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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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Fundamentally Flawed

I was learning from this book until Chapter Three when it became clear that the author is slanted toward a Fixed Mindset. What a let down. I prefer learning that's based on the optimism and future-forward strength of a Growth Mindset, which seems to be the foundation of the human spirit. This book's words became futile to me once I realized they were based on a belief that people aren't changeable.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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solid generalized advice for managers

solid generalized advice for managers, leans very heavily on promoting strength development and setting outcome based goals

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  • Alex
  • Texas
  • 06-28-18

Dangerous if used incorrectly

I have mixed feelings about this book: although I agree with a lot of what they say and I honestly believe (and have personally seen) that the topics in this book can and do make a difference in people's lives both positively and negatively.

I cannot, however, get past the point that this is a huge open invitation to discriminate. It is so easy to assume that this guy/gal "is just not talented for leadership" that he/she never gets a chance. It is easy to think that "this guy isn't talented with numbers" so he never gets to learn the accounting. "This girl isn't talented with people" so never gets the chance to network.

I've seen it in action at companies where I worked that followed this mantra: you get labeled and there's no way out of that. The "Strengths" from Clifton are used strongly along this book to determine your "strengths" (this book calls them talents) and it is safe to say that although it is meant as a guide and does indeed give you useful information about people, it is very easily used to keep people out of promotions or opportunities to grow based on what the quiz said you can and cannot do.

Outside rant that didn't influence my rating, but was disappointing: Strengths Test code is not included, just Q12.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent for any Manager

I truly enjoyed this book. It is the cornerstone of what has made my career a success. Use it as best practice guidance. Apply what you can where you can and watch the changes throughout your business. The ripple affects can be tremendous.

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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.

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Even better the second time

This is my second time reading the book. The first time many years ago. It meant so much more having had years of management experience now, which validated so many of the points in the book. It's a must-read for any manager and backed up by extensive research.

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Top 10 Book

As a manager, I am always looking for ways to improve. This book delivers tremendous value to all that manage people and want to improve their performance. I reference this book often as a resource to help me manage myself and others.

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Excellent listen

Everything was excellent. The only thing I would improve is writing the actual chapter names to facilitate navigation.

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Good tips

Lots of good tips throughout; it may be more useful for those who are newer to management.