On The One Thing You Need to Know

I recently finished reading The One Thing You Need to Know About Great Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success by Marcus Buckingham.

Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1- “So, these are our three criteria for identifying the controlling insight, the One Thing: it must apply across a wide range of situations, it must serve as the multiplying factor that elevates situations, it must serve as the the multiplying factor that elevates average to excellent and it must lead to more precise actions.”

2- “Success come most readily to those who reject balance, who instead pursue strategies that are intentionally imbalanced…this kind of lopsided focus actually increases capacity and fuels your resilience.”

3- “The challenge: to figure out the best way to transform these talents (of employees) into performance. This is the job of the great manager.”

4- “Great leaders rally people to a better future. And the two key words in this definition are “better future.””

5- “If the core talent of great managers is an instinct to coach others toward success, then optimism and ego are the talents underpinning all great leadership.”

6- “The key thing about leading is not only that you envision a better future, but also that you believe, in every fiber of your being, that you are the one to make this future come true. You are the one to assume the responsibility for transforming the present into something better.”

7- “Great managers play chess…Discover what is unique about each person and capitalize on it.”

8- “The Three Levers..What are the three things you need to know about a person in order to manage him or her effectively? Strength and Weakness…Triggers…Style of Learning.”

9- “So, while great managers discover what is unique about each person and capitalize on it, great leaders do the inverse. The One Thing every great leader knows he must do is: Discover what is universal and capitalize on it.”

10- “A leader must not be clear on all points, and that one of the areas in which he should allow significant ambiguity is in the strategies and tactics selected by his employees.”

11- “Any one of the these disciplines, when practiced with rigor, will help you increase your effectiveness as a leader. 1) Take Time to Reflect 2) Select Your Heroes with Great Care 3) Practice.”

12- “What they (leaders) must be is clear. Above all else, they must never forget the truth of all the human universals – our need for security, for community, for clarity, for authority, and for respect – our need for clarity, when met, is the most likely to engender in us confidence, persistence, resilience, and creativity.”

13- “…the One Thing we all need to know to sustain our success: Discover what you don’t like doing and stop doing it.”

14- “Great enthusiasm and success occur in the land of the familiar and similar. The more similar a new challenge is to one of your existing areas of mastery, the more likely you are to learn quickly, to persevere, to set high goals and to achieve them.”


Omar Halabieh

The One Thing You Need to Know


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