April 6th, 2014

What Do Great Jazz Musicians and Google Employees Have in Common?

By Ron Nakamoto

“…the No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information…The second is leadership…What we care about is, when faced with a problem and you’re a member of a team, do you, at the appropriate time, step in and lead. And just as critically, do you step back and stop leading, do you let someone else? Because what’s critical to be an effective leader in this environment is you have to be willing to relinquish power.”” – Laszlo Bock, Senior Vice President, Google

This article is insightful because it paints a picture of a certain archetype, an ideal learner/leader/creative person who thinks and behaves in a way that’s analogous to a brilliant jazz musician (see Herbie Hancock’s Harvard University Norton Lecture Series http://mahindrahumanities.fas.harvard.edu/content/norton-lectures for more on this analogy).

Might this sort of archetype be a model for other organizations and an ideal for education and training of younger people?



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2 Responses to “What Do Great Jazz Musicians and Google Employees Have in Common?”

  1. Ron Nakamoto

    Thank you +Debra Lynn F 

  2. Debra Lynn F

    +Ron Nakamoto you are welcome

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