Synopses & Reviews
For readers of Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Pink, and Freakonomics, comes a captivating and surprising journey through the science of workplace excellence.
Why do successful companies reward failure? What can casinos teach us about building a happy workplace? How do you design an office that enhances both attention to detail and creativity?
In The Best Place to Work, award-winning psychologist Ron Friedman, Ph.D. uses the latest research from the fields of motivation, creativity, behavioral economics, neuroscience, and management to reveal what really makes us successful at work. Combining powerful stories with cutting edge findings, Friedman shows leaders at every level how they can use scientifically-proven techniques to promote smarter thinking, greater innovation, and stronger performance.
Among the many surprising insights, Friedman explains how learning to think like a hostage negotiator can help you defuse a workplace argument, why placing a fish bowl near your desk can elevate your thinking, and how incorporating strategic distractions into your schedule can help you reach smarter decisions. Along the way, the book introduces the inventor who created the cubicle, the president who brought down the worlds most dangerous criminal, and the teenager who single-handedly transformed professional tennisvivid stories that offer unexpected revelations on achieving workplace excellence.
Brimming with counterintuitive insights and actionable recommendations, The Best Place to Work offers employees and executives alike game-changing advice for working smarter and turning any organizationregardless of its size, budgets, or ambitionsinto an extraordinary workplace.
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.
About the Author
Ron Friedman, Ph.D.
is an award-winning psychologist and founder of Ignite80, a management consultancy that teaches leaders and their teams evidence-based practices for building extraordinary workplaces.
A human motivation expert, Ron has authored multiple book chapters and academic journal articles on the science of achievement, creativity, and happiness. Prior to launching Ignite80, Ron served on the faculty of the University of Rochester, Nazareth College, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Popular accounts of Rons research have appeared on NPR and in major newspapers, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Vancouver Post, the Globe and Mail, The Guardian, as well as magazines such as Mens Health, Shape, and Allure.
He contributes to the blogs of Fast Company, Forbes, and Psychology Today.
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?"