Synopses & Reviews
Following the success of the landmark bestsellers First, Break All the Rules
and Now, Discover Your Strengths,
Marcus Buckingham offers a dramatically new way to understand the art of success.
With over 1.6 million copies of First, Break All the Rules (co-authored with Curt Coffman) and Now, Discover Your Strengths (co-authored with Donald O. Clifton) in print, Cambridge-educated Buckingham is considered one of the most respected business authorities on the subject of management and leadership in the world. With The One Thing You Need to Know, he gives readers an invaluable course in outstanding achievement a guide to capturing the essence of the three most fundamental areas of professional activity.
Great managing, leading, and career success Buckingham draws on a wealth of applicable examples to reveal that a controlling insight lies at the heart of the three. Lose sight of this "one thing" and even the best efforts will be diminished or compromised. Readers will be eager to discover the surprisingly different answers to each of these rich and complex subjects. Each could be explained endlessly to detail their many facets, but Buckingham's great gift is his ability to cut through the mass of often-conflicting agendas and zero in on what matters most, without ever oversimplifying. As he observes, success comes to those who remain mindful of the core insight, understand all of its ramifications, and orient their decisions around it. Buckingham backs his arguments with authoritative research from a wide variety of sources, including his own research data and in-depth interviews with individuals at every level of an organization, from CEO's to hotel maids and stockboys.
In every way a groundbreaking book, The One Thing You Need to Know offers crucial performance and career lessons for business people at all career stages.
"...[B]y using well-chosen case studies to illustrate his points and by writing in an enjoyable fashion, Buckingham succeeds in creating another book that will connect with readers and encourage them to succeed in leadership positions." Library Journal
"Marcus Buckingham's insights about what matters most have been enormously helpful for our people. His grasp of the pivotal difference between great managing and great leadership, and how to act on that knowledge has proven an essential insight for key leaders at Best Buy." Brad Anderson, Vice Chairman and CEO, Best Buy Co., Inc.
"Buckingham is a superb writer and speaker who can make complex ideas crystal clear, cut through to the core insight, and reveal its crucial importance. He has been an inspiration to all of us at Lexus." Denny Clements, group vice president and general manager, Lexus U.S.
"Buckingham performs the most magical of acts: He speaks with surpassing common sense, yet reaches profoundly uncommon conclusions. This is a wise and radical book; a true gem worth savoring." Tom Peters
"Marcus Buckingham has a keen sense of what it takes to excel, and he backs his insights with an impressive body of in-depth interviews and research. This is an important book for anybody who aspires to effective leadership, managing, or any kind of enduring individual achievement."
-- Richard M. Kovacevich, chairman, president, and CEO, Wells Fargo and Company
"The One Thing You Need to Know
is actually a modest title. It contains many things you need to know. Marcus Buckingham is flat out the most original, provocative writer there is on the subjects of leadership and management. He comes to his theories the old-fashioned way: by truly getting to know the people and the workplaces he writes about. He also happens to be a wonderful writer and a joy to read."
-- Tony Schwartz, coauthor of The Power of Full Engagement; president, The Energy Project
"Given the tremendous complexities of today's business environment and consumer expectations, Marcus Buckingham is able to deliver a clear path of understanding to the simple truths at the heart of managing and leading. The 'one thing' I find invaluable about this book is its unique, challenging examples about how to stay laser focused on operational excellence."
-- Robert L. Nardelli, chairman, president, and CEO, The Home Depot, Inc.
Following the success of Buckingham's previous major works, the principal author of First, Break All the Rules and Now, Discover Your Strengths offers a dramatically new way to understand the art of success.
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
1: A Few Things You Should Know About the "One Thing"
"Get me to the core": "If you dig into a subject deeply enough, what do you find?"
A lifetime of "why"s: "What drove this book?"
The tests for the "one thing": "Why are some explanations more powerful than others?"
One controlling insight: "What is the One Thing you need to know about happy marriage?"
The One Thing You Need to Know
Sustained Organizational Success
2: Managing and Leading: What's the Difference?
A vital distinction: "Are they different? Are they both important? Can you do both?"
A view from the middle: "What do great managers actually do and what talents do you need to do it?"
A view from the top: "What do great leaders actually do and what talents do you need to do it?"
3: The One Thing You Need to Know: Great Managing
The basics of good managing: "What skills will prevent you from failing as a manager?"
Great managers play chess: "What is the One Thing you need to know about great managing?"
A walk through a walgreens: "How does one truly great manager do it?"
Great managers are romantics: "What are the benefits of individualization?"
The three levers: "What are the three things you need to know about a person in order to manage him or her effectively?"
The most useful questions: "How can you identify these levers?"
4: The One Thing You Need to Know: Great Leading
A leader wins our loyalty: "What did Giuliani say to calm our fears?"
Five fears, five needs, one focus: "What are the universals of human nature?"
The points of clarity: "Where are your followers crying out for clarity?"
The disciplines of leadership: "How do the best leaders achieve this clarity?"
Part II: The One Thing You Need to Know
Sustained Individual Success
5: The Twenty Percenters
Dave, Myrtle, and Tim: "What does sustained individual success look like?"
The early contenders: "What explanations seem like the One Thing, but aren't?"
What is sustained success?: "It's a broad term. How do we define it?"
6: The Three Main Contenders
Contender 1: "Find the right tactics and employ them."
Contender 2: "Find your flaws and fix them."
Contender 3: "Discover your strengths and cultivate them."
7: So, How Do You Sustain Success If...?
Conclusion: Intentional Imbalance