“First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently” by Buckingham and Coffman.
Reflection on “The Measuring Stick” (Chapter 1)
I always knew that a company’s culture played an important role in its success, but I never took the time to dive in and try to understand why. At the beginning of chapter 1, the authors immediately stress the importance of finding and keeping top talent in order to maintain competitiveness within an industry. If you think about it, a company is built around providing a product or service. However, that product or service is essentially worthless if there aren’t people to help develop, improve, sell, and implement it. Therefore, it becomes vitally important for companies looking for long-term success to invest in their employees and the experiences those employees have in the workplace.
This book provides 12 items to simply and accurately measure the strength of a workplace. These 12 items are now commonly known as the Q12 and are as follows:
Q01. I know what is expected of me at work.
Q02. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
Q03. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
Q04. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
Q05. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
Q06. There is someone at work who encourages my development.
Q07. At work, my opinions seem to count.
Q08. The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
Q09. My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
Q10. I have a best friend at work.
Q11. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
Q12. This last year, I have had the opportunities at work to learn and grow.
I wanted to share all 12 items because I think it is important for everyone to reflect upon them no matter their current role (employee, manager, executive, owner, etc.). If the majority, in not all, of these items aren’t being addressed in your current workplace, then things need to change to assure everyone is being challenged, productive, and beyond satisfied with their current situation. When that happens, the potential for success will drastically increase.
I have experienced toxic work environments that drove me to hate what I was doing and ultimately led to career changes. I have also been fortunate to work in environments that made me happy, excited and motivated to show up every day. I had one job I was at for 9 months. Another for four years. I’ll let you all decide which one was the more positive experience. What I can tell you is that in both scenarios my superiors played huge roles in making the experiences what they were. I am looking forward to learning more about what makes a great manager in the chapters to come.