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Google: Five Keys to a Successful Team Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


Conducted 200+ interviews with Googlers (our employees) and looked at more than 250 attributes of 180+ active Google teams. We were pretty confident that we'd find the perfect mix of individual traits and skills necessary for a stellar team -- take one Rhodes Scholar, two extrov­erts, one engineer who rocks at AngularJS, and a PhD. Voila. Dream team assembled, right?

We were dead wrong. Who is on a team matters less than how the team members interact, structure their work, and view their contri­but­ions. So much for that magical algorithm.

We learned that there are five key dynamics that set successful teams apart from other teams at Google:

Five Keys

1. Psycho­logical safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarr­assed?
2. Depend­abi­lity: Can we count on each other to do high quality work on time?
3. Structure & clarity: Are goals, roles, and execution plans on our team clear?
4. Meaning of work: Are we working on something that is personally important for each of us?
5. Impact of work: Do we fundam­entally believe that the work we’re doing matters?


If you answered “yes” to the five questions above, congrats! You’re probably on a high-p­erf­orming team. And if not, not all hope is lost. This is a shortcut to help you figure out where to focus, how to get better, and a way to talk about this concept with your teammates in a structured way.

The Five Keys