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

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

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by Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman
     
 

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In First, Break All the Rules, Gallup presents the remarkable findings of its massive in-depth study of great managers—those who excelled at turning each employee’s talent into performance.

The world’s greatest managers differ in sex, age, and race. They employ different styles and focus on different goals. Despite their differences,

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Overview

In First, Break All the Rules, Gallup presents the remarkable findings of its massive in-depth study of great managers—those who excelled at turning each employee’s talent into performance.

The world’s greatest managers differ in sex, age, and race. They employ different styles and focus on different goals. Despite their differences, great managers share one trait: They break virtually every rule conventional wisdom holds sacred. They don’t believe that, with enough training, a person can achieve anything he sets his mind to. They don’t try to help people overcome their weaknesses. They disregard the golden rule. They even play favorites.

Companies compete to find and keep the best employees using pay, benefits, promotions, and training. But these well-intentioned efforts often miss the mark. The front-line manager is the key to attracting and retaining talented employees. This amazing book explains how the best managers select employees for talent rather than for skills or experience, how they set expectations, how they motivate people, and how they develop people.

Gallup’s research—based on 80,000 managers in 400 companies—produced twelve simple questions that distinguish the strongest departments of a company from the rest. First, Break All the Rules introduces this essential measuring stick and proves the link between employee opinions and productivity, profit, customer satisfaction, and rate of turnover.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Out of hundreds of books about improving organizational performance, here is one that is based on extensive empirical evidence and a book that focuses on specific actions managers can take to make their organizations better today! In a world in which managing people provides the differentiating advantage, First, Break All the Rules is a must-read."–Jeffrey Pfeffer Professor, Stanford Business School and author of The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First

"This book challenges basic beliefs of great management with powerful evidence and a compelling argument. First, Break All the Rules is essential reading."–Bradbury H. Anderson President and COO, Best Buy

"This is it! With compelling insight backed by powerful Gallup data, Buckingham and Coffman have built the unshakable foundation of effective management. For the first time, a clear pathway has been identified for creating engaged employees and high-performance work units. It has changed the way I approach developing managers. First, Break All the Rules is a critical resource for every front-line supervisor, middle manager, and institutional leader."–Michael W. Morrison Dean, University of Toyota

"First, Break All the Rules is nothing short of revolutionary in its concepts and ideas. It explains why so many traditional notions and practices are counterproductive in business today. Equally important, the book presents a simpler, truer model complete with specific actions that have allowed our organization to achieve significant improvements in productivity, employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and profit."–Kevin Cuthbert Vice President, Human Resources, Swissôtel

"Finally, something definitive about what makes for a great workplace."–Harriet Johnson Brackey Miami Herald

"Within the last several years, systems and the Internet have assumed a preeminent role in management thinking, to the detriment of the role of people in the workplace. Buckingham and Coffman prove just how crucial good people — and specifically great managers — are to the success of any organization."–Bernie Marcus former Chairman and CEO, Home Depot

"The rational, measurement-based approach, for which Gallup has so long been famous, has increased the tangibility of our intangible assets, as well as our ability to manage them. First, Break All the Rules shows us how."–David P. Norton President, The Balanced Scorecard Collaborative, Inc.; coauthor of The Balanced Scorecard

"As the authors put it, "a great deal of the value of a company lies between the ears of its employees." The key to success is growing that value by listening to and understanding what lies in their hearts — Mssrs. Buckingham and Coffman have found a direct way to measure and make that critical connection. At Carlson Companies, their skills are helping us become the truly caring company that will succeed in the marketplace of the future."–Marilyn Carlson Nelson President and CEO, Carlson Companies

bn.com
Many business books begin by articulating a set of all-encompassing rules that the reader is expected to internalize in order to become successful in his or her profession. Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman take a radically different approach in this bestselling guide to improving managerial performance. Instead of having us squeeze ourselves into prefabricated roles, the authors encourage us to develop individual styles based on our own innate talents and competencies -- and they back up their recommendations with data gathered during the course of more than 80,000 interviews with managers in almost every conceivable industry. What are some of the rules they encourage people to break? One of the most controversial is the time-honored notion that all people should be treated equally, a mandate that perhaps arises from the belief that parents shouldn't show special favor to some of their children. Instead, Buckingham and Coffman encourage leaders to devote attention to those employees who are truly talented and committed to moving the business forward. The authors don't advocate sacrificing discipline or training, but they do offer innovative ways to reconceptualize the work we do while increasing the pleasure we get from the doing of it.
Newsday
If you're a manager wracking your brain for ways to find and retain good people...this book is worth paying attention to.
Miami Herald
Finally, something definitive about what makes a great workplace.
Detroit Free Press
At last, a management book with a huge amount of statistical evidence...the results are eye-popping...this is one of the best, most practical books I've seen on managing.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684852867
Publisher:
Gallup Press
Publication date:
05/05/1999
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

INTRODUCTION
Breaking All the Rules
The greatest managers in the world do not have much in common. They are of different sexes, races, and ages. They employ vastly different styles and focus on different goals. But despite their differences, these great managers do share one thing: Before they do anything else, they first break all the rules of conventional wisdom. They do not believe that a person can achieve anything he sets his mind to. They do not try to help a person overcome his weaknesses. They consistently disregard the Golden Rule. And, yes, they even play favorites.
Great managers are revolutionaries, although few would use that word to describe themselves. This book will take you inside the minds of these managers to explain why they have toppled conventional wisdom and reveal the new truths they have forged in its place.
We are not encouraging you to replace your natural managerial style with a standardized version of theirs — as you will see, great managers do not share a "standardized style." Rather, our purpose is to help you capitalize on your own style, by showing you how to incorporate the revolutionary insights shared by great managers everywhere.
This book is the product of two mammoth research studies undertaken by the Gallup Organization over the last twenty-five years. The first concentrated on employees, asking, "What do the most talented employees need from their workplace. Gallup surveyed over a million employees from a broad range of companies, industries, and countries. We asked them questions on all aspects of their working life, then dug deep into their answers to discover the most important needs demanded by the most productive employees.
Our research yielded many discoveries, but the most powerful was this: Talented employees need great managers. The talented employee may join a company because of its charismatic leaders, its generous benefits, and its world-class training programs, but how long that employee stays and how productive he is while he is there is determined by his relationship with his immediate supervisor.
This simple discovery led us to the second research effort: "How do the world's greatest managers find, focus, and keep talented employees?" To answer this question we went to the source — large companies and small companies, privately held companies, publicly traded companies, and public sector organizations — and interviewed a cross section of their managers, from the excellent to the average. How did we know who was excellent and who was average? We asked each company to provide us with performance measures. Measures like sales, profit, customer satisfaction scores, employee turnover figures, employee opinion data, and 360-degree surveys were all used to distill the best managers from the rest During the last twenty-five years the Gallup Organization has conducted, tape-recorded, and transcribed one-and-a-half-hour interviews with over eighty thousand managers.
Some of these managers were in leadership positions. Some were midlevel managers. Some were front-line supervisors. But all of them had one or more employees reporting to them. We focused our analysis on those managers who excelled at turning the talent of their employees into performance. Despite their obvious differences in style, we wanted to discover what, if anything, these great managers had in common.
Their ideas are plain and direct, but they are not necessarily simple to implement. Conventional wisdom is conventional for a reason: It is easier. It is easier to believe that each employee possesses unlimited potential. It is easier to imagine that the best way to help an employee is by fixing his weaknesses. It is easier to "do unto others as you would be done unto." It is easier to treat everyone the same and so avoid charges of favoritism. Conventional wisdom is comfortingly, seductively easy.
The revolutionary wisdom of great managers isn't. Their path is much more exacting. It demands discipline, focus, trust, and, perhaps most important, a willingness to individualize. In this book, great managers present no sweeping new theories, no prefabricated formulae. All they can offer you are insights into the nature of talent and into their secrets for turning talent into lasting performance. The real challenge lies in how you incorporate these insights into your style, one employee at a time, every day.

This book gives voice to one million employees and eighty thousand managers. While these interviews ground the book in the real world, their sheer number can be overwhelming. It is hard to imagine what one talented employee or one great manager sounds like. The following excerpt, from a single interview, captures something of both the tone and the content of our in-depth interviews.
As with all the managers we quote, we have changed his name to preserve his anonymity. We will call him Michael. Michael runs a fine-dining restaurant owned by a large hospitality company in the Pacific Northwest. Since Gallup first met Michael fifteen years ago, his restaurant has been in the company's top 10 percent on sales, profit, growth, retention, and customer satisfaction. From the perspective of his company, his customers, and his employees, Michael is a great manager.
Throughout the book you will hear Michael's comments echoed by other managers and employees. But rather than pointing out these echoes, we ask you to make the connections for yourself as you move through the chapters. For the moment we will simply let Michael speak for himself.
Gallup: Can you tell us about your best team ever?
Michael: You mean my whole team? I have at least thirty people working here.
Gallup: Just tell us about the core of the team.
Michael: I suppose my best team ever was my wait staff team a few years ago. There were four of them. Brad was about thirty-five, a professional waiter. Took great pride in being the best waiter in town. He was brilliant at anticipating. Customers never had to ask for anything. The moment the thought entered their mind that they needed more water, or a dessert menu, Brad was there at their shoulder, handing it to them.
Then there was Gary. Gary was an innocent. Not naive just an innocent. He instinctively thought the world was a friendly place, so he was always smiling, cheerful. I don't mean that he wasn't professional, 'cause he was. Always came in looking neat, wearing a freshly pressed shirt. But it was his attitude that so impressed me. Everyone. liked to be around Gary.
Susan was our greeter. She was lively, energetic, presented herself very well. When she first joined us, I guessed that she might lack a little common sense, but I was wrong. She handled the customers perfectly. On busy nights she would tell them pleasantly but firmly that last-minute reservations couldn't be accepted. During lunch some customers just want to get their order, pay, and leave. Susan would figure this out and let their server know that, with this particular customer, speed was of the essence. She paid attention, and she made good decisions.
Emma was the unspoken team builder in the crew. Quieter, more responsible, more aware of everyone else, she would get the team together before a busy Saturday night, and just talk everyone through the need to put on a good show, to be alert, to help each other get out of the weeds.
These four were the backbone of my best team even I didn't really need to interfere. They ran the show themselves. They would train new hires, set the right example, and even eject people who didn't fit. For a good three years they were the restaurant.
Gallup: Where are they now?
Michael: Susan, Emma, and Gary all graduated and moved back east. Brad is still with me.
Gallup: Do you have a secret to building great teams?
Michael: No, I don't think there is a secret I think the best a manager can do is to make each person comfortable with who they are. Look, we all have insecurities. Wouldn't it be great if, at work, we didn't have to confront our insecurities all the time? I didn't try to fix Brad, Susan, Gary, and Emma. I didn't try to make them clones of each other. I tried to create an environment where they were encouraged to be more of who they already were. As long as they didn't stomp on each other and as long as they satisfied the customers, I didn't care that they were all so different.
Gallup: How did you get to know these people so well?
Michael: I spent a lot of time with them. I listened. I took them out for dinner, had a couple of drinks with them. Had them over to my place for holidays. But mostly I was just interested in who they were.
Gallup: What do you think of the statement "Familiarity breeds contempt?"
Michael: It's wrong. How can you manage people if you don't know them, their style, their motivation, their personal situation? I don't think you can.
Gallup: Do you think a manager should treat everyone the same?
Michael: Of course not.
Gallup: Why?
Michael: Because everyone is different. I was telling you about Gary before, how great an employee he was. But I fired him twice. A couple of times his joking around went too far, and he really jerked my chain. I really liked him, but I had to fire him. Our relationship would have been ruined if I hadn't put my foot down and said, "Don't come in on Monday." After each time, he learned a little bit more about himself and his values, so I hired him back both times. I think he's a better person because of what I did.
My firm hand worked with Gary. It wouldn't have worked at all with Brad. If I even raised my voice with Brad, I would get the exact opposite reaction from the one I wanted. He would be crushed. He'd shut down. So when I disagree with him, I have to talk quietly and reason everything through with him quite carefully.
Gallup: Isn't it unfair to treat people differently?
Michael: I don't think so. I think people want to feel understood. Treating them differently is part of helping them feel unique. If I know that one of my people is the primary breadwinner, then as long as they perform, I will be more likely to give him better hours than someone who is a student. The student might be a little annoyed, but when I explain the situation to him, he usually calms down. Besides, he now knows that I will be paying attention to his personal situation when he needs a special favor. That's always a good message to send.
Gallup: Other than Gary, have you ever fired anyone?
Michael: Unfortunately, I have. Like most managers, sometimes I don't pick the right people and things start to fall apart.
Gallup: What is your approach to firing an employee?
Michael: Do it fast, the faster the better. If someone is consistently underperforming, you might think you are doing them a favor by waiting. You aren't. You're actually making matters worse.
Gallup: You've been managing now for fifteen years. If you were going to give any advice to a new manager, what would it be?
Michael: I am not an expert at this, you know. I'm still learning.
Gallup: That's fine. Just tell us a couple of the ideas that have helped you over the years.
Michael: Well...I suppose the first would be, pick the right people. If you do, it makes everything else so much easier.
And once you've picked them, trust them. Everyone here knows that the till is open. If they want to borrow $2 for cigarettes or $200 for rent, they can. Just put an IOU in the till and pay it back. If you expect the best of people, they'll give you the best. I've rarely been let down. And when someone has let me down, I don't think it is right to punish those who haven't by creating some new rule or policy.
Another thing would be, don't overpromote people. Pay them well for what they do, and make it rewarding, in every way, for them to keep doing what they are doing. Brad is a great waiter, but he would make a terrible manager. He loves to perform for an audience he respects. He respects the customers. He is less respectful of some of the new employees. As a manager, these employees would be his audience.
And especially important: Never pass the buck. Never say, "I think this is a crazy idea, but corporate insists." Passing the buck may make your little world easy, but the organism as a whole, sorry, the organization as a whole, will be weakened. So in the long run, you are actually making your life worse. Even worse are those who find themselves always promising things that don't come to pass. Since you never know what corporate might spring on you next, I recommend living by this simple rule: Make very few promises to your people, and keep them all.
That's it. That's my list.
Gallup: Is there anything else that you would like to tell us about your experiences as a manager?
Michael: Maybe just this: A manager has got to remember that he is on stage every day. His people are watching him. Everything he does, everything he says, and the way he says it, sends off clues to his employees. These clues affect performance. So never forget you are on that stage.

So that's Michael. Or, at least, that's an excerpt from Michael. During our research we heard from thousands of managers like Michael and from hundreds of thousands of employees who worked for managers like Michael. Some of Michael's opinions are commonly held — never pass the buck, make few promises and keep them all. But the majority of his testament is revolutionary — his desire to help all employees become more of who they already are; his willingness to treat each person differently; his desire to become close friends with his employees; his acceptance that he cannot change people, that all he can do is facilitate; his trusting nature. Michael, like all great managers, breaks the rules of conventional wisdom.
Like you, we know that change is a fact of modern life. We know that the business climate is in permanent flux and that different approaches to managing people wax and wane. However, in listening to managers like Michael and the employees they manage, we were searching for that which does not change. What will talented employees always need? What will great managers always do to turn talent into performance? What are the enduring secrets to finding, focusing, and keeping talented employees? What are the constants? These were our questions. On the following pages we present our discoveries.
Copyright © 1999 by The Gallup Organization

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Out of hundreds of books about improving organizational performance, here is one that is based on extensive empirical evidence and a book that focuses on specific actions managers can take to make their organizations better today! In a world in which managing people provides the differentiating advantage, First, Break All the Rules is a must-read."–Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stanford Business School Professor and author of The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First

"This book challenges basic beliefs of great management with powerful evidence and a compelling argument. First, Break All the Rules is essential reading."–Bradbury H. Anderson President and COO, Best Buy

"This is it! With compelling insight backed by powerful Gallup data, Buckingham and Coffman have built the unshakable foundation of effective management. For the first time, a clear pathway has been identified for creating engaged employees and high-performance work units. It has changed the way I approach developing managers. First, Break All the Rules is a critical resource for every front-line supervisor, middle manager, and institutional leader."–Michael W. Morrison Dean, University of Toyota

"First, Break All the Rules is nothing short of revolutionary in its concepts and ideas. It explains why so many traditional notions and practices are counterproductive in business today. Equally important, the book presents a simpler, truer model complete with specific actions that have allowed our organization to achieve significant improvements in productivity, employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and profit."–Kevin Cuthbert Vice President, Human Resources, Swissôtel

"Finally, something definitive about what makes for a great workplace."–Harriet Johnson Brackey Miami Herald

"Within the last several years, systems and the Internet have assumed a preeminent role in management thinking, to the detriment of the role of people in the workplace. Buckingham and Coffman prove just how crucial good people — and specifically great managers — are to the success of any organization."– Bernie Marcus former Chairman and CEO, Home Depot

"The rational, measurement-based approach, for which Gallup has so long been famous, has increased the tangibility of our intangible assets, as well as our ability to manage them. First, Break All the Rules shows us how."–David P. Norton President, The Balanced Scorecard Collaborative, Inc.; coauthor of The Balanced Scorecard

"As the authors put it, "a great deal of the value of a company lies between the ears of its employees." The key to success is growing that value by listening to and understanding what lies in their hearts — Mssrs. Buckingham and Coffman have found a direct way to measure and make that critical connection. At Carlson Companies, their skills are helping us become the truly caring company that will succeed in the marketplace of the future."–Marilyn Carlson Nelson President and CEO, Carlson Companies

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Meet the Author

Marcus Buckingham spent seventeen years at the Gallup Organization, where he conducted research into the world's best leaders, managers, and workplaces. The Gallup research later became the basis for the bestselling books First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Best Managers Do Differently (Simon & Schuster) and Now, Discover Your Strengths (Free Press), both coauthored by Buckingham. Buckingham has been the subject of in-depth profiles in The New York Times, Fortune, BusinessWeek and Fast Company. He now has his own company, providing strengths-based consulting, training, and e-learning. In 2007 Buckingham founded TMBC to create strengths-based management training solutions for organizations worldwide, and he spreads the strengths message in keynote addresses to over 250,000 people around the globe each year. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Jane and children Jackson and Lilia. For more information visit: marcusbuckingham.com

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First, Break All the Rules 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
PreLawAdviser More than 1 year ago
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.
NathanIves More than 1 year ago
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
Constant_Learner More than 1 year ago
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.
GoodOldUSA More than 1 year ago
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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I want to buy this book .. Please create an ebook format......for my iPod . Thanks
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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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