ER Book Review: First, Break All The Rules
This is one of my favorite leadership books. It's written by a couple of smart guys from the Gallup organization. They set-out to determine what leadership behaviors generated the most discretionary effort from their employees. Discretionary effort is the time and emotion that employees may give their employers (actually they give it to leaders, not companies) above and beyond what is required for their continued employment.
Their findings were based on interviews with over 1 million employees and over 80 thousand leaders. A few of their unconventional conclusions...
- Focus on the strengths and talent of your employees. Put employees in job where they are sure to succeed.
- Don't spend time trying to 'fill-in' the weakness of your employees... you won't be able to change them and fixing their weaknesses won't deliver any incremental value to the organization
- People are people first and employees second. As a leader, you cannot avoid the personal lives of your team. When they have personal struggles, you have to be open to helping them deal with their issues.
- Employee talent and leadership ability are not really learned... you either have a particular talent or your don't. Sure, you can learn new skills (typing, programming, woodworking)... talent (logic, creativity, competitiveness, etc.), however, is born and developed early in our life and cannot be developed in a seminar
If you are a leader or you want to understand your leader, this book is one of the best.