Thursday, January 17, 2008

Book Review: First, Break All the Rules

Book review of First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

This was the first book that I picked up as part of the Personal MBA program. Well actually, this was one of the many books that I had sitting on the shelf. After discovering the Personal MBA, I look over at my bookshelf and it was just sitting there staring at me.

My only regret is that I did not read this book sooner, this was an outstandingly researched book, Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman tell a great story and it really hit home with me. Buckingham and Coffman base their findings on 25 years of data collected by the Gallup Organization. Their data samples 80 thousand managers and over a million employees from 400 companies. The concepts are well explained and presented.

The book can be summarized into the discovery of 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.

I highly recommend “First, Break All the Rules” to any current or future manager. The great thing about this book is that after reading it, I participated in a similar survey (StrengthFinder 2.0). I can’t wait to read additional books based on the Gallup surveys and these authors.