If only the world thought more this way

Of course, one could view this as yet more Google-positive spin, but all the same, it would be a more interesting world if more large corporate employers employed similar hiring criteria to those that “Laszlo Bock, the senior vice president of people operations for Google — i.e., the guy in charge of hiring for one of the world’s most successful companies” professes to use.   In essence, he says GPA (and even college degree) is largely irrelevant, along with “expertise”.  Instead, he looks for both large and small egos in the same person — the ability to take control but also get out-of-the-way of the team.

For an intriguing glimpse inside one of the worlds most successful companies, check out this interview from the Times:




  1. March 11, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Three points: 1) “have a big ego and a small ego” at the same time is OK, but it seems to me that the key is knowing *when* to shift from one to the other; 2) much of what Friedman reports from the Google guy *should* be the standard for hiring at lots of places, including, by the way, schools and colleges; and 3) I hope you looked at some of the comments on the article–talk about revealing where commentators stand on the “big ego/small ego” scale!

    • greenfae said,

      March 12, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      By and large, I agree with you, especially when you say that this should be the hiring standard lots of places. Certainly, knowing when to lead and when to hang back is a function of experience and confidence. Not everyone is capable of both. Some are blunt instruments best used to do the work, some are visionaries but incapable of working in a team-based environment, some can co-lead in a group but are not good at taking charge. Among the commentators, it seems that this article caused quite a bit of “consternation,” as one of them put it. Partly, I think Google is a bit of a hot-button subject because they are so dominant in the industry and also for the reason I originally mentioned: there’s how Mr Bock says he hires and then there’s how all of those under him who make hiring decisions hire. They may not be the same. One of my favorite comments of the bunch I skimmed today was by Doug Terry, who does something called The Terry Report, chiefly because he references an interesting sounding book which I haven’t read that explores the origins (“anatomy”) of creativity. The book, Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity, addresses what seems to be one of my perennial topics on the origins of creativity.

      Thank you for taking the time to respond. I am working on two longer posts right now that are almost but not quite finished, so hopefully there will be something new coming soon.


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