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

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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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 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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  • 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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  • 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 May 2, 2002

    Conventional Management Wisdom Debunked With Smarter Thinking

    Manage smarter by focusing on your most productive people and assets, make the most of what counts most, concentrate on your strengths, not your weaknesses -- these ideas break with the generalizations offered by conventional management wisdom such as 'people are capable of almost anything' and lead to the management style used by most successful managers as revealed by extensive survey data. This book teaches ways to think smarter much like the techniques taught in Why Didn't I Think of That? - Think the Unthinkable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2001

    You never learned this stuff in MBA school!

    This is one of very few really creative approaches to management that values people and principles above rules. I loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2001

    Refreshing Breeze in the Management of Human Resources

    Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman give a refreshing approach to the management of human resources within a company with its positive impact on the bottom line down the road. Building on extensive research conducted by The Gallup Organization, Buckingham and Coffman articulate their innovative argumentation around four traditional keys: Select a person, set expectations, motivate the person, and develop the person. Great managers are looking not only for skills and knowledge, but also more importantly for talent when they select a candidate for a position to fill. Furthermore, great managers are concerned first with the right outcomes expected from the selected person, and then eventually with the right steps to get to these outcomes. In addition, great managers are determined to leverage the person¿s strengths and work around her weaknesses in motivating her. They do not try to correct the weaknesses of the selected person. Finally, great managers help the selected person come to the insight that going up on the hierarchical ladder is not necessarily in her best interest. However, Buckingham and Coffman rightly draw the attention of their audience to the fact that corporate culture can make the innovative work of great managers in defining the four traditional keys difficult, even impossible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2001

    Incredibly Fresh!

    I am a mid level manager in the Air Force. This is an incredibly fresh outlook and really enabled me to go out and find out how to improve my organization. I got real results using this books techniques...everyone thought I was crazy at first, but in the end, they too saw the light!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2001

    Beneficial in many forms

    This book is an outstanding tool that says a lot, and one that will be on my shelf for many years to come as a reference. It not only teaches some of the best questions to ask yourself or factors to identify to be a successful business manager. We are all micro-managers of our own lives. This book will make you more aware of your own potentials and limits in a career, as well as help you better communicate and relate to those around you at work and in your social life.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2000

    Well-researched and well-done

    Hats off to the authors on this book. It's approach is unique and challenging of the many concepts we hold about management. Nothing is sacred in the book, but this is true for a reason. The authors believe, and document, that traditional ideas and beliefs on management may not bode well for every situation. Thank you for giving us some food for thought as we face our daily work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 1999

    wow, written with depth and research to back it up by the best.

    If u r looking to understand what it takes to operate, manage, and own a successful business. Then this book should be required reading. But the book doesnt stop there. I came away with a deeper understanding of individuality and how we r all part of a team, no matter how small or large ur business would be.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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