What does it take to be a good manager at Google?

Being a manager at a company is a difficult task. You need to help people, motivate them to work, plan their projects, and make decisions.

Even though a lot of people dream of becoming a manager, or any sort of boss at a company, not everyone is fit for that kind of pressure and expectation.

But when it comes to Google, being a manager is a completely different experience. The reason? It's kinda hard to manage people that are most likely a lot smarter than you.

Google's head of human resources, Laszlo Bock spoke to Quartz’s Max Nisen recently, on the subject of employing and managing people, and he says managing Googlers is a vastly different experience.

Bock says that in most companies you get rewarded and promoted for having better insights than the people you’re surrounded with, as well as being able to play the game of politics. “Everything you experience teaches you that you need to be assertive, and out in front, and making all of the decisions.”

At Google, managing doesn’t mean making decisions – it means getting the maximum out of the team.

“You realise that you have a lot less levers, control and power than you do at a lot of other companies. You don’t decide who to hire, or how big a bonus somebody gets, you don’t decide who gets promoted.”

You need to motivate them without the leverage of power.

“You’re forced to figure out how to add value without relying on power, and you do that by influencing, by giving people the opportunity to learn, and giving people more freedom.”

Master this skill, and you will be a great Google manager.