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Google knows within 5 minutes who is a good leader

Good leadership is decisive for making an organisation successful. But how do you objectively measure whether someone is a good leader?



After years of research, Google came up with a list of 13 questions. And those questions are answered by the employees. What do the results show? Good leaders set the frameworks and mandate their people to perform in the best way within those frameworks.


What will the manager do for me?


The list of 13 questions consists of two parts. The first 11 questions can be scored on a 5-point scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree.


  1. My manager gives me actionable feedback that helps improve my performance.

  2. My manager does not "micro-manage".

  3. My manager shows understanding and compassion for me as a person.

  4. My manager's actions prove that she/he values my contribution to the team, even if it differs from her/his own idea.

  5. My manager keeps my team focused on key results and deliverables.

  6. My manager regularly shares relevant information from her/his managers and senior management.

  7. My manager had a meaningful conversation with me about my career opportunities over the past six months.

  8. My manager communicates clear goals for my team.

  9. My manager has the substantive technical expertise to manage me effectively.

  10. I would recommend my manager to other Google employees.

  11. I am satisfied with my manager's overall performance as a manager.

And the questionnaire concludes with two open questions on which the manager in question can develop further.


12. What would you recommend to your manager to keep doing?

13. What would you advise your manager to change?


Read the Inc. article Here's How Google Knows in Less Than 5 Minutes if Someone Is a Great Leader by Jeff Haden,


Good leadership enhances engagement


What is striking about this questionnaire from Google is that only one question (question 9) is about the expertise of the manager. The other questions are about soft skills such as communication, feedback, coaching, teamwork, respect and empathy.


This is completely in line with my previous blog article The hidden power of teams in which I already wrote that people like to work in teams if the team and the team leader really support and challenge them.


This is also a 5-point scale that employees can use to indicate how they rate their team and team leader. For the sake of completeness, I repeat those questions.

  1. I am really excited about my organisation's mission.

  2. I know well what is expected of me at work.

  3. In my team I am surrounded by people who share my values.

  4. Every day I have the chance to show my strength at work.

  5. My teammates support me through thick and thin (‘Have my back’).

  6. I know that I will be recognised when I do excellent work.

  7. I have full confidence in the future of my organisation.

  8. In my work I am constantly challenged to grow.

Whichever questionnaire you choose or combine, I would use this questionnaire and Google's to measure the true value of teams and leaders and to discuss how to improve and how good leaders and good teams can be better rewarded and supported .


Webinar - Culture in digital transformation


March 10, Sofie Meyer and Erik Hartman host a webinar on the essential role of culture in digital transformation, with an emphasis on leadership, team safety, well-being, digital literacy and change literacy.


There is plenty of room for interaction and questions. If you sign up for timaf.org newsletter, participation is free. You are very welcome!



Sign up for the webinar 'Culture in digital transformation' on March 10!

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