21st Century Leadership: Would Google Hire You?


In last week’s blog, I shared Ben Franklin’s advice to the members of the Constitutional Convention to suspend the certainty of their positions and look forward toward the emerging future. Jackets insulated Don’t you think this is wise guidance for us today? 21st leadership calls us to be lovers of learning, to be curious and open to possibilities previously unseen….to suspend certainty and look to the emerging future. A couple of days after posting Ben Franklin’s advice, I read Tom Friedman’s piece in the NY Times on “How to Get a Job at Google.” Guess what…Google, one of the world’s most successful companies, hires people who are able to suspend certainty and look to the emerging future! Laszlo Bock, the senior VP of people operations at Google declares that “the least important attribute we look for is expertise. Certainly, if we’re looking to fill a technical role, people need math and computing and coding skills, but the company is looking for a lot more.” The number one thing looked for is general cognitive ability, which is not the same as IQ. It’s learning ability—the ability to process on the fly, to pull together disparate pieces of information. They seek people who love learning and re-learning. mu legend redzen for sale Secondly, Google looks for emergent leadership—a sense of responsibility to step in and try to solve any problem and the humility to step back and embrace better ideas of others. Innovation is a group endeavor requiring humility and ownership—a powerful combination. Without intellectual humility, you can’t learn. If you already think you “know” (or that you must act as if you know), you’ll be blind to new possibilities. Leadership in the 21st century is not the work of one great leader, it is a group endeavor requiring collaboration, adaptability, and curiosity that creates the spaciousness that allows new ideas to be born.

don’t establish the boundaries


the squares, triangles, boxes

or preconceived possibility,

and then


life into them, trimming

off left-over edges,

ending potential.


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