Breaking News. Deep Google analytics show that leadership matters.  In a company where people who can write great code in their sleep are highly valued, Google discovered that the soft stuff of leadership is important.  According to an article in the NY Times, Google’s Project Oxygen led the quest to search for the better boss.  To kill the suspense here’s what they found.

“What employees valued most were even-keeled bosses who made time for one-on-one meetings, who helped people puzzle through problems by asking questions, not dictating answers, and who took an interest in employees’ lives and careers” according to the article. Google’s findings included the fact that more than any other factor, managers had a greater impact on employees’ performance and how they felt about their job.

Google’s deep data mining used 10,000 observations across 100 variables using performance reviews, correlation analyses to come up with a prioritized list of eight key traits of great Google managers.

Not surprisingly, these key traits Google found to be most important after the exhaustive research are traits that differentiate transformational leaders. According to Wikipedia, transformational leaders are able to tap into the discretionary energy, the full creativity and potential within themselves and within the people around them. They are purpose-driven, finding ways to connect the mission of the organization, their own mission and that of the team to the work needed to be done. They play the role of mentor and coach to the people around them. They constantly encourage intellectual stimulation, dialogue and debate and they inspire others by creating a culture of trust and high integrity.

According to the NY Time article, Google started with 3 assumptions on why people leave companies. The most important is that they don’t feel a connection to the mission of the company or understand their contribution. The second is that they don’t like or respect their co-workers. The third is that they have a terrible relationship with their boss. Transformational leaders exhibit the key behaviors necessary to mitigate all of the above.

So the question is, now that Google’s proven what counts, validating years of research on transformational leadership, what will you do with this data (well, other than share it with your boss)?