Google’s Leadership Test – 5-minutes and 13 questions

What if you could identify in 5-minutes whether or not someone had the potential to be a great leader at your company?  It might sound far-fetched, but when Google thinks they can do just that by asking only 13 short questions, it’s worth paying attention.

Identifying leadership talent and putting that talent in the right place at the right time is critical to the success of any company.  But “leadership potential” is a highly subjective attribute, and it’s difficult to determine it with accuracy.  To overcome that challenge, Google put its data-analytics might into action and produced a seemingly simple list of 13 questions that help the company identify leadership talent in its ranks.

Notably, the questions emphasize soft-skills and EQ, rather than the technical focus one might expect at a high-tech company.  Here’s a sample of five of the 13 questions:

  • My manager shows consideration for me as a person.
  • The actions of my manager show that he/she values the perspective I bring to the team, even if it is different from his/her own.
  • I would recommend my manager to other Googlers.
  • My manager does not “micromanage” (get involved in details that should be handled at other levels).
  • My manager regularly shares relevant information from his/her manager and senior leaders.

Only one of the 13 questions mentions technical ability, and even that question puts the focus back on effective teamwork:

  • My manager has the technical expertise (e.g., coding in Tech, selling in Global Business, accounting in Finance) required to effectively manage me.

How do you assess leadership potential at your company?