What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently

A good book: First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently

Ochalla, Bryan

A GOOD BOOK Title: First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently Author: Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman Publisher: Simon & Schuster ISBN: 0684852861

Business “how-to” books aren’t known for focusing on individuality. For the most part, readers are told over and over again they have to squeeze into any number of prefabricated roles in order to achieve success in their profession-regardless of whether those roles fit their individual style.

Managers sick of the status quo should breathe a sigh of relief at the sight of Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman’s First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently. Created using information culled from the Gallop Organization’s “twenty-year effort to identify the core characteristics of great managers,” First, Break All the Rules isn’t about fitting into prefabricated boxes and roles-it’s about developing your individual style based on your innate talents and competencies.

“The greatest managers in the world do not have much in common,” Buckingham and Coffman say. “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.”

Together, Buckingham, a senior lecturer in Gallop’s Leadership Institute, and Coffman, global practice leader for Gallop’s Workplace Management Practice, waded through interviews conducted with a million employees and nearly 80,000 managers in order to develop what they call the four key practices of great managers. What are they? According to Buckingham and Coffman, great managers: select for talent (rather than for skills or experience), define the right outcomes (rather than the right steps), focus on strengths (rather than weaknesses) and find the right fit for each employee (rather than the next rung on the corporate ladder).

Although some of the duo’s findings are obvious (managers are told to “never pass the buck” and to “make few promises and keep them all”), others are comparatively radical. One of the most interesting is the notion that all employees shouldn’t necessarily be treated equally. Buckingham and Coffman encourage leaders to devote attention to those employees who are truly talented and committed to moving the business forward.

Read Buckingham and Coffman’s other insights by ordering a copy of First, Break All the Rules at www.cues.org/barnes.html.

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Copyright Credit Union Executives Society Sep 2002

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