How Does Google ‘Search Inside Itself?’

Accountability Books Personal leadership


Key point: As Chief People Officer of a leading financial institution, I’m interested in learning what type of leadership development has a sustainable positive impact. I was fascinated by the New York Times article on the front page of April 29, 2012’s business section by Caitlin Kelly. One of the most popular development courses at hard driving Google is called “Search Inside Yourself” (SIY) presented by a Google engineer (employee 107), Chade-meng Tan. The class has three steps: Attention training, self- knowledge and self-mastery. The program has a waiting list, and runs seven weeks. Over one thousand Google people have taken the class to date. If hard driving, results focused Google sees the value in Emotional Quotient (EQ) development, how about you?

My view is that EQ is the real differentiator these days. Most companies have more than ample IQ machismo. But organizations, business models, processes, systems, etc. are run by people. And the full court press on productivity and speed in today’s organizations, exacerbated by technology and global competition, is relentless. There is no such thing as “down time” unless you want to go out of business. So we have to equip ourselves with ever increasing skills in self-awareness, self-mastery, and super powers that enable us to connect within ourselves and to others. Our mission is to personally evolve AND develop exceptional value. Ideally the organizations we work at, like Google, make that skill development opportunity available through formal learning opportunities. If not, (and many organizations don’t get it) we need to find the resources to develop ourselves without depending on our employers.

Character move:

  1. Find out the content in Google’s “Search Inside Yourself” course (read Tan’s new book of the same title). Search for other EQ development courses offered.
  2. Determine key skills in the areas of attention training, self- knowledge and self-mastery that you want to develop. There are many ways of accessing great resources other than what Google has to offer. Many very credible teachers are on-line and/or in your local area.
  3. Develop your own, personal “Search Inside Yourself” course and take one step at a time, over a lifetime. Ideally find a “buddy” or two you can work with to make the journey more fulfilling and successful.
  4. Learn about the Siberian North Railroad (S.B.N.R.R.). Stop.Breathe.Notice.Reflect.Respond.

SIY in The Triangle

– Lorne