Summary of First, Break All the Rules

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First, Break All the Rules book summary


9 Overall

10 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman present the results of two major studies. One offers findings from polling more than a million employees about their workplace needs. The other is a 20-year study of how the methods of the world’s greatest managers differ from those of lesser managers. This study involved interviews with more than 80,000 managers from 400 companies, the largest such investigation ever undertaken. The authors found key differences that fly in the face of traditional thinking about successful managerial practices. This astute, well-written report presents the major principles of great managers, and offers examples of leaders who put their knowledge of effective management into practice. The book’s conclusions rest on in-depth research, not theory. This painstaking study authoritatively describes how employees feel about management and explains exactly what great managers do, and why and how they achieve top results. getAbstract recommends it to everyone who manages, wants to manage or is managed.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What principles great managers apply separate them from ordinary managers,
  • What questions employees ask at each level of their development,
  • Why a great manager must be attuned to each employee’s individual nature and
  • What four skills every manager needs.

About the Authors

Marcus Buckingham is a senior lecturer in Gallup’s Leadership Institute and Curt Coffman is the global practice leader for the Gallup Organization’s Workplace Management Practice.



Great Managers and Other Managers

Managers can gain many practical lessons, methods, tactics and strategies from data gathered in two large-scale studies of management-employee interaction conducted over a 25-year period by the Gallup Organization.

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    Mark Hughey 2 years ago
    The specific point about hiring for talent and not necessarily experience or skills really resonates with me. I've often found that a smart and eager novice will outperform the veteran "expert".
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    Joe McGinlay 2 years ago
    Seems to contradict itself a number of times. Changing from leader to manager in a sentence may be confusing. Good read though. 
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    Kathleen Gifford 5 years ago
    I enjoyed reading this short summary on First, Break all the Rules. I think I would like to dive deeper into this book to really reap the benefits.

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