Work Rules! - Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead - Deepstash

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You are a Founder

It is within anyone’s grasp to be the founder and culture creator of their own team.

  • Take responsibility for your environment.
  • Choose to think of yourself as a founder.
  • Now act like one.
  • Trust Your employees.
  • Give your work meaning.

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Company Culture

If you give people freedom, they will amaze you.

A group’s culture can be studied in three ways:

  1. By looking at its artefacts such as physical spaces and behaviours.
  2. By surveying the beliefs and values espoused by group members.
  3. By digging deeper into the underlying assumptions behind those values.

Three defining aspects of good company culture:

  1. Mission
  2. Transparency
  3. Voice

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Building a Great Culture

Work rules for building a great culture:

  • Think of your work as a calling with a mission that matters.
  • Give people slightly more trust, freedom and authority than you are comfortable giving. If you are not nervous, you haven’t given them enough.

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The Rules Of Hiring

Hiring is the single most important people activity in any organization.

If you recruit like everyone else, place ads, sift resumes, interview, then hire, you will get the same results as everyone else which are “average.”

Work rules to hire differently:

  1. Hire slowly.
  2. Given limited resources invest your HR dollars first in recruiting.
  3. Only hire people that are better than you. (In at least one area)

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Finding exceptional candidates

  • Get the best referrals by being excruciatingly specific in describing what you are looking for.
  • Make recruiting part of everyone’s job. Turn every employee into a recruiter by soliciting referrals.
  • Don’t be afraid to try crazy things to get the attention of the best people. To Hire Quality Candidates.
  • Ask your best-networked people to spend even more time sourcing great hires.
  • Be willing to experiment.

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Attributes Of A Good Candidate

  • General cognitive ability. Smart people that can learn and adapt to situations.
  • Leadership. Emergent leadership.
  • Enjoys fun, intellectual humility.
  • Role related knowledge(the least important attribute).
  • Uses ‘We’ rather than ‘I’.

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The Principles Of Quality Hiring

  • Set a high bar for quality. Before you start, decide what attributes you want and decide as a group what great looks like. 
  • A good rule of thumb: hire only people better than you.
  • Find your own candidates.
  • Assess candidates objectively. Include subordinates and peers in the interviews. Take good notes.
  • Give candidates a reason to join.

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Mass Empowerment

  • Eliminate status symbols.
  • Make decisions based on data, not managers’ opinions.
  • Find ways for people to shape their work and the company.
  • Expect a lot.

Remember: The most talented and creative people cannot be forced to work.

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Performance Management

Intrinsic motivation is the key to growth, while extrinsic motivations can start to shut down the willingness and ability to learn.

  • Improve performance by focusing on personal growth instead of ratings and rewards.
  • Avoid defensiveness and promote learning.
  • Set goals correctly and make them public.
  • Gather peer feedback.
  • Adopt a calibration process for evaluations.
  • Split reward conversations from development conversations.

It is okay to pay two people in the same job completely different amounts. The power-law distribution should be based on performance.

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Good Managerial Attributes

  • Be a good coach.
  • Empower the team and do not micromanage.
  • Express interest and concern for team member success and personal well being.
  • Be very productive and results-oriented.
  • Be a good communicator, listen, share information.
  • Help the team with career development.
  • Have a clear vision and strategy for the team.
  • Have important technical skills that help advise the team.

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Learn From Employees

  • Engage in deliberate practice. Lessons in small digestible pieces with clear feedback.
  • Have your best people teach.
  • Invest only in courses you can prove to be effective in changing people’s behaviour.

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Making Life Easy

  • Make life easier for employees.
  • Find ways to say yes.
  • The bad stuff in life happens rarely, be there when it does.
  • Recognize the difference between what is and what ought to be.
  • Run lots of small experiments.
  • Nudge, don’t shove.

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The Newbies: Recommended actions for New joiners

  • Ask lots of questions.
  • Schedule regular one-on-one meetings with your manager.
  • Get to know your team.
  • Actively solicit feedback, don’t wait for it.
  • Accept the challenge. Take risks and don’t be afraid to fail.

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When Things Break

  1. Admit your mistake, be transparent about it.
  2. Take counsel from all directions.
  3. Fix whatever broke.
  4. Find the moral in the mistake and teach it.

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IDEAS CURATED BY

joshaw

Social worker

John Shaw's ideas are part of this journey:

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