Young Leaders in a leadership development program

To understand the value of wise leaders, look no further than Google— an organization of talented self-starters which, at one time, considered eliminating managers altogether.

Because their highly motivated army of employees needs very little direction in order to be successful, Google at one point asked themselves, “Do managers even matter?”

But because they have high standards of proof—and a deep respect for data—before dismantling any management positions, Google first set out to prove that managers did not make a significant impact on the organization’s overall success.

And they failed.

Their multiyear research initiative, dubbed Project Oxygen, showed that “even the smallest incremental increases in manager quality were quite powerful. High-scoring managers saw less turnover on their teams than others did—and retention was related more strongly to manager quality than to seniority, performance, tenure, or promotions.”

Furthermore, “employees with high-scoring bosses consistently reported greater satisfaction in multiple areas, including innovation, work-life balance, and career development.”

So yes, managers matter. Leaders matter. And the ones who matter most are the ones who are wiser than most.