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First, Break All The Rules: What The Worlds Greatest Managers Do Differently Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook

4.3 out of 5 stars 193 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Gallup Press; Abridged edition (Nov. 1 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743510119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743510110
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14.6 x 13.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 193 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #184,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman expose the fallacies of standard management thinking in First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently. In seven chapters, the two consultants for the Gallup Organization debunk some dearly held notions about management, such as "treat people as you like to be treated"; "people are capable of almost anything"; and "a manager's role is diminishing in today's economy." "Great managers are revolutionaries," the authors write. "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."

The authors have culled their observations from more than 80,000 interviews conducted by Gallup during the past 25 years. Quoting leaders such as basketball coach Phil Jackson, Buckingham and Coffman outline "four keys" to becoming an excellent manager: Finding the right fit for employees, focusing on strengths of employees, defining the right results, and selecting staff for talent--not just knowledge and skills. First, Break All the Rules offers specific techniques for helping people perform better on the job. For instance, the authors show ways to structure a trial period for a new worker and how to create a pay plan that rewards people for their expertise instead of how fast they climb the company ladder. "The point is to focus people toward performance," they write. "The manager is, and should be, totally responsible for this." Written in plain English and well organized, this book tells you exactly how to improve as a supervisor. --Dan Ring --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The authors, both management consultants for the Gallup Organization, use the company's study of 80,000 managers in 400 companies to reach the conclusion that a company that lacks great frontline managers will bleed talent, no matter how attractive the compensation packages and training opportunities. With this in mind, they sought the answers to the follow-up questions: "How do great managers find, focus and keep talented employees." Using case studies, diagrams, and excerpts from interviews, Buckingham and Coffman guide us through their findings that discipline, focus, trust, and, most important, willingness to treat each employee as an individual are the overall secrets for turning talent into lasting performance. The book concludes with suggestions on how to become a great manager, including ideas for interviewing for talent, how to develop a performance management routine, and how to get the best performance from talented employees. Although this is clearly an infomercial for the Gallup Organization, it nevertheless offers thoughtful advice on the essential task of developing excellent managers. Mary Whaley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I definitely rank this title among 5 best business books I have read. Its conclusions have two strengths: a/when implemented translate to a much improved business performance, b/are exceptionally well backed by a massive research.
This is the essence of my particular out-take from "First, Break Every Rule":
1/Select a person for talent (not for well-roundedness, lack of weknesses). Talent is any recurring pattern of bahaviour that can be productively applied. You cannot teach talent, ergo your time is best alocated when you use and further develop your and your subordinates existing talents rather than spend it on trying to change weaknesses into strengths. Weaknesses can be only neutralized which is a must when they are a major obstacle to talents.
2/Having selected employees, set expectations for them (which are right outcomes and not right steps!), motivate them (when motivating pople focus on their strengths not weaknesses) and develop them (the talents already existing in them).
3/Your employee will perform best when 6 fundamental conditions are met by you as his/her direct superior:
a/She knows what is expected of her at work (outcomes again).
b/She is properly equiped to do the job.
c/She is assigned in line with at least one of her best talents.
d/She has received praise in the last week (which, let us note, will not be difficult if conditions a/,b/ and c/ have been met by her manager)
e/She is convinced that her supervisor cares about her as a person.
f/She feels there is someone at work who encourages her development.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a well researched book. The authors arrived at their conclusions after analyzing data collected by Gallup over 25 years - using an impressive sample size of 80 thousand managers and 1 million staff from 400 companies. Gallup has used its expertise in survey research to link employee engagement to business performance. The concepts are well explained and presented.
The essence of the findings lie in the 4 Keys of great managers and the 12 Questions that give organizations the information they need to attract, focus, and keep the most talented employees.
The 4 Keys of great managers:
1. Select for talent - the authors define talent as "recurring patterns of behavior" and state that great managers find the match between talents and roles.
2. Define the right outcomes - managers needs to turn talent into performance. This can be done by defining the right outcomes and letting people find their own route toward the outcomes.
3. Focus on strengths - managers need to concentrate on strengths and not on weaknesses.
4. Find the Right Fit - managers need to assign roles to employees that give the employees the greatest chance of success.
The 12 Questions make an excellent list of questions that will be helpful to organizations as well as to employees. The authors group the questions into various categories and explain the importance of each question and group.
I give this book 5 stars because the insights are practical and backed by empirical evidence, and the book is well presented. I was able to apply the concepts immediately. I read this book when I was assigned the role of a team lead. I was able to improve the efficiency of the team by assigning tasks to people based on their individual strengths.
This book has a lot of substance.
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Format: Hardcover
There are a few good common sense ideas in this book. For example: 1.It's hard to change people; 2. Make the most of an employee's talents instead of trying to fix their weaknesses; 3. Don't micro-manage; 4. A good way of doing something is not simply the opposite of a bad way. The authors then contend that these ideas go against conventional wisdom. I don't know what conventional wisdom they are talking about since it agrees with most of mine. But then again I went to an engineering school, not a business school. After presenting these ideas there is not much else in the book except a series of disconnected management anecdotes. Curiously most of these anecdotes are examples of bad management. This is in direct contradiction to idea 4 above, which the authors spent several pages discussing. I think the first example of good management was about halfway through the book when they started to talk about Southwest Airlines. (Actually if someone wants to write a good management book, do a case study on Southwest Airlines.) Also most of the examples deal with restaraunts, hotels, and banks with almost none from a high tech or software business. Finally I think (and this is conventional wisdom again) a good manager must be able to 1.Prioritize; 2.Organize. The authors say nothing of these abilities and obviously know little about them.
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Format: Hardcover
This book has its pros and cons. The cons, unfortunately, outweigh the pros. On the positive side, the Gallup data that Buckingham and Coffman present are intriguing. It is interesting that high-performing business units can be distinguished from those that perform poorly based on employees' responses to certain questions. But the responses of the employees or, more appropriately, their opinions, are not the reason for the good performance. Recognizing this, the authors appropriately move on to describe the management style that makes for good business performance. This, however, is where the book breaks down into an obtuse, vague, and unrealistic personality theory that is justified (as if to impress) with a reference to a study of exorbitant sample size (as if the sample size is what makes for a quality study ... Gallup folks should know better than that). Besides a few reasonable points, the message is essentially that managers should look for "striving", "thinking" or "relating" talents of various kinds (e.g., "relating individualized perception talent") and make sure people who posses those talents are cast in jobs that require such talents. As with most theories of personality, such speculations are of little value and are exceedingly impractical. Assuming for a second that these personality traits do exist, how does that help? First, how do we identify employee's personality traits? The authors pay lip service to this issue (at best, see for example p. 218 and 219), but with the loosely defined personality traits that they invented, how could a tool for identifying those traits be expected. Second, how do we know which jobs require which personality traits? The answers, after reading this book, are not immediately clear.Read more ›
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