Do you create ‘stretch’ moments for your players – difficult drills, tough playbooks can make the flexible, tough, skillful player
Express Interest in Team Members’ Success and Personal Well-Being: Get to know your employees as people. Make new members feel welcome and help ease their transition
Do you the soccer coach see the persona behind the player? Do you get to know that person? Do you take time to get to know their family, their interests, their fears, worries and doubts? Do you know their dreams? Have you created a family atmosphere at your club – one where no one feels intimidated? Where no one feels like they can’t express themselves?
Don’t be a sissy: Be Productive and Results-Oriented: Focus on what employees want the team to achieve and how they can help achieve it. Help the team prioritise work and use seniority to remove roadblocks
Do you the soccer coach have a passion to help your players improve? Through this passion do your players know themselves what needs to get better to improve their games, the games of their team mates and ultimately the results on the scoreboard? If they do know do you help remove the roadblocks that might prevent them reaching their goals?
Be a good communicator and listen to your team: communication is two ways – listen and share. Be straightforward about the goals of the team – help them connect the dots. Encourage open dialogue.
Do you the soccer coach have an open door for your players to come and speak with you? Or are they scared to? Do they understand the goals of the team? Do they know their own goals? Can they talk with each other? Can they talk to other members of the staff?
Help your employees with career development
Do you the soccer players help players improve?
Have a clear vision and strategy for the team: Even in the midst of turmoil, keep the team focused on goals and strategies. Evolve the team’s vision and involve the team in setting goals
Do you the soccer coach help players have a clear vision for their game? Do you help your team have a clear vision for the way in which you want them to play? Do you help them believe in how you want them to play?
Have key technical skills so you can advise the team: Roll up your sleeves and conduct work side by side with the team and understand the specific challenges of the work
Do you the soccer coach work closely with your players to help them get the responsibilities within their role spot on?
Do you coach footballers like Google managers coach their employees and work mate? Do you go to the nth degree? Do you leave no stone left unturned? Is your coaching culture a ‘leave nothing out there’ culture?