First, Break All the Rules

What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently
Narrated by: Mel Foster
Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
Categories: Business, Management
4.5 out of 5 stars (803 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

What separates the greatest managers from all the rest?

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. Some were in leadership positions. Others were front-line supervisors. Some were in Fortune 500 companies; others were key players in small, entrepreneurial firms. Whatever their circumstances, the managers who ultimately became the focus of Gallup's research were those who excelled at turning each individual employee's talent into high performance.

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.

Included with this re-release of First, Break All the Rules: updated meta-analytic research and access to the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment, which reveals people's top themes of talent, and to Gallup's Q12 employee engagement survey, the most effective measure of employee engagement and its impact on business outcomes.

Please note: When you purchase this title, you will be emailed a unique ID that provides access to accompanying online material.
©1999, 2016 Gallup, Inc. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Gallup®, Clifton StrengthsFinder®, Gallup Press®, Q12®, Selection Research, Inc.™, SRI®, StrengthsFinder®, The Gallup Path®, and the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. The Q12 items are Gallup proprietary information and are protected by law. You may not administer a survey with the Q12 items or reproduce them without written consent from Gallup. © 1993-1998 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Content is dated

I didn't finish the book. Lot of content is on the results of the Gallup research, such as how top performers answer differently on employee surveys versus average performers (such as knowing the purpose of their work and having the resources to do their work). Companies that need to rely on surveys do so because management is already disconnected from the employees, Another problem with the book is that it didn't make sense how the authors defined talent. There was an example of a person with the talent for precision and attention to detail. Therefore, that person would make a good accountant. That isn't talent. Those are personality traits, which would make the person better suited for accounting versus a profession like salesperson or artist. There are other books that do a better job of providing guidance on placing people in the right roles, like Jim Collin's 'Good to Great' -- the right people in the right seat on the bus.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Good book, read slowly

I liked this book and found some useful advice inside it. What I didn't like was the readers pace. He was reading like each sentence ended in some surprise or insight which some did but he read every sentence that way. This is the first book I had to listen to at 1.5x. My only other complaint is the book constantly repeats how unique and amazing this study was and the insights it revealed. While it is impressive, I already bought the book you don't have to bring it up every chapter.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great for Managers

For those that have read Now, Discover Your Strengths (now called Strengthfinders 2.0), you know the value of this test and it's applications. This book focuses on how managers can leverage that info and drill down on the differences between skill, knowledge, and talent.

2 people found this helpful

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Awesome book for anyone!

This is an awesome book for anyone wanting to understand how to hire and manage the right people. It is a real eye opener on finding and developing people rather than settling for warm bodies that do a job.

6 people found this helpful

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Great book

Great book. Insightful information for employees to get to know their own talents, strengths, weaknesses, and how to choose career development to get the best out of them. Get to know the management style and set low expectations for managers and others to change, but work with them or leave for better fitting environments.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Clarity

This book was amazing, it uses a lot of research data to distinguish the main differences between average and excellent managers. It shows exactly how effective managers see and think. It was a big eye opener for me because I feel like I can now see more clearly, what to prioritize and how to create stronger teams with better performance.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A Good Resource

Well, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that a book put together by the Gallup group would lean heavily on the results of their research. This is neither a good thing or a bad thing in itself, depending on how you view Gallup as a management training resource, I suppose.

There are some good insights in this book and a lot of stuff that feels very middle of the road. As is often the case with such books, a lot of the time is spent on examples of the stated principles at work, which should be okay. But as you go through things the number of examples starts to weigh a little heavily and you wonder if this couldn't have been more efficient as a shorter title.

With so much of the book tied to taking their survey and possibly paying for their training materials in the future, the innate sales slant of the title takes away some of its value.

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A new perspective.

Loved listening to this book. Gave me new insight on how to handle a team I inherited at work.

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Good overall

overall a good book. it is a bit dated and there is about 2 to 3 chapters worth of repetitiveness that could have been removed.

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Misleading

The title is a little misleading, this is more of a managers guide on how to work with your employees