The One Minute Manager
The One Minute Manager, Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. New York, USA: The Berkley Publishing Group. 1982. ISBN: 0-425-09847-8 I.
Everybody who is a manager or manages people aims to become a good one. Being a good manager is not being an autocratic manager or a democratic manager, it’s how to be an effective manager that people try to become. The first thing that comes to mind when reading the title is “Does it really take so little time be a manager?” The answer will be revealed a little later on as you continue to read.
The book covers the basics of managing people. It revolves around three main concepts, which are; One Minute Goals, One Minute Praising and One Minute Reprimands, that what makes up a One Minute Manager.
Found in the cover of the book lies the symbol of the One Minute Manager and the book explains it this way ‘The One Minute Manager’s symbol—a one minute readout from the face of a modern digital watch—is intended to remind each of us to take a minute out of our day to look into the faces of the people we manage. And to realize that they are our most important resources.’ (Page 8).
The book is interesting to read because it makes use of stories to captivate its audience and uses simple ideas to make it easier for the reader to understand what the author is saying. It is considered to be one of the Top 10 Top Management Books by F. John Reh in about.com Guide.
About the authors, Dr. Spencer Johnson is the Chairman of Candle Communications Corporation, and an active author, publisher, lecturer and communications consultant. He has written more than a dozen books dealing with medicine and psychology, and has over three million copies of his books in print. Dr. Johnson’s education includes a degree in psychology from the University of Southern California, an M.D. degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and medical clerkships at Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic. He has been Medical Director of Communications for Medtronic, a pioneering manufacturer of cardiac pacemakers, and Research Physician for the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, a medical-social think-tank in Minneapolis. He has also served as a consultant in communications for the Center for the Study of the Person, Human Dimensions in Medicine Program; and to the Office of Continuing Education at the School of Medicine, University of California in La Jolla, California. One of his recent books, The Precious Present, has been praised by the eminent psychologist Dr. Carl Rogers, and by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, who states, “What a change might take place if everyone would read this book and apply the principles it teaches.”
The One Minute Manager, like all the other books Dr. Johnson has written, reflects his continuing interest in helping people to experience less stress and better health through better communications. Dr. Johnson and Dr. Blanchard have also produced, in conjunction with CBS-Fox-Video, The One Minute Manager videotape. Dr. Kenneth Blanchard, Chairman of Blanchard Training and Development, Inc. (BTD), is an internationally known author, educator and consultant/trainer. He is the co-author of the highly acclaimed and most widely used text on leadership and organization behavior, Management of Organization Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources, which is in its fourth edition and has been translated into numerous languages. Dr. Blanchard received his B. A. from Cornell University in Government and Philosophy, an M.A. from Colgate University in Sociology and Counseling and a Ph.D. from Cornell in Administration and Management. He presently serves as a professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In addition, he is a member of the National Training Laboratories (NTL). Dr. Blanchard has advised such distinguished corporations and agencies as Chevron, Lockheed, AT&T, Holiday Inns, Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), the United States Armed Forces, and UNESCO. The Hersey/Blanchard Situational Leadership approach to management has been incorporated into the training and development programs of Mobil Oil, Caterpillar, Union 76, IBM, Xerox, The Southland Corporation, and numerous fast growing entrepreneurial companies. In his role as management consultant, Dr. Blanchard teaches seminars across the country.
II. Book Highlights: Major Learning and Lessons
The lessons of the book include “People, who feel good about themselves, produce better results.” And “Goals begin behaviours, consequences maintain behaviours.”
The book highlights three major concepts One Minute Goals, One Minute Praising and One Minute Reprimands that is sought and learned by the protagonist.
“Make their responsibilities clear and what they are accountable for.” One Minute Goals is summarized in to these simple steps. First, you need to agree on your goals, both the employee and the manager what the goals are. There are already many cases where the employee is caught off-guard when surprised with something he or she did not know was their job in the first place. Second, you must know what behaviour is best for you to achieve those goals. Third, each of your goals must be written only on a single sheet of paper and the words must not exceed 250. This is to ensure that you can keep track of your progress and it would only take a minute to do so, so you won’t waste too much time. Fourth, take even just a minute of your time every day to examine your performance. Lastly, see whether your behaviour fits your goals in the end.
“Help people reach their full potential by catching them doing something right.” One Minute Praising best applied by doing these steps. You must first let your employees know that you will be letting them know how they are doing and you will be honest with them. Honesty is best because more positive results happen when there is honest feedback. And when your employee does something right you should praise him immediately and tell him how happy you are of the results because this would generate a happier employee and allows his work to be more efficient. Of course, encourage him to do the same and make them feel that they are valued.
“We are not just our behaviour; we are the person managing our behaviour.”
With this said One Minute Reprimands tells us to follow these simple steps in giving a reprimand. First you must tell people beforehand that you are going to let them know how they are doing and in no uncertain terms. During the first half of the reprimand you should reprimand people immediately, make their mistakes known to them and be specific and pause for a seconds silence so that what you said will sink in and they won’t repeat themselves anymore. Now for the second half. Make sure that they you are honestly on their side and how much you value them as employees. You should emphasize to them that you think well of them but as of the moment, not their performance. Also, realize that when you’ve finished doing these things you’re done reprimanding.
Being a One Minute Manager is not thinking like one or talking like one. It is about behaving like one. You must set One Minute Goals. You must give One Minute Praising. You must give One Minute Reprimands. You must learn how to be Tough and Nice. And most important of all, you must encourage the people you work with to do the same.
III. Reactions and Recommendations
Reading the title of the book and knowing who the authors were, expectations were instantly made. At first glance, the thoughts “Would the book be boring?” and “Is the book straight to the point?” None of the results were disappointing, the book proved to be interesting because rather than being just a regular textbook; it made use of an interesting story to deliver the lesson and concepts it had. It was right to think you would be able to finish in just a while, because who would want to read something having the title “The One Minute Manager.” in a span of months.
Overall, the book is good. After having read it, it gives you a feeling of inspiration to become a One Minute Manager like the one in the book. It also teaches you the value of your employees and this really helps because before you become a manager you must be an employee first so you already how to approach your employees because you are on their side.
The only recommendations I could suggest is that they include more examples and that these should be something more people could relate to.
The concepts in the book, when you are able to digest them, are relatively common but interesting. It is a little simple, but it’s a must read for anyone beginning to supervise. It delivers three key concepts of managing people in an easy to understand narrative format.