Book Review: First, Break All The Rules

In sports, it is obvious. If a guy can throw, make him a quarterback. If he can shoot, don't force him to rebound. If he can pitch for only 1 inning, make him a reliever.

Yet, somehow businesses miss this lesson and look to "round out" individuals by addressing their weaknesses. In First, Break All The Rules the authors set out to prove that better performance comes from a few key steps.

  1. Selecting for Talent (as opposed to knowledge or skills)
  2. Defining the Right Outcomes
  3. Focusing on Strengths
  4. Finding the Right Fit

And they do a very good job of it.

This book is the other side of the story which one of the authors told in Now, Discover Your Strengths, a phenomenal book which I definitely recommend. It helps you figure out what you do well (in terms of talent). Here's mine (text version)

Bottom line: take advantage of what people naturally do well and let them do MORE of it. Find others who complement them. Set clear goals and let people achieve them w/o telling them HOW to do it. Invest in your best and it will pay off.

If you are a manager or want to be one, definitely read First, Break All The Rules. Any serious professional should read Now, Discover Your Strengths