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Excerpted from First, Break All the Rules.

What The Worlds Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus


Buckingham & Curt Coffman
Dawn Smart LLC / 1904 Third Avenue, Suite 933, Seattle WA 98101
Excellent Performance What Makes The Difference?

Over the past twenty-five years, the Gallup Organization has undertaken two large research
studies of employees, managers and their workplaces to uncover what makes companies and
individuals excel.
Gallup began by surveying over a million employees from a broad range of companies,
industries and countries. They asked them questions about all aspects of their working
life to discover What do the most talented employees need from their workplace?
Gallup followed up with a second research effort to answer the question How do the
worlds greatest managers find, focus and keep talented employees? They went to 400
large and small companies, privately held companies, publicly-traded companies and
public sector organizations. They studied each company and its performance measures.
Measures like sales, profit, customer satisfaction scores, employee turnover figures,
employee opinion data, and 360
o
surveys.
They interviewed a cross-section of 80,000 managers in these companies some in
leadership positions, some midlevel managers, and some from the front line all of
whom, however, demonstrated excellence at turning the talent of their employees into
performance.
The employee research provided many discoveries, but the most powerful was: Talented
employees need great managers. The talented employee may join a company because of its
charismatic leaders, its generous benefits, and its world-class training programs, but her/his
immediate supervisor is largely the determinant of how long that employee stays and
how productive s/he is.
The interviews with managers generated no new sweeping theories, no prescriptive formulas.
Just insights into the nature of talent and their secrets about turning talent into lasting
performance. Their ideas were plain and direct, but not necessarily simple to implement.
And their approaches, quite simply, broke all the rules of conventional wisdom about
management practice. Most important the necessity for managers to individualize
their approach to each person they supervise.
The analysis of the research yielded twelve ways to measure the workplace as an
environment to attract, focus, and keep the most talented employees. They are stated here
as questions that Gallup found to be the simplest and most accurate way to measure the
strength of a workplace in terms of retaining talented employees.
1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?
2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?

Excerpted from First, Break All the Rules. What The Worlds Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus
Buckingham & Curt Coffman
Dawn Smart LLC / 1904 Third Avenue, Suite 933, Seattle WA 98101
5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?
6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?
8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?
9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
10. Do I have a best friend at work?
11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?
12. This last year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?
Gallups findings did not indicate that pay, benefits, senior management or organizational
structure items often identified as key motivators for employees were unimportant.
They were simply equally important to every employee, good, bad and mediocre. But they
did not have any predictive power related to the workplace and its most talented
employees.
In 1998, Gallup went to twenty-four companies, representing twelve distinct industries to
test the twelve elements against four kinds of business outcomes: productivity, profitability,
employee retention, and customer satisfaction. In 2,500 different business units they asked
105,000 employees to rate each element and then analyzed the results in relation to the
outcomes for each business unit.
What happened? Gallup found that employees who responded more positively to the twelve
questions also worked in units with higher levels of productivity, profit, retention and
customer satisfaction. A clear like between employee opinion and business unit
performance. Gallup also found that employees rated the questions differently depending
on which business unit they worked for rather than which company. Meaning, the employee
opinions were being formed by the employees immediate manager rather than by the
policies or procedures of the company overall. Gallups interpretation? The manager was
the key.
Further analysis showed that the first six of the questions were most powerful,
providing the strongest links to the business outcomes:
1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?
2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?
5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?
6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

Excerpted from First, Break All the Rules. What The Worlds Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus
Buckingham & Curt Coffman
Dawn Smart LLC / 1904 Third Avenue, Suite 933, Seattle WA 98101
Gallup considered the implications of this and proposed a metaphor of climbing
a mountain. You start with Base Camp where your needs are pretty basic. You
want to know what is expected of you and whether youll have what you need to
do the work. Questions #1 and #2.
You move on to Camp 1 and your perspective changes. You want to know if
youre in a role where you can excel. And you want to know if other people think
you are excelling and will help you to excel. Questions # 3, #4, #5 and #6. All
of which address your individual performance, value and self worth.
You keep climbing. In Camp 2 you begin to ask
more difficult questions about whether or not you
belong. Questions #7, #8, #9 and #10. And finally
in Camp 3 you want to know if you can grow,
whether there will be chances for innovation.
Questions #11 and #12.

Gallup proposes that if Base Camp and Camp #1 elements are not addressed, then
managers attention to the other elements are irrelevant. In fact, if attention is only directed
toward Camp 2 and 3 elements, the organization likely will fail to keep its talented
employees. But if employees basic needs are met, the rest will be much easier.
So great managers focus on Base Camp and Camp 1. They reject conventional wisdom and
recognize that each person is an individual, with different motivations, ways of thinking,
styles of relating. They know there is a limit to how much remolding they can do.
Instead, they capitalize on this to help each person become more of who s/he already is.
Gallup identified four activities that great managers must do extremely well the
foundation for their success:
1. Select the right person: select for talent and enthusiasm what theyre passionate
about not simply experience, intelligence or determination.
2. Set expectations: define the right outcomes, not the right steps.
3. Motivate: focus on the persons strengths, not on weaknesses.
4. Develop the person: help them find the right fit, not simply the next rung on the
ladder.
According to Gallup, these activities are a managers most important responsibilities all
oriented to the specific individual. If these can be accomplished, the other elements that
attract, focus and retain employees will follow more easily and organizations will experience
higher performance.
Base Camp
Camp 1
Camp 2 Camp 3