First Break All Rules by Don Clifton


Don Clifton

  Self Help, Management

Read and download book summaries of First Break All Rules
Join the discussion on First Break All Rules at MBA Shots.

Login to join the discussion

Breaking conventional rules to achieve effective management.


First Break All Rules is about challenging the status quo that exists in the management world and encourages management to adopt a unique and innovative outlook of employee management.

This book is the product of tremendous research conducted by the Gallup organization, comprising of 80,000 managers from various industries and examining concepts around employees satisfaction, hiring and tools and methods to measure and correctly estimate employee-related metrics.


The four keys for breaking the rules and unlock the potential for effective management are to focus on :

1. Selecting Talent:

  • The key is to hire employees based on talent more than any other factor.
  • Great managers are aware of the significant role of talent in the workplace because there are recurring patterns, thoughts and behaviours.
  • One of the biggest mistakes made by managers is to hire entirely based on factors other than talent.


The authors divide talents into 3 broad categories:


Striving talents:

Describes the ‘why’ of a person. What exactly motivates them and how badly do they want to stand out.


Thinking talents: 

Describes the 'how' of a person. From how they think, their process of decision making, to their focus, discipline and approach to thinking.


Thinking talents:

This describes the 'who' of a person. Who do they build relations with, who they socially interact with.


2. Suggesting Outcomes:

  • This key means to clearly determine the right outcomes. The lesson is that management is not about direct and immediate control. 
  • Managers have to realize that by defining the end outcome or results, they will save time on controlling the steps in between.
  • Instead of controlling those steps, just focus on enhancing employee performance and keeping the focus on the goal.
  • Employees will learn to take responsibility and become more self-reliant.


3. Developing Employee Strengths:

  • The third key for effective management is to focus on strengths and stop the compulsive habit of "fixing" people.
  • This is a new and better way of focusing on strong points and dealing with weaknesses.
  • The end aim is to make the most use out of an employees talent which is already there and putting those to the best use.


4. Finding The Right Fit:

  • The fourth and final key is to delegate the right role for an employee's talents. 
  • Avoid the habit of promoting employees until they reach their level of incompetence. This offers no good value to anyone.
  • Rethink the approach to raises and rewards. It is possible to keep an employee in a role where are most useful and talented.


COMMENTS ( 0 )       LIKES ( 0 )

Other books being discussed on MBA Shots

The Google Way
Trillion Dollar Coach
Loonshots - Nurture the crazy ideas
Inspired - How to Create Products Customers Love
Radical Focus - Achieving your most Important Goals with Objectives and Key Results
Built to Last
The Wisdom of Crowds
Outliers - the Story of Success
The Art of Strategy
Big Billion Startup
And many more.     Join the discussion, today !

MBA Shots has been crafted for you ...

for Professionals

Uplevel your career. Understand how to navigate business challenges.

for Entrepreneurs

Journey of Zero to One is challenging. Take some sherpas along.

for MBA Students

Supplement theory with practice. Stand out during interviews .

... with three focused tracks

Business Basics

E.g. - Pricing, Driving growth, Branding, Product Management, Competing Vs Partnering

Leadership Lessons

E.g. - Building teams, Designing culture, Coaching young managers, Recruiting as a superpower

Personal Progress

E.g. - Career paths, Relaunching my career, Designing a development plan, Managing Reviews