The New One Minute Manager – Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson (I read it so you don’t have to)

Sceptical doesn’t come close to how I felt when a colleague recommended this book.

I mean how could a re-edited, first published in 1983 management pocket book that you can read in considerably less than 1 hour be of real value to managers dealing with the post-COVID cut-and-thrust of daily fire-fighting at work?

As I began to read, even the faux adventure narrative seemed a tad old hat. But I was completely wrong to doubt it.

I honestly believe that this very short book offers advice that is pure gold. Many more managers could do with putting these principles to work as they manage their teams.

It’s brutally simple:

  • Take one minute a day to look into the face of the people you lead and manage, and remember they are your most important resource.
  • There are 3 rules to being a one minute manager:
  • 1 minute goals: Encourage your team to set their goals with you. Each goal should be easily summarised in a short paragraph, with a clear time and date deadline. You should review their goals and progress towards them frequently and quickly.
  • 1 minute appraisals: Look for what your team are doing well, and compliment them on it, as soon as you see the good work they have done. Pause to let them feel good about it. Then encourage them to do more work like this. People who feel good about themselves produce good results.
  • 1 minute re-directs: when a mistake has been made, review the facts as soon as possible after the mistake has been spotted with whoever is responsible. Express how you feel about the mistake, and its impact on your agreed goals. Pause to let it sink it. Then let them know that they’re better than their mistake and that you have confidence in their ability and as a person.