Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman's book, First, break all the rules: what the world's greatest managers do differently is an original treatise to managerial practices that attempts to overturn traditional and established ways of thinking. This book illustrates that unconventional ideas do work, and shows you how you can apply them in practice.
The authors try to show the reader how the minds of great managers work and "why they have toppled conventional wisdom and reveal the new truths they have forged in its place" (Buckingham and Coffman 11). Their use of extensive research methods and factual data gives credence to their assertions, and the results of the studies often yield surprising results.
I learned a lot of interesting things: the authors believe that the most effective and successful managers are similar in the sense that they use unorthodox ways to guide their charge, and perhaps more importantly, they have individualistic approaches. I have gained an understanding of how to develop a managerial style that is flexible and is based on the employee's core competencies, and they offer innovative ideas on how to achieve this. The authors debunked popularly held notions like, the Golden Rule's "treat people as you want to be treated"; that people can do anything they put their minds to; or that managers shouldn't play favorites.
Buckingham and Coffman also gave a run-down of the four keys to being an outstanding manager, namely: "Finding the right fit for employees, focusing on strengths of employees, defining the right results, and selecting staff for talent." They stress that a great manager places great importance on talent, not just "skills and experience," and that he is ...