Yale SOM Graduate Laszlo Bock '99 Appears in New York Times
For nearly two days this week, the most emailed story at the New York Times website was about a program at Google to train better bosses. The architect of that program was Laszlo Bock '99, the vice president of people operations at Google and a graduate of Yale SOM. He was also recognized by the school as a Donaldson Fellow in 2008.
The New York Times article focuses on how Bock is using data analysis to build better people skills in the managers at Google. "The starting point was that our best managers have teams that perform better, are retained better, are happier — they do everything better… So the biggest controllable factor that we could see was the quality of the manager, and how they sort of made things happen," Bock told the Times. The project generated eight rules for good bosses and ranked them in order of importance. The top two were: "Be a good coach" and "Empower your team and don’t micromanage."
Where does Bock get his inspiration? Several people at Yale SOM, including Professor Nicholas C. Barberis, noticed a telling detail: In the photo of Bock accompanying the article, the latest issue of the Yale SOM magazine, Q8, is visible on his whiteboard. The issue asks “Who needs leaders?” and features a photograph of Dean Sharon M. Oster on the cover. You can read the full issue online.
Bock also recently did an interview with Qn magazine about his approach to leadership and how Google tries to maintain both creative energy and high standards for product quality. Read the discussion online.