Co-authored with Curt Coffman, First Break All the Rules PDF You need to focus on their strengths and use them to their full potential. Editorial Reviews. Review. Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman expose the . candidate has a proven talent for working with personnel from multiple departments, in order to complete tasks that come with ECO writing. First, Break All the Rules from Soundview Executive Book Summaries February 2. THE THE COMPLETE SUMMARY. The Measuring Stick. Today, more.

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pdf. First, Break All The Rules - What The World's Greatest Managers Do Differently . First, breakall the rules: whatthe world s greatest managers do differently The Walt Disney Company might include only full-time employees in their. First Break all the Rules. Notes environment where employees answer positively to all twelve questions, then you will have built a great place to work. 1. profit budget. Those stores in the bottom group missed their profit goals by a full 30%. In the book ―First Break All the Rules‖, the Gallup Or- ganization's Marcus Bucking- ham and Curt Coffman have identified common character- istics of great .

Now, a year later, everysingle one of them has left, except me. But deep within this giant, unseen by the senior executives or Wall Street, one individual is draining the company of power and value.

As Sharon says, he is not a bad man, but he is a bad manager. Woefully miscast, he now spends his days chasing away one talented employee after another. Perhaps he is an exception. Or perhaps the giant makes a habit of promoting people into manager roles who are talented individual achievers but poor managers. The giant would certainly hope for the former. But Sharon doesn't care one way or the other. When she told her company that she was considering leaving, they offered her more money and a bigger title, to try to coax her back.

But they didn't offer her what she wanted most: So she left. But it is her relationship with her immediate manager that will determine how long she stays and how productive she is while she is there.

In the end these questions tell us that, from the employee s perspective, managers trump companies. Unlike Wall Street and the business press, employees don't put their faith in the myth of "great companies" or "great leaders. Perhaps the best thing any leader can do to drive the whole company toward greatness is, first, to hold each manager accountable for what his employees say to these twelve questions, and, second, to help each manager know what actions to take to deserve "Strongly Agree" responses from his employees.

The following chaptersdescribe the actions taken by the worlds great managers. But first, a casein point: Whatdo allthese discoveries mean for a spe cific company or a specific manager? A Case in Point "What do these discoveries meanfor one particular company? They em ployed thirty-seven thousand people spread across three hundred stores—about one hundred employees per store. Each one of these stores was designed and built to provide the customer with a consistent shopping experience.

The building, the layout, the product positioning, the colors, every detail was honed so that the store in Adanta would have the same distinctive brand identityas the store in Phoenix. We asked each employee the twelve questions—over 75 percent of all employees chose to participate for a total of twenty-eight thousand. We then looked at the scores for each store. The following table offers an example of what we found: We asked the questions on a scale, where "1" equals strongly disagree and "5" equals strongly agree.

The numbers in the columns are the percentage of employees who responded "5" to each question. Whatever the company was trying to do for its employees from the center, at the store level, these initiatives were being communicated andimplemented in radically different ways.

For the employees, Store A must have offered a much more engaging workexperience than Store B.

Look at the different levels of relationship, for example. In Store A, 51 percent of employees said they felt cared about as a person. In Store B, that number sank to 17 percent. Given the pace of change in today's business world, one of the most valuable commodities a com panycan possess is the employees' "benefit of the doubt.

Store A possesses this precious commodity. Here the employees will tolerate ambiguity, trusting that, as events play out, their manager will be there to support them. Store B doesn't have that luxury. Lacking genuine bonds between manager and em ployee, any new initiative, no matter howwellintended, will be greeted with suspicion.

How about individual performance? In Store A, 55 percent of em ployees saidthat theyhad a chance to dowhatthey do best every day.

In Store B, only 19 percent responded "5. Whereveryou look, the differences leap out at you. Store B? A quarter of that, 9 percent. Store B, only10 percent. Perhaps the most bizarre discrepancy can be found in the second question.

Marcus Buckingham

In Store A, 45 percent of employees strongly agreed that they had the materials and equipment they needed to do their work right. In Store B, only 11 percent said "5. Everything, even the physical environment, was colored by the store manager. This company didn't have one culture.

It had as many cultures as it did managers. No matter what the company's intent, each store's culture was a unique creation of the managers and supervisors in the field. A Case in Point 39 Some cultures were fragile, bedeviled with mistrust and suspicion. Others were strong, able to attract and keep talented employees. For this company's leaders, the wide variation in results was actually verygood news. Yes, looking only at the negative, it meant there was a limitto what they couldcontrolfrom the center.

The challenge of build ing a strong all-company culture had suddenly turned into a challenge of multiplication. On the brighter side, however, these results revealed that this com pany was blessed with some truly exemplary managers. These man agers had built productive businesses by engaging the talents and passions of their people.

In their quest to attract productive employees, this company could now stop hunting for the magical central fix. Instead they could find out what their newly highlighted cadre of bril liant managers was doing and then build their company culture around this blueprint. They could try to hire more like their best. They could take the ideas of their best and multiply them companywide. They could redesign training programs based upon the practices of their best.

To build a stronger culture, this company wouldn'thave to borrow ideas from the likes of "best practice" companies like Disney, Southwest Airlines, or Ritz-Carlton. All they would have to do is learn from their own best.

Does Store A actually outperform Store B on any of the more traditional performance measures like sales, profit, or retention? But this is too general. Like you, we wanted to knowthe specifics. Sowe askedthe company to supplyus with the rawperformancedata that theywouldnormally use to measure the productivity of a store.

We punched in these scores and then com pared them with each store's scores on the twelve questions. This is what we found: If realized, this fig ure would represent a 2. The top 25 percent of stores on the survey ended the year almost 14 per cent over their profit budget.

Those stores in the bottom group missed their profit goals by a full 30 percent. Each store in the top group retained, on average, twelve more employees per year than eachstore in the bottom group. Across both groups this means that the top 25percentscoring stores on the survey retained one thousand more employees per year than the bottom group of stores. And that's just the hard cost.

The drain of experienced employees who have developed valuable relationships withtheir customers and their colleagues is harder to measure but is just as significant a loss. These results are compelling. In this company the business units were measurably moreproductive where the employees answered posi tively to the twelve questions. Excellent front-line managers had en gaged their employees and these engaged employees had provided the foundation for top performance.

Any measuring stickworth its salt not only tellsyou where you stand, it alsohelps you decide what to do next. Sowhat can a manager, any man ager, do to secure 5's to these twelve questions and so engage his em ployees?

First youhave to know where to start. Gallup's research revealed that some questions were more powerful than others. This implies that you, the manager, should address these twelve questions in the right order. There is litde point attacking the lesser questions if you have ignored the most powerful. We will show you why, andbyway ofcontrast, wewill describe where the world's great managers start laying the foundations for a truly pro ductiveworkplace.

Mountain Climbing "Why is there an order to the twelve questions? At first it is hard to make out its full shape and color, shifting from blue togray togreen as you approach.

Butnow, standing at the base, you sense itspresence. You know there is a climb ahead. You know the climb will vary, sometimes steep, some times gradual. You know there will be gullies to negotiate, terrain that will force you to descend before you can resume your climb. You know the dangers, too, the cold, the clouds, and the most pressing danger of all, your own fragile will.

But then you think ofthe summit and how you will feel, so youstart to climb. You know this mountain. We all do. It is the psychological climb you make from the moment you take on a new role to the moment you feel fully engaged in that role. At the base ofthe mountain, perhaps you are joining a new company. Perhaps you have just been promoted to a new role within the same company. Either way you are atthe start ofa long climb.

At the summit of this mountain you are still in the same role—the mountain doesn't represent a career climb—but you are loyal and pro ductive in this role. Youare the machinist who bothers to write down all the little hints and tips you have picked up so that you can present them as an informal manual to apprentice machinists just learning their craft. You are the grocery store clerk who tells the customer that the grape fruit are in aisle five but who then walks her to aisle five, explaining that the grapefruit are always stocked from the back tothe front.

Whatever your role, at the summit ofthis mountain you are good at what you do, you know the fundamental purpose ofyour work, and you are always looking for better ways to fulfill that mission.

You are fully engaged. How did you get there? He will be able to help more and more individuals reach the summit. The more individuals he can help move up the mountain, one by one, the stronger the workplace. So how did you get there? How did you make the chmb? Put on your employee hat for a moment. This may be a psychological mountain, but aswithan actual mountain, you have to chmb it in stages. Read in the right order, the twelve questions can tell you which stage is which and exactly what needs must be met before you can continue your climb up to the next stage.

Before we describe the stages on the climb, think back to the needs you had when you were first starting your current role. What did you want from the role? What needs were foremost in your mind at that time? Then, as time passed and you settled in, how did your needs change? And currently, what are your priorities? What do you need from your role today? You may want to keep these thoughts in mind as we describe the stages on the climb.

Base Camp: You want to know what is going to be expected ofyou. How much are you going to earn?

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How long will your commute be? Will you have an office, a desk, even a phone? At this stage you are asking, "What do I get? Of the twelve, these two fundamental questions measure Base Camp: Do I know what is expected of me at work? DoI have the materials and equipment I need todomy work right?

Camp 1: Your perspective changes.

Marcus Buckingham

You start asking different questions. You want to know whether you are any good at the job.

Are you in a role where you can excel? Do other people think you are excelling? If not, what do they think about you? Will they help you? At this stage your questions center around "What do I give? At work, doI have theopportunity todo what I dobest every day?

Is there someone atwork who encourages my development? Each ofthese questions helps you know not only if you feel you are doing well in the role Q3 , butalso ifother people value your individ ual performance Q4 , ifthey value you as aperson Q5 , and ifthey are prepared to invest inyour growth Q6.

These questions all address the issue of your individual self-esteem and worth. As we will see, if these questions remain unanswered, all of your yearnings to belong, to be come part of a team, to learn and to innovate, will be undermined. Camp 2: By now you've asked some difficult questions, of yourself and of others; and the answers have, hopefully, given you strength.

Your perspective widens. You look around and ask, "Do I be long here? Orperhaps you define yourself by your creativity—are you surrounded bypeople who push the envelope, as you do?

Whatever your basic value system happens tobe, atthis stage ofthe chmb you really want to know ifyou fit. These four questions measure Camp 2: Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work? Camp 3: At this stage you are impa tientfor everyone to improve, asking, "How can we all grow? This stage tells us thatonly after you have climbed up and through the earlier threestages can you innovate effectively. Because there is a difference be tween "invention" and "innovation.

But these ideas didn't carry any weight. By contrast, innovation is novelty that can be applied. And you can innovate, you can apply your new ideas, only ifyou are focused on the right expectations Base Camp , ifyou have confidence in your own expertise Camp 1 , and ifyou are aware ofhow your new ideas will beaccepted orrejected by the people around you Camp 2.

Ifyou can not answer positively to all these earlier questions, then you will find it almost impossible to apply all your new ideas. These two questions measure Camp 3: In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about myprogress?

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

This last year, have I had opportunities atwork to learn and grow? The Summit If you can answer positively to all ofthese twelve questions, then you have reached the summit. Your focus is clear. You feel a recurring sense ofachievement, as though the best ofyou is being called upon and the best ofyou responds every single day.

You look around and see others who also seem to thrill to the challenge of their work. Buoyed by your mutual understanding and your shared purpose, you climbers look out and forward to the challenges marching over the horizon. It is not easy to remain at the summit for long, with the ground shifting beneath your feet and thestrong winds buffeting you this way and that. But while you are there, it is quite a feeling. If this is the psychological climb you made or failed to make from the moment you began your current role to the moment you felt fully engaged in this role, thenwhere are you?

Camp 1? Camp 3? The summit? Ask yourself those twelve questions. Your answers can give you a read on where you are on the mountain. Change can dothatto a person—you genuinely want to commit, but the uncertainty keeps pushing you down and down. Just tell me what is expected of me today" Perhaps you have just been promoted—you felt as though you were at the summit in your previous role, but now you find yourself right back down at Camp 1, with new expectations and a new manager.

I wonder how he will define success. Of course, the climb toward the summit is more complicated than this picture. Not only will people trade one stage off against another, but each individual will also place a slightly different value on each stage of the climb. For example, you might have taken your current role simply because it offered you the chance to learn and grow—in a sense, you flew straight in to Camp 3.

And ifthese higher-level needs are being met, then you will probably be a little more patient in waiting for your manager to make his expectations crystal clear I Base Camp. Similarly, ifyou feel very connected to your team members t Camp 2 , then you may be prepared to stick this out for a while longer, even though you feel that your role on the team doesn't allow you to use your true talents i Camp 1.

However, these kinds of individual trade-offs don't deny the basic truth of the mountain—regardless of how positively you answer the questions at Camp 2 or Camp 3, the longer your lower-level needs re main unmet, the more likely it is that you will burn out, become unpro ductive, and leave.

Infact, ifyou do find yourself answering positively to Camps 2 and 3, but negatively to the questions lower down, bevery careful. You are in an extremely precarious position. On the surface everything seems fine—you like your team members t Camp 2 , you are learning and growing T Camp 3 —but deep down you are disengaged.

Not only are you less productive than you could be, but you would jump ship at the first goodoffer. We can give this condition a name: In the physical world, mountain sickness is brought onbythe lack of oxygen at high altitudes. Starved ofoxygen, your heart starts pounding. You feel breathless anddisoriented. There is noway to cheat mountain sickness. There is no vaccine, no antidote. The onlyway to beat it is to climb down and give yourbody time to acclimatize. Inexperienced climbers might suggest that if you have lots of money and not much time, you could helicopter in to Camp 3 and race to the summit.

Experienced guides know that you would never make it. Mountain sickness would sap your energy and slow your progress to a crawl. These guides will tell you that to reach the summit you have to pay your dues. During your ascent you have to spend a great deal of time between Base Camp and Camp 1.

The more time you spend at these lower reaches, the more stamina you will have in the thin air near the summit. In the psychological world, theiradvice still applies. Base Camp and Camp 1 are the foundation. Spend time focusing on these needs, find a manager who can meet these needs, and you will have the strength nec essary for the long chmb ahead. Ignore these needs and you are much morelikely to psychologically disengage.

This metaphorical mountain reveals that the key to building a strong, vibrant workplace hes in meeting employees' needs at Base Camp and Camp 1.

This is where you should focus your time and energy. If your employees' lower-level needs remain unaddressed, then everything you do forthemfurther along the journey isalmost irrelevant. Butifyou can meetthese needs successfully, then the rest—the teambuilding and the innovating—is so much easier.

It almost sounds obvious. But over the last fifteen years most man agers have been encouraged to focus much higher up the mountain. Mission statements, diversity training, self-directed work teams—all try to help employees feel they belong Camp 2. Total quality manage ment, reengineering, continuous improvement, learning organiza tions—all address the need foremployees to innovate, to challenge cozy assumptions and rebuild them afresh, every day Camp 3.

All of these initiatives were verywellconceived. Manyof them were well executed. But almost all of them have withered. Diversity experts now bicker over theproper definition of"diversity.

And many of us snort at mission statements. When you think about it,it is rather sad. An important kernel oftruth lay at the heart of all of these initiatives, but none of them lasted.

An epidemic of mountain sickness. They aimed too high, too fast. Managers were encouraged to focus on complex initiatives like reengineering or learning organizations, without spending time on the basics.

The stages on the mountain reveal that if the employee doesn't know what is expected of him as an individual Base Camp , then you shouldn't ask him to get excited about playing ona team Camp 2.

If he feels as though he is inthe wrong role Camp 1 , don't pander tohim by telling him how important his innovative ideas are to the company's reengineering efforts Camp 3. If he doesn't know what his manager thinks ofhim as an individual Camp 1 , don't confuse him by challeng ing him tobecome part ofthe new "learning organization" Camp 3. Don't helicopter in at seventeen thousand feet, because sooner or later youand yourpeople will die on the mountain.

They know that the core of a strong and vibrant workplace can be found in the first six questions: Do I knowwhat is expectedof me at work? At work, do I have theopportunity to do what I do best every day?

Is there someone at work who encourages my development? Mountain Climbing 49 Securing 5's to these questions is one ofyour most important respon sibilities. And as many managers discover, getting all 5's from your em ployees is far from easy. For example, the manager who tries to curry favor with his people by telling them that they should all be promoted may receive 5's onthe question "Is there someone at work who encour ages my development? You have to be able to set consistent expectations for all your people yet at the same timetreat each person differently.

You have tobeable to make each person feel as though he is in a role that uses his talents, while simultaneously chal lenging him to grow.

You have to care about each person, praise each person, and, if necessary, terminate a person you have cared about and praised. Scott Fitzgerald believed that "the test ofa first-rate intelligence is the ability tohold two opposed ideas inmind at the same time, and still maintain the ability to function. In the following chapters we will describe this in telligence. We will help you look through the eyes of the world's great managers and see how they balance their conflicting responsibilities.

We will show you how they find, focus, and develop so many talented employees, so effectively. The flood of answers is rising and threatens to swamp even the most level-headed managers. In two hundred books were pub lished on the subject of managing and leading. By that number had more than tripled. In fact, over the last twenty years authors have offered up over nine thousand different systems, languages, principles, and paradigms to help explain the mysteries of management and lead ership.

This barrage of conflicting, impressionistic, and largely anecdotal ad vice is overwhelming, but it rarely enlightens. It lacks precision and simplicity. Something is missing, even from the most persuasive advice. There are volumes of case studies and "here's how I did it" personal success stories, but very little quantitative research and virtually no standard of measurement. No one has ever interviewed the best man agers in the world andthencompared systematically theiranswers with the answers of average managers.

No one has ever allowed great managers to define themselves. No one has tapped the source. So Gallup did. This secondresearch effortwas the inevitable companion to the first. In the previous chapter we described the fink between engaged em ployees and business unit outcomes and revealed thecritical role played by managers everywhere. In this chapter we seek to delve into the minds of the world's great managers and find out how they engaged, so successfully, the hearts, minds, andtalents of their people.

Year after year we askedour clients to give us their great managers to interview. It was not always easy to identify who the best ones were, so we began byasking, "Which ofyour managers would you dearly love to clone? However, in the greatmajority of organizations there wereperformance scores: We used these performance scores to sort out the great man agers from the rest.

We interviewed hotel supervisors, sales managers, general agents, se nior account executives, manufacturing team leaders, professional sports coaches, pub managers, public school superintendents, captains, majors, and colonels inthe mihtary, even a selection ofdeacons, priests, and pastors.

We interviewed over eighty thousand managers. Each great manager was interviewed for about an hour and a half, using open-ended questions. For example: Please explain your choice. One has thebest talent for management you have ever seen. The other is mediocre. There are two openings available: Neither territory has yet reached its po tential. Where would you recommend the excellent manager be placed?

The answers to these, and hundreds of similar questions, were tape- recorded, transcribed, read, and reread. Using the same questions, we then interviewed their rather less successful colleagues. These man agers were neither failing nor excelling.

They were "average managers. Then we compared. We listened to , hours of tape. We combed through 5 million pages oftranscript. We searched for patterns. What, if anything, did thebest have incommon? And what, if anything, distinguished them from their less successful colleagues?

It turns out that great managers share less than you might think. If you were to work for them, you would feel different styles of motivation, of direction, and of relation ship building. The truthis they don't have much in common at all.

However, deep within all these variations, there was one insight, one sharedwisdom, to which allof these great managers kept returning. What Great Managers Know "What is the revolutionary insight shared by all great managers? There oncelived a scorpion and a frog. The scorpion wanted to cross the pond, but, being a scorpion, he couldn't swim.

So he scuttled up to the frog and asked: Frog, can you carryme across the pond on your back? You mightstingme as I swim across. Perhaps, felt the frog, in this oneinstance the scorpion would keep his tail in check. So the frog agreed. The scorpion climbed onto his back, and together they set offacross the pond. Just as they reached the middle ofthepond, thescorpion twitched his tail and stung the frog.

Mortally wounded, the frog cried out: It is not in yourinterests to sting me,because nowI will die and youwill drown.

I have to sting you. It'sin my nature. People's natures do change, it whispers. Anyone canbe anything theywant to be if they just try hard enough. Indeed, as a manager it is your duty to di rect those changes. Devise rules andpolicies to control your employees' unruly inclinations. Teach them skills and competencies to fill in the traits theylack. All ofyour best efforts as a manager should focus on ei ther muzzling or correcting what nature saw fit to provide. Great managers reject this out of hand.

They remember what the frog forgot: They recognize that each person is motivated differently, that each person has his own way of thinking andhis own style of relating to others.

They know that there isa limit to how much remolding theycan do to someone. Instead they capitalize on them. They try to help each person become more and more of whohe already is. Simply put, this is the one insight we heard echoed by tens of thou sands of great managers: People don't change that much. Don't waste time trying toputin what was left out. Try to draw outwhat was left in. That is hard enough. This insightis the source of their wisdom. It explains everything they do with and for their people.

It is the foundation of their success as managers. This insight is revolutionary. It explains why great managers do not beheve that everyone has unlimited potential; why they do not help people fix their weaknesses; why they insist on breaking the "Golden Rule" with every single employee; and why they play favorites.

It ex plains why great managers break all the rules of conventional wisdom. Simple though it may sound, this is a complex and subtle insight. If you applied it without sophistication, you could quickly find yourself suggesting that managers should ignore people's weaknesses and that all training is a complete waste of time.

Neither is true. Like all revolution ary messages, this particularinsight requires explanation: How do great managers apply it? What does it ask of employees? What does it mean for companies? Over the next chapters we will answerthese questions, but before we do, we have to agree on what a manager, any manager, actually does. What is their unique function in a company?

What role do they play? Gallup has found that the front-line manager is the key to attracting and retaining talented employees. This book explains how the best managers select an employee for talent rather than for skills or experience, set expectations, build on each person's unique strengths rather than trying to fix his or her weaknesses, and get the best performance out of their teams.

And perhaps most important, Gallup's research produced the 12 simple statements that distinguish the strongest departments of a company from all the rest.

First, Break All the Rules is the first book to present this essential measuring stick and to prove the link between employee opinions and productivity, profit, customer satisfaction and the rate of turnover. First, Break All the Rules presents vital performance and career lessons for managers at every level -- and best of all, shows you how to apply them to your own situation.

About Gallup Press The mission of Gallup Press is to educate and inform the people who govern, manage, teach and lead the world's 7 billion citizens. They actually have vastly different styles and backgrounds. Yet despite their differences, great managers share one common trait: They don't hesitate to break virtually every rule held sacred by conventional wisdom. 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.

And, yes, they even play favorites. In this longtime management bestseller, Gallup presents the remarkable findings of its massive in-depth study of great managers.Vivid examples show how, as they select, focus, motivate and develop people, great managers turn talent into performance.

His adversaries, the Nazis, have already begun their excava tions, and he is desperate to beat them to the prize. She wanted to get into the world of publishing, so she joined one of the media-entertainment giants in the marketing department of one of their manymagazines.

They aimed too high, too fast. How often would you like to meet to discuss progress?

Financial Education Program Administrative Assistant. Justtell us about the core ofthe team.