Customer Reviews for

First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2005

    My Secret Weapon in Executing as a People Manager

    This book is provocative and it challenges conventional wisdom in people management. Gallup's thorough research presented in this book reveal the 'Four Keys of Great Managers' that should unlock the potential of each and every employee (the '... not' statements represent conventional wisdom according to the authors) 1. When selecting someone, they select for talent ... not simply experience, intelligence, or determination. 2. When setting expectations, they define the right outcomes ... not the right steps. 3. When motivating someone, they focus on strengths ... not on weaknesses. 4. When developing someone, they find him the right fit ... not simply the next rung on the ladder So great managers don't believe that a person can achieve anything he sets his mind to. They don't try to help a person overcome his weaknesses (instead they devise a support system. Find a complementary partner. Or find an alternative role). They consistently disregard the golden rule - i.e. treat people as you would like to be treated - instead they acknowledge that each employee is unique and thus would demand different things of you, the manager! And they even play favourites (i.e. spend the most time with your best people). Many of us know by experience that it is hard to manage others well. Continually, you have to balance the competing interests of the employee, the customer, the company, and even yourself. You attend too much to one, and you invariably upset the others. This book cannot make the manager's role easier. But it certainly provides you with some brilliant insights into effective people management. The book's Four Keys should be inspiring for any people manager, even if you do not accept all of their findings. At least, you'll find yourself challenged as they document their conclusions based on 80,000 interviews. I have found their twelve questions to measure the strength of a workplace very helpful for regular individual reviews as well: [What do the employee get?] 1. Do I know what is expected of me at work? 2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right? [What do the employee give?] 3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? 4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for good work? 5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person? 6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development? [Do the employee belong here?] 7. At work, do my opinions seem to count? 8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important? 9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work? 10. Do I have a best friend at work? [How can we all grow?] 11. In the last six months, have I talked with someone about my progress? 12. At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?' I liked the book so much that I also bought the audio CD, which is enthusiastically read by Cunningham with a British accent. At last, one of my favourite quotes from this book: People don't change that much. Don't waste time trying to put in what was left out. Try to draw out what was left in. That's hard enough. Peter Leerskov, MSc in International Business (Marketing & Management) and Graduate Diploma in E-business

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2004

    Touches on some very important points

    Overall, the book is a pretty good read. Among other things, I especially enjoyed the discussion about focusing on the strengths of employees and finding the right fit for them. An employee who is mediocre at one job function can excel in another position. This is something that very few other management books discuss even though it is an extremely important principle. I did have a problem with a few things the authors said. I personally don¿t believe that good managers consistently violate the golden rule. This gives readers the impression that good managers don¿t care about treating people well and I don¿t think that¿s true. Also, the authors recommend that managers should spend most of their time with good employees since they are the ones who are getting things done. Although I understand the point they are trying to make, they never said that unproductive behavior should be confronted. It¿s almost as if they are suggesting that poor employees should be ignored. If an employee always shows up late, makes mistakes, and doesn¿t work well with others, is ignoring the problem the best thing to do? I believe that the best managers tactfully confront the behavior, give the employee a fair chance to improve, and then replace them with a much better employee if things don¿t change. In addition, the section on ¿The Art of Interviewing for Talent¿ is bothersome. A list of ¿good interview questions¿ always has to be taken with a huge grain of salt. The reason is simple: people can lie. Anybody who has done a lot of interviews knows that there are people who can say all the right things in an interview and still end up being a dud. Please keep this in mind! Aside from these issues, the book is very solid. I¿d recommend checking it out. Greg Blencoe Author, The Ten Commandments for Managers

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2007

    Good, sound advice

    As a technical recruiter specializing in electronics engineers and technical sales and marketing people I am constantly reinforcing with my hiring managers the need to recruit for talent, not just experience. I can't overemphasize that the person who does the best job is the person who is doing what he does best! Along these same lines, my advise to the job seeker is to find something you LIKE to do, not what pays the most money. If you like what you're doing the money will follow.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2004

    Cool book

    Good research, good presentation. Nobody wants to be a box in the org chart. However, everyone has to leave their individuality outside the door however in the real world of Corporate America. We have become The BORG!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2004

    What the greatest managers do

    This book offers a different perspective on people management. Based on 80,000 interviews and Gallup's research, Buckingham describes the 'Four Keys of Great Managers' that empower employees to experience more of their potential. 1. Selection process - Select for talent, not just experience, intelligence, or determination. 2. Expectations - Define the right outcomes. Don't micromanage by defining the right steps. 3. Motivation - Focus on strengths, not weaknesses. 4. Employee development - Find the right fit, not the next rung on the organization's ladder. Great managers are realists. They do not believe that people can achieve anything they set their minds to. They play favorites and reward the best performers. Buckingham's 12 questions to define the strength of the workplace are helpful in monitoring performance standards. I especially like this question: 'At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?' All in all, a book that leaders can benefit from. I also recommend Optimal Thinking; How To Be Your Best Self to help leaders and employees to identify the 'best' and consistently make the most of everyday situations, and Good to Great to learn what it takes to be a Level 5 leader.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 1999

    Outstanding Example of What You Can Learn from Best Practice

    Management is one of those areas where theory and practice often clash. The problem is that there are usually 99 theories (often provided by academics with limited experience) for every good study of outstanding practices. This book exhibits one of my favorite principles: Build around the people to get the right results. The results described in this book fit what I have observed works well in over 30 years as a management consultant. That is the reason why I often encourage new managers to get experience by coaching children's sports teams. In that environment, you soon learn that building around the talent is a critical step in making progress. On the other hand, there are other best practices that this book does not explore. For example, even the best talent will perform better if presented with timely and relevant information, knowledge, and focus. Add lots of low-cost capital and an exciting purpose, and you will do even better. Some people who read this book will conclude that people cannot be changed or improved: That is simply not true, nor is it what this book means to argue. Rather the outstanding manager or leader must learn to combine many types of best practices to get the right result. For example, if you combine the lessons of this book with the lessons of TOP GRADING (the best practices for recruiting the right people), you will get better results than if you used just one or the other book's lessons. Combine several best practices that are often not combined and you can exceed anyone's performance, anywhere. That's the real lesson I hope you draw from this excellent book and other outstanding ones like it that build on careful measurement of how to get the best results. Management needs to become more like medicine where clinical tests run by practicing doctors provide most of the insight for improvement, rather a philosophical debating society run by hypothetical thinkers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2014

    Very Influential

    Very indepth and articulate. A read not comprehended over one run. Read and reread, highlight and take notes if you really want to gain, learn and implement into your profession. I want the audio version too!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    A Critical Addition to Any Manager/Entrepreneur's Library

    Focusing on fitting talented employees with jobs that align with their strengths, interests and goals, "First, Break All the Rules" provides a compelling recipe for curating a company full of engaged and highly productive people. Backed by thorough research and filled with nuanced insights, this work reads quickly and provides abundant grist for the mental mill.

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  • Posted April 28, 2013

    First, Break All the Rules is worth it just for the 12 questions

    First, Break All the Rules is worth it just for the 12 questions that measure the strength of a workplace. Every employee out there should read these 12 questions and answer them as truthfully as possible. It's amazing what you can learn about yourself and your workplace by answering these 12 questions.

    Second, the section on "MOUNTAIN CLIMBING" is just brilliant. I wish every manager in every organization out there would read it and learn how to manage their teams from the metaphorical base camp to the summit of the mountain. Unfortunately, so many workplaces get it wrong and end up with an epidemic of mountain sickness. This section teaches you (whether you are an employee or a manager) what you need at every stage to help your organization reach it's highest goals and mission.

    Later in my career, I revisited this book and it helped me to understand what I needed to do to be the best possible manager and mentor to my team. Because so few managers I had worked for had actually managed successfully, I had to learn from this book how to do it. It served me well.

    In case you haven't figure it out, I LOVE this book. So, whether you work for someone else, or are a manager of other people, GET THIS BOOK. You won't regret it.

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  • Posted April 9, 2013

    First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers D

    First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman explains how great managers select employees, set expectations, motivate people, and assign people to jobs that fit. Selected examples from the vast research for this book reveal in detail why these practices are successful at attracting and motivating the most talented individuals in a way that produces results beyond those realized by applying traditional managerial methods.

    The challenge of today's highly competitive business environment is compounded by an ever tightening labor pool. In order to meet the need of continually producing more with less, managers must attract and retain talented personnel and find better ways to release their creative, productive spirits.

    I like First, Break All the Rules because it clearly illustrates how managers, without elaborate and costly rewards systems, can better attract and motivate employees. Using the insights gained from extensive Gallop Organization research, Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman show how great managers:

    - select employees based on their talents rather than their skills and experiences
    - define goals and expectations for the work employees perform
    - focus and build on the individual strengths of each employee rather than on "fixing" the employee's weaknesses
    - seek to place employees in jobs that fit rather than on corporate ladder climbing

    I believe the management approach described in First, Break All the Rules will motivate employees and help them reach their highest potential; ultimately creating increased organizational value.

    Strategy without effective execution is no more than a compilation of good intentions. I believe managers implementing the approach described in First, Break All the Rules will enhance tactical business execution at all levels of the organization; making this book a StrategyDriven recommended read.

    All the Best,
    Nathan Ives
    StrategyDriven Principal

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  • Posted January 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Become a Best Manager by breaking all the rules!

    I'm not a manager, but I had one who followed all the rules. This book was recommended by an astute company facilitator to help me in my frustration. My talents were discovered by a different manager who has embraced this book. Manager or not, I highly recommend this well organized, research-based book to know how to hire the right people, guide them and maintain a team that works. For the employee, you will find your right fit so you can love your work environment.

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  • Posted May 27, 2012

    This is a scary philosophy with dangerous ramifications. The aut

    This is a scary philosophy with dangerous ramifications. The author and the company behind this book believes in weeding people out of the workforce who don't fit their discription of a good employee. In the book, the author's examples of good managers include people who actively discriminate and demonstrate favoritism in the workplace. Unfortunately, the Strengths Finder's Test from Gallup University and the Gallup Poll is something that is gaining influence in the state of Nebraska. It's consuming the energies of churches, corporations and other institutions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2010

    No ebook format!

    I want to buy this book .. Please create an ebook format......for my iPod . Thanks

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly Motivating

    I found this book to be highly motivating. It motivated me to not only concentrate on my strengths, but to appreciate and respect the strengths of others. It really worked for me on both and professional and personal level. We're all different and too often we only respect those who are similar to us rather than appreciating the different skill sets of others. With that recognition comes nurturing to improve the productivity of all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2007

    A reviewer

    I was lucky at the time I read this my boss for the last 18 months followed most of the great methods/ had qualities listed in the book unfortunately she has moved on... this is a book to read, refer back to, and give to all levels of management.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2007

    Definately a good read!

    This book pointed out many different aspects of dealing with employees on the job. This book re-iterates a few things, but I think its meant to show its importance. I especially like the part where it talks about focusing on peoples strengths instead of always trying to improve their weaknesses. I also liked the part where it talks about how you cant be taught talent and that 'talent' is a characeterstic that comes naturally...some people have it and some don't.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2004

    If you can learn one thing its not a waste of time.

    Thats about all I can say with this book. As a business owner who always breaks the rules, I found no encouragement to further my style. I do believe the Gallup info could be very valuable to certain people seeking employment. Try the abridged audio version to save time and money if you are still interested.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2003

    Creating the Market

    The book is OK as far as management tomes go. It's filled with anecdotes with a little substance sprinkled throughout. The real value in the book is for anyone applying for a position in a company that uses the Gallup Corporation to rank candidates. The book will provide useful insight into what qualities are valued by the people who will be judging your qualifications. It's the same principle that applies to the companies that make highway radar detectors (they also make the police radar guns). Gallup is simply playing both sides.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2003

    Don't believe everything you read!

    Some very good information is brought forward in this book however, for the amount of data collected, I didn't expect so much opinion from the authors. There are far better books to help you lead and supervise on the market.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2002

    Jumps at you

    Okay, now what is that one thing that jumps out at you? You must manage differently. Good advice anytime!

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