My favorite business book

I was invited through LinkedIn to join a new service called Mosaichub ( – as I suspect many people reading this were.  It is a pretty straightforward and well executed idea – connect managers, leaders and entrepreneurs with each other and some independents (i.e. consultants, students, writers) to share ideas and find talent.  One of its elements is a question and answer forum. A recent question asked was about “the best business book” for management/leadership.  I thought I’d share my answer because I believe it is still the best business book (or article) I’ve read.

First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Curt Coffman and Marcus Buckingham is the best business book I’ve read about how to get the most from people you manage (and the most for them).

My (way oversimplified) synopsis:
– Find the role you were “born to do”, help others find theirs and (spend extra effort to) hire people who were “born to do” what you’re asking them to do
– Focus on developing strengths in others (especially people you manage) – an hour or dollar spent helping someone improve their already great skills/talents will pay many times the dividends of time or money spent trying to fix their deficiencies
– For both you and your team members – spend the maximum % of time on the things you’re (or they’re) best at doing. Find ways to get other people to do everything else
– Pay, recognize and incentivize people based on the value they bring to your organization NOT their place in the hierarchy
– Being great at something doesn’t mean that you’ll be great at managing people doing that thing. Conversely, the best managers of “talent” often have very little technical competence in the areas of their talent (for example, the best Hollywood agents aren’t gifted actors)

On a separate note, I LOVE Seth Godin’s writing – especially Purple Cow. He is a great at isolating insights. He skips the BS and shares his synthesized learnings.

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