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First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differentlyby Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
Synopses & Reviews
The greatest managers in the world seem to have little in common. They differ in sex, age, and race. They employ vastly different styles and focus on different goals. Yet despite their differences, great managers share one common trait: They do not hesitate to break virtually every rule held sacred by conventional wisdom. They do not believe that, with enough training, a person can achieve anything he sets his mind to. They do not try to help people overcome their weaknesses. They consistently disregard the golden rule. And, yes, they even play favorites. This amazing book explains why.
Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman of the Gallup Organization present the remarkable findings of their massive in-depth study of great managers across a wide variety of situations. Some were in leadership positions. Others were front-line supervisors. Some were in Fortune 500 companies; others were key players in small, entrepreneurial companies. Whatever their situations, the managers who ultimately became the focus of Gallup's research were invariably those who excelled at turning each employee's talent into performance.
In today's tight labor markets, 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. No matter how generous its pay or how renowned its training, the company that lacks great front-line managers will suffer. Buckingham and Coffman explain how the best managers select an employee for talent rather than for skills or experience; how they set expectations for him or her — they define the right outcomes rather than the right steps; how they motivate people — they build on each person's unique strengths rather than trying to fix his weaknesses; and, finally, how great managers develop people — they find the right fit for each person, not the next rung on the ladder. And perhaps most important, this research — which initially generated thousands of different survey questions on the subject of employee opinion — finally produced the twelve simple questions that work to distinguish the strongest departments of a company from all the rest. This book is the first to present this essential measuring stick and to prove the link between employee opinions and productivity, profit, customer satisfaction, and the rate of turnover.
There are vital performance and career lessons here for managers at every level, and, best of all, the book shows you how to apply them to your own situation.
About 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
Table of Contents
Introduction: Breaking All the Rules
Chapter 1: The Measuring Stick
A Disaster Off the Scilly Isles
"What do we know to be important but are unable to measure?"
The Measuring Stick
"How can you measure human capital?"
Putting the Twelve to the Test
"Does the measuring stick link to business outcomes?"
A Case in Point
"What do these discoveries mean for one particular company?"
"Why is there an order to the twelve questions?"
Chapter 2: The Wisdom of Great Managers
Words from the Wise
"Whom did Gallup interview?"
What Great Managers Know
"What is the revolutionary insight shared by all great managers?"
What Great Managers Do
"What are the four basic roles of a great manager?"
The Four Keys
"How do great managers play these roles?"
Chapter 3: The First Key: Select for Talent
Talent: How Great Managers Define It
"Why does every role, performed at excellence, require talent?"
The Right Stuff
"Why is talent more important than experience, brainpower, and willpower?"
The Decade of the Brain
"How much of a person can the manager change?"
Skills, Knowledge, and Talents
"What is the difference among the three?"
The World According to Talent
"Which myths can we now dispel?"
Talent: How Great Managers Find It
"Why are great managers so good at selecting for talent?"
A Word from the Coach
"John Wooden, on the importance of talent."
Chapter 4: The Second Key: Define the Right Outcomes
Managing by Remote Control
"Why is it so hard to manage people well?"
"Why do so many managers try to control their people?"
Rules of Thumb
"When and how do great managers rely on steps?"
What Do You Get Paid to Do?
"How do you know if the outcomes are right?"
Chapter 5: The Third Key: Focus on Strengths
Let Them Become More of Who They Already Are
"How do great managers release each person's potential?"
Tales of Transformation
"Why is it so tempting to try to fix people?"
Casting Is Everything
"How do great managers cultivate excellent performance so consistently?"
Manage by Exception
"Why do great managers break the Golden Rule?"
Spend the Most Time with Your Best People
"Why do great managers play favorites?"
How to Manage Around a Weakness
"How do great managers turn a harmful weakness into an irrelevant nontalent?"
Chapter 6: The Fourth Key: Find the Right Fit
The Blind, Breathless Climb
"What's wrong with the old career path?"
One Rung Doesn't Necessarily Lead to Another
"Why do we keep promoting people to their level of incompetence?"
Create Heroes in Every Role
"How to solve the shortage of respect."
Three Stories and a New Career
"What is the force driving the New Career?"
The Art of Tough Love
"How do great managers terminate someone and still keep the relationship intact?"
Chapter 7: Turning the Keys: A Practical Guide
The Art of Interviewing for Talent
"Which are the right questions to ask?"
"How do great managers turn the last three Keys every day, with every employee?"
Keys of Your Own
"Can an employee turn these Keys?"
"What can the company do to create a friendly climate for great managers?"
APPENDIX A: The Gallup Path to Business Performance
"What is the path to sustained increase in shareholder value?"
APPENDIX B: What the Great Managers Said
"What did great managers say to the three questions quoted in chapter 2?"
APPENDIX C: A Selection of Talents
"Which talents are found most frequently across all roles?"
APPENDIX D: Finding the Twelve Questions
"How did Gallup find the twelve questions?"
APPENDIX E: The Meta-analysis
"What are the details of the meta-analysis?"
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