The one thing you need to know about management: Discover what is unique about each person and capitalize on it.  Managers turn one persons talents into performance.  Their key characteristic is “coaching instinct”.

The one thing you need to know about leadership: Find out what is universal and capitalize on it.  Leaders rally people to a better future.  Their key characteristic is optimism.

The one thing you need to know about sustained personal success: Discover what you don’t like doing and stop doing it.  Sustained success: making the greatest impact over the longest period of time.

The one thing you need to know about happy marriages: Find the most generous explanation for each other’s behavior and believe it.

Controlling insights: help you to know which of your actions will have the most far-reaching influence in virtually every situation.  They give you leverage.

3 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 average to excellent, and it must lead to more precise actions.

Example of a controlling insight: In a study of happy marriages; in the happiest couples, the husband rated the wife more positively than she did on every single quality.

The One Thing you need to know about happy marriage: Find the most generous explanation for each other’s behavior and believe it.

When looking at your spouse, choose your perceptions with care.  The will fuel your desire.

The word “focus” has two primary meanings.  It can refer either to your ability to sort through many factors and identify those that are most critical—to be able to focus well is to be able to filter well.  Or it can refer to your ability to bring sustained pressure to bear once you’ve identified these factors—this is the laser-like quality of focus.

Learn the discipline of applying yourself with laser-like precision.  The common thread running through each of the 3 controlling insights is that success, whether as a manager, a leader, or an individual performer, does not come to those who aspire to well-roundedness, breadth, and balance.  The reverse is true.  Success comes most readily to those who reject balance, who instead pursue strategies that are intentionally imbalanced.  This focus, this willingness to apply disproportionate pressure in a few selected areas of your working life, won’t leave you brittle and narrow.  Counterintuitively, this kind of lopsided focus actually increases your capacity and fuels your resilience.

All great managers excel at turning one person’s talent into performance.

The great manager is a catalyst.  At their best, they speed up the reaction between each employee’s talents and the company’s goals.

Managers make their employees believe, genuinely believe, that the employees success is their primary goal.

Great managers lead you to believe that they are being paid to serve your agenda over the company’s agenda.  The employee’s success is their primary focus.

Great manager’s talent; coaching instinct.

Poor managers see people as a means to a performance end.  Great managers see people as an end unto themselves.

Great leaders rally people to a better future.

What defines a leader is his preoccupation with the future.  In his head he carries a vivid image of what the future could be, and this image drives him.

The core talent of a great leader; optimism.  Leaders deeply believe that things can get better.

The opposite of a leader is a pessimist.

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.

Are leaders born or made?  They are born.  A leader is born with an optimistic disposition.  No amount of optimism training will be enough to lead effectively.

The managers starting point is the individual employee.  He looks at her palette of talents, skills, knowledge, experience, and goals, and then uses these to design a specific future in which the individual can be successful.  That person’s success is his focus.

The leader’s starting point is the image of the future.  This better future is what he talks about, thinks about, ruminates on, designs and refines.  Only with this image clear in his mind does he turn his attention to persuading other people that they can be successful in the future he envisions.  But, through it all, the future remains his focus.

“You marry as is.  You get any change if you’re lucky.”  The same is undoubtedly true of hiring.  Everyone has “predictable patterns”.

When it comes to building the right team, time is nonnegotiable.  You will spend the time.  The only question is where you will spend it; on the front end, carefully selecting the right person, or on the back end, desperately trying to transform the person into who you wished he was in the first place.

The Basics of Good Managing; 1) Select good people  2) Define clear expectations  3) Recognize excellence and praise it  4) Show care for your people

The conventional wisdom holds that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.  But this is incomplete.  The best predictor of future behavior is frequent past behavior.

Defining clear expectations; every behavior has a consequence, and that the consequence that follows a certain behavior will significantly affect whether or not a person will repeat this behavior.

Human beings are herd animals; bonding is what we do.  Put us in close proximity with other people and we will instinctively look for areas of common ground, areas where we can connect.

Show care for your people; tell them that you care about them.  Tell them you want them to succeed.  Keep their confidences.  Learn about their personal lives.

The one thing all great managers know: Discover what is unique about each person and capitalize on it.

The 3 levers of good management; 1) Know each persons strengths and weaknesses  2) Know each persons triggers (motivators)  3) Know each persons unique style of learning

Of all the different types of triggers, by far the most powerful is the recognition trigger.

3 Styles of Learning; 1) Analyzing–studying  2) Doing—learn by trial and error  3) Watching—imitation

5 Universal Fears; 1) Fear of Death—the need for security  2) Fear of the Outsider—the need for community  3) Fear of the Future—the need for clarity  4) Fear of Chaos—the need for authority  5) Fear of Insignificance—the need for respect

Clarity is the antidote to anxiety, and therefore clarity is the preoccupation of the effective leader.  If you do nothing else as a leader, be clear.

The Points of Clarity; 1) Who do we serve?  2) What is our core strength?  3) What is our core score?  4) What actions can we take today?

Focus on one master, become expert at serving this master, and through what he calls “the power of the ripple effect”, you will wind up serving them all.

Give your team one metric, one number to track progress.  Give them a score that they can do something about.

Systematic action interrupts our day-to-day routines and forces us to become involved in new activities.  It disrupts us.

Symbolic action doesn’t alter what we do; it just grabs our attention.  It distracts us, thereby giving us something new and vivid on which to focus.

3 Disciplines of Leadership: 1) Take time to reflect  2) Select your heroes with great care  3) Practice

The 1 thing we all need to know about sustained success: Discover what you don’t like doing and stop doing it.

Identify those things that weaken you, and then, as efficiently as possible, to cut these out of your life.  The more effective you are at this, the more successful you will be.

Sustained success means making the greatest possible impact over the longest period of time.

The most successful people sculpt their jobs so that they spend a disproportionate amount of time doing what they love.  This doesn’t happen by accident.  It happens because they stay alert to those activities they don’t like and cut them out as quickly as possible.  They jealously guard their “doing what I love” time.