We’d long labored under the impression that, barring extreme extenuating circumstances, employees are expected to follow their boss’s directives. Hence our surprise to see this little tidbit tucked into today’s Wall Street Journal piece on Google’s in-house educational program:
“There’s a lot more persuasion involved because Googlers are really smart,” says Scott Lederer, a former Google user-experience designer who left the company in 2011. “They are not going to do something for you just because of your title. You really have to make your case.”
At the risk of sounding like old fogies, isn’t it smart to do what your boss tells you, lest the company show you the door?
But apparently things work a little differently on Planet GOOG, because instead of just cracking the whip, the higher-ups get schooled on subtle managerial tactics.
Thus Google offers a special class for new managers and executives where they are taught how to exert influence in more subtle ways, says Ms. May. “One of the practicalities of a less hierarchical company is that you aren’t necessarily going to have the position power to decree something or dictate something,” she says.
Now, that doesn’t sound Machiavellian at all.
Personally? We’d rather deal with screaming than emotional jujitsu.