Book Summary: First, Break All The Rules
Based on a mammoth research study conducted by the Gallup
Organization involving 80,000 managers across different
industries, this book explores the challenge of many
companies - attaining, keeping and measuring employee
satisfaction. Discover how great managers attract, hire,
focus, and keep their most talented employees!
1. The best managers reject conventional wisdom.
2. The best managers treat every employee as an individual.
3. The best managers never try to fix weaknesses; instead
they focus on strengths and talent.
4. The best managers know they are on stage everyday. They
know their people are watching every move they make.
5. Measuring employee satisfaction is vital information for
6. People leave their immediate managers, not the companies
they work for.
7. The best managers are those that build a work environment
where the employees answer positively to these 12 Questions:
a. Do I know what is expected of me at work?
b. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my
c. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best
d. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or
praise for doing good work?
e. Does my supervisor or someone at work seem to care about
me as a person?
f. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
g. At work, do my opinions seem to count?
h. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my
job is important?
i. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
j. Do I have a best friend at work?
k. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me
about my progress?
l. This last year, have I had the opportunity at work to
learn and grow?
The Gallup study showed that those companies that reflected
positive responses to the 12 questions profited more, were
more productive as business units, retained more employees
per year, and satisfied more customers.
Without satisfying an employee's basic needs first, a manager
can never expect the employee to give stellar performance.
The basic needs are: knowing what is expected of the employee
at work, giving her the equipment and support to do her work
right, and answering her basic questions of self-worth and
self-esteem by giving praise for good work and caring about
her development as a person.
The great manager mantra is don't try to put in what was
left out; instead draw out what was left in. You must hire
for talent, and hone that talent into outstanding
More wisdom in a nutshell from First, Break All the Rules:
1. Know what can be taught, and what requires a natural
2. Set the right outcomes, not steps. Standardize the end
but not the means. As long as the means are within the
company's legal boundaries and industry standards,let the
employee use his own style to deliver the result or outcome
3. Motivate by focusing on strengths, not weaknesses.
4. Casting is important, if an employee is not performing
at excellence, maybe she is not cast in the right role.
5. Every role is noble, respect it enough to hire for
talent to match.
6. A manager must excel in the art of the interview. See if
the candidate's recurring patterns of behavior match the
role he is to fulfill. Ask open-ended questions and let
him talk. Listen for specifics.
7. Find ways to measure, count, and reward outcomes.
8. Spend time with your best people. Give constant feedback.
If you can't spend an hour every quarter talking to an
employee, then you shouldn't be a manager.
9. There are many ways of alleviating a problem or non-talent.
Devise a support system, find a complementary partner for him,
or an alternative role.
10. Do not promote someone until he reaches his level of
incompetence; simply offer bigger rewards within the same
range of his work. It is better to have an excellent highly
paid waitress or bartender on your team than promote him or
her to a poor starting-level bar manager.
11. Some homework to do: Study the best managers in the
company and revise training to incorporate what they know.
Send your talented people to learn new skills or knowledge.
Change recruiting practices to hire for talent, revise
employee job descriptions and qualifications.
By: Regine P. Azurin and Yvette Pantilla
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There are thousands of individual rules for proper grammatical use of any given language; mostly, these are created, and then taught, in order to maximize understanding and minimize confusion. But the English language prohibition against "preposition stranding"--ending a sentence with a preposition like with, at, or of--is not like this. It is a fantastically stupid rule that when followed often has the effect of mangling a sentence. And yet for hundreds of years, schoolchildren have been taught to create disastrously awkward sentences like "With whom did you go?"
...Born in 1631, John Dryden was the most important figure throughout the entire Restoration period of the late 17th century... Dryden twice stated an opposition to preposition stranding. In an afterword for one of his own plays, he criticized Ben Jonson for doing this, saying: "The preposition in the end of the sentence; a common fault with him, and which I have but lately observed in my own writing." Later, in a letter to a young writer who had asked for advice, he wrote: "In the correctness of the English I remember I hinted somewhat of concludding [sic] your sentences with prepositions or conjunctions sometimes, which is not elegant, as in your first sentence."
Dryden does not state why he finds this to be "not elegant." And yet somehow this completely unexplained, tiny criticism, buried in his mountain of works, lodged itself in the grammarian mind, and continued to be taught for hundreds of years later. This casual little comment would arguably be Dryden's most enduring creation.