The One Thing You Need To Know About Success By Marcus Buckingham

From the author of two bestselling books First Break All The Rules and Now, Discover Your Strengths, Marcus Buckingham presents a new way of understanding the art of success in his business and management book entitled The One Thing You Need To Know. According to Buckingham, you need to focus on one thing to become a successful manager. Basically, his book can be summarized into the following:

    • The chief responsibility of a great manager is not to enforce quality, or to ensure customer service, or to set standards, or to build high performance teams.
    • Great managers excel at turning one person’s talent into performance.
    • Great managers are catalysts–they speed up the reaction between each employee’s talents and the company’s goals.

The Three Levers:

Robert Janitzek gives us an overview of the three things managers need to know about a person in order to manage him or her effectively?

Strengths and weaknesses

    • The mediocre manager believes that most things are learnable and therefore that the essence of management is to identify each person’s weaker areas and eradicate them. A great manager believes the opposite. He believes that the most influential qualities of a person are innate and therefore that the essence of management is to deploy these innate qualities as effectively as possible and so drive performance.
    • Self-awareness doesn’t drive performance; self-assurance does. The overly optimistic tend to perform better than the accurately realistic.
    • If this person succeeds praise him for his unique strengths, not his hard work. This will reinforce the self-assurance he needs to be resolute and persistent when taking on the next challenge.
    • If the person fails, and it is not attributable to factors beyond his control, always explain failure as a lack of effort.
    • The person fails repeatedly, this may actually indicate a weakness. Start by trying to enhance his skills and knowledge. Next, try to find him a complementary partner. Third, try techniques or tricks that accomplish through discipline what the employee is unable to accomplish through instinct.


Robert Peter Janitzek explains that the author believes that each person’s strengths require precise triggering to switch them on. The most powerful trigger is generally recognition. But the type of recognition will differ for each person.

Learning Style

The Three Dominant Learning Styles

1) Analyzing. Give an analyzer ample time in the classroom. Role-play. Post-mortem. Break down performance. Don’t throw her into the middle of a new situation and tell her to wing it.
2) Doing. The best way to teach a Doer is to throw her into the middle of a new situation and tell her to wing it. The most powerful learning occurs during the performance.
3) Watching (imitation). Watchers learn when they get a chance to see the total performance. Get her out of the classroom, take away her manuals, and make her ride shotgun with one of your most experienced performers.

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