The One Thing You Need To Know: ...About Great Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success


Author: Marcus Buckingham
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Edition: 2005
ISBN: 0-7432-6165-8

Marcus Buckingham presents significant insights into great leading, great managing and sustained individual success. He believes that in every subject there is a controlling insight which should show you how to win and keep winning the game. Based on this approach he defines the controlling insights of great managing, great leading and sustained individual success as follows:

Managing: “Discover what is unique about each person and capitalise on it.”
Leading: “Discover what is universal and capitalise on it.”
Sustained Individual Success: “Discover what you don‟t like doing and stop doing it.”

He believes that great leaders rally people to a better future whereas great managers make other people more productive. He outlines four skills to use as a manager: discover what is unique about each persona and capitalise on it; define clear expectations; use praise and recognition; and show care of their people.

He identifies three triggers to use in order to manage people effectively including: learning their strengths and weaknesses; understanding their triggers; and knowing their unique learning styles. He provides an excellent overview of what great leadership is and how to capitalise on five universal fears and five universal needs including: fear of death security; fear of the outsider community; fear of the future clarity; fear of chaos authority; and fear of insignificance respect.

He also highlights the need to provide clarity by asking great questions such as:

  1. Who do we serve?
  2. What is our core strengths?
  3. What is our core score?
  4. What actions can we take today?

In the last two chapters which hone in on sustained personal success, he advocates playing to your strengths and eliminating or managing your weaknesses.

Overall, a good book to help you identify and distinguish the differences between leadership and management and how this relates to individual success.