Google O8 Leadership, Glassdoor Transparency and You

Collaboration Organizational leadership Respect


Key Point: I just listened to a presentation from Robert Hohman, the CEO and co-founder of Glassdoor. He is passionate about workplace transparency. Explore the Glassdoor site if you haven’t already… You will instantly understand the value. Hohman emphasized his three beliefs about the Internet’s relation to everything.

1. If it can be shared, it will be shared.

2. If it can be rated, it will be rated.

3. If it can be free, it will be free.

The other day I had the opportunity to visit with Google at their Mountain View campus. Their view about leadership is this: Everyone has the right to expect to work for a superb leader. To put this belief into action, they have established what they call the “Oxygen Eight for Great Managers (O8).” Here’s a breakdown:

1. Be a good coach: Guidance and feedback will push you to grow and still make you strongly appreciated.

2. Empower the team and do not micromanage: Trust and be there to guide/answer questions.

3. Express interest/concern for team members’ success and personal well-being. Be incredibly authentic and caring: Promote individual team member success and ensure everyone on the team becomes valuable.

4. Be productive and results oriented: Be relentless at moving obstacles and making decisions in a timely manner.

5. Be a good communicator: Create extremely open dialogue… Permit issues and concerns that would be concealed in most organizations.

6. Help with career development: It’s about growing, acquiring and sharing experiences, not just getting promoted.

7. Have a vision: Collaborate to create, share and act on a vision.

8. Use technical skills to advise: Have the competence and willingness to roll up your sleeves and help.

Google’s O8 may not exactly fit you or your organization, but in typical Google fashion, there’s a lot of science, irreverent collaboration and research behind each principle that makes each step right for their business model. My premise is that all eight would make great sense for most enlightened companies.

So here is my belief… Clearly stated leadership principles like Google’s O8, PLUS transparency as promoted by companies like Glassdoor, will connect inside and outside of organizations. People will expect to know the leader(s) they are assigned to. They will make choices based on the transparent, authentic knowledge of how effective leaders are measured against openly stated key principles and values. They will want data, unfiltered and honest information about leaders before they commit or become engaged. They will not expect perfection, but will want the real deal. Leaders need to prepare for this open, straightforward, transparent evaluation to be posted in internal company platforms AND on external sites. It will be shared, and you will be rated.

Character Moves:

  1. Be prepared to accept the principles of transparency becoming a more relevant and vital part of being a team member and leader of others.
  2. How do you think you would do against the O8 if peers, bosses and direct reports evaluated you? Why would you want to work for the “you” as rated? Develop a plan to improve your “score” now… Before it’s shared.

Transparent leadership in The Triangle,