Do Managers Matter?

Do managers matter?

Google’s management raised that question in 2008.

That led to a research project called Project Oxygen.

Ok, I don’t know whether they answered that question, but instead, they came-up with top traits of successful managers. While you could Google those 10 traits, I am going to paste the statements of Google’s feedback survey.

Employees could rate every statement on a 1(strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree)

I would recommend my manager to others.


My manager assigns stretch opportunities to help me develop in my career.
My manager communicates clear goals for our team.


My manager gives me actionable feedback on a regular basis.


My manager provides the autonomy I need to do my job (i.e., does not “micro-manage” by getting involved in details that should be handled at other levels).


My manager consistently shows consideration for me as a person.


My manager keeps the team focused on priorities, even when it’s difficult (e.g., declining or deprioritizing other projects).

My manager regularly shares relevant information from their manager and senior leadership.

My manager has had a meaningful discussion with me about my career development in the past six months.

My manager has the technical expertise (e.g., technical judgment in Tech, selling in Sales, accounting in Finance) required to effectively manage me.

The actions of my manager show they value the perspective I bring to the team, even if it is different from their own.

My manager makes tough decisions effectively (e.g., decisions involving multiple teams, competing priorities).

My manager effectively collaborates across boundaries (e.g., team, organizational).

Survey statements continue in the comments.

If you reflect on them, they cover all critical aspects of an effective manager.

But do we need managers?

What do you think?

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