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First, Break all the Rules

What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently

By Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
  • Read in 19 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 12 key ideas
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First, Break all the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

First, Break all the Rules (1999) shows how great management differs from conventional approaches. The authors demonstrate how some commonly held notions about career and management are actually misleading. Based on interviews conducted with successful managers (research that the authors did for Gallup) the book introduces its readers to the key notions that great managers – those who get their employees to achieve performance excellence – use in their jobs.

Key idea 1 of 12

Employee satisfaction is the key to a successful business.

There are many ways to increase revenues for a company, yet most of these techniques result in only short-lived growth. In fact, a successful business – one which can sustain growth – can be based only on consistently good performance, which has much more to do with how things are managed within the business.

In other words, at the heart of a successful business is a strong and high-performing workplace.

The success of any business can be based only on a revenue stream that’s robust and sustainable. Such a stream is not generated by techniques like slashing prices or opening a new location, but is the result of a growing base of loyal customers. Growing such a loyal customer base requires that those customers feel satisfied with a company’s excellent products and services.

So, how can a company create such a strong, high-performing workplace?

The key lies in satisfied employees: the more satisfied an employee is, the more she’ll contribute to building and maintaining a strong workplace.

Why is that?

For one thing, satisfied employees are more engaged in their work, and because of their stronger commitment they greatly contribute to higher productivity.

Another reason is that employees’ commitment often has an indirect effect on company profits. A satisfied, engaged employee is more likely to save energy (by, for example, making sure to turn off the lights) and negotiate prices, and less likely to steal from the company.

Finally, such engaged employees will probably also stay longer with the company, and are more likely to be friendlier towards customers because they care greatly about how the company is perceived.

So, in order to be successful in the long term, companies must build strong workplaces where performance is consistently high. Ensuring that employees are satisfied in their roles is a sure-fire way of creating such a workplace.

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