“Googley”-The Google X-Factor

googley-art-wall[1]“Googley”. Doesn’t sound like a real word, but it defines the number one trait that Google executives look for when they are hiring candidates. Stacy Sullivan, Chief of Culture for Google, says it’s not a definable term but “means someone that is not too traditional or stuck in their ways”. This flexibility and mental agility is core to Google’s culture and helps drive its success.

Google has created an addictive culture that job seekers flock to. The campus exudes energy and creativity offering open office space concepts with hangout areas and corporate sponsored cafeterias. The firm has succeeded in creating a community rather than just an employee base.

At Google, hiring is a team sport! It takes the hiring process seriously and requires company executives to spend at least one full day a week recruiting. During the hiring process, recruiters and executives market the Google culture and look for those “googley” candidates that will be the best fit for the company.

The company’s Director of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil, tells candidates how Google wants to create technology to dramatically improve the world. “We are in unchartered waters, but that’s why we do what we do,” he says. According to Ray, the world is the test lab for Google which drives their need for people who are intellectually curious enough to push the limits.

Ray gives perspective employees a view of the culture within Google which makes them one of the most sought after companies in the world. Ray’s hiring pitch helps candidates understand what is vitally important to the company in a well-defined culture statement.

Hiring for a cultural fit is as important as hiring based on the requirements of the job. Someone can meet all of aspects of the job description but be the worst employee for your firm if they are not a cultural match. You want someone who will not only be able to do the job but be completely invested in the vision and direction of your company.

Perhaps you need to create your own word to describe that x-factor that determines success within your company. Make it a team effort! Involve employees from varying levels of the organization in the creative process. Once your team has helped to define the culture factor needed to succeed within your organization, incorporate it in your hiring process.

Google’s hiring methodology has narrowed their x-factor down to being “googley”. Even the word says something about Google’s culture. Its ability to involve culture throughout the hiring process has helped sort through numerous candidates to find the not just any candidate, but the right candidate.cropped-fb.jpg

Why I’m Jealous of Magneto’s Helmet

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As a driver-minded guy, I’m always finding lessons in life, especially in movies and television series.  One of my favorite genres is Marvel…. anything Marvel.  The complexity of the characters and their development throughout the story-line always leave me wanting more.

One of my favorite characters in X-Men is Magneto. He’s quite the complex antagonist. Unlike traditional adversaries, Magneto does not have the a-typical plan to destroy the world to motivate his actions. His motives are to protect the race of mutants from the efforts of the human race to track and exterminate.

One thing I find myself jealous of is Magneto’s helmet which protects him from the telepathic attacks from other mutants.  Sure, in the real world we don’t have to worry about such attacks (or do we), but I’d like a little variation of his helmet to make my life a little easier.

I am one of those who struggles with being inside of my own head. For those who do not share this debilitation, it is best described as over-analysis paralysis on your own actions, thoughts, and words throughout the day. There are times I’ll find myself so wrapped up in mental if/then scenarios, I exhaust myself with little or no productive results to show for it.

Here are some examples:

What did person X mean when they said Y? Was it because they misinterpreted what I said? I hope they knew  I was joking. Man, I should work on that, not everyone has my sense of humor.  Could I have handled that better? Maybe they’re not responding because they’re upset? Or what if they’re just busy? Should I acknowledge that I may have made a mistake? No, that would seem like I lack self-confidence.

If you’re an X-Men fan like me, this little dialogue is similar to when the audience gets to experience what telepathic hear when they use their powers. Magneto, however, simply puts on his helmet and is able to tune all of it out. #Jealous

Being self-aware is in no way a bad thing… in moderation of course. If it were as easy as placing something on my head to keep it in moderation, life would be golden. Unfortunately, Google hasn’t made anything like that yet so I have to resort to other measures.  Here are a couple of my tricks:

  1. Workout- I workout twice a day during the week. This routine is more about mental clarity than it is about physical health, although the physical benefits are great too. I have found true balance when I’m able to break away from the world, put on a good book or favorite playlist, and crank out a physically challenging workout.
  2. Honest Friends- An important lesson I’ve learned is to surround myself with people who will tell me when I need to get out of my own head and move on. These people are priceless and a must have in my life. They know when I’m truly struggling with something real versus something I’ve concocted in my head. More importantly, they are bold enough to tell me what I need to hear when I need to hear it.
  3. Journaling- I know it sounds cheesy but sometimes, it’s good to write things out and then reread your thoughts. I’ve found this is a good way for me to remain as objective as I can and force myself to view reality, not the augmented reality I sometimes create.

Everyone has their own way of “putting on the helmet”, these are just a couple of my tricks.  What works best for you?