One Minute Management: The Power of Simple Truths

Earlier this week Ken Blanchard appeared on Dave Ramsey’s business talk show to discuss the enduring impact of Ken’s classic book, The One Minute Manager, which he co-authored with Spencer Johnson.  Ramsey wanted to know Ken’s thoughts on why The One Minute Manager remained so popular today–18 million copies later.  Ken’s response?  The book remains relevant because it identifies simple human truths about working together.  See if you agree.  Here are the three secrets of one minute management: 

  1. Set One-Minute Goals— All good performance starts with clear goals. Without clear goals your leadership doesn’t really matter. If people don’t know where you’re going, how can you help them get there?  Goal setting gets everything started. It is creating a clear picture of what good performance looks like and what are the expected behaviors to get there.
  2. One Minute Praising.  The second secret is to look for opportunities to catch people doing things right.  People love to be acknowledged for their work.  It’s unique and rewarding when a manager comes around and is looking for things that are going right instead of wrong. You don’t want to be a seagull manager who only flies in, makes a lot of noise and dumps on people when there are problems. 
  3. The One Minute Reprimand. This is how you deal with people when they’re not performing up to expectations.  The key here is to focus on the behavior and not the person. It’s also important to distinguish between “can’t do” behavior versus “won’t do” behavior.  A One Minute Reprimand is for people who have the skills and talent to do better.  If the problem is a lack of skills or training, then it is more appropriate to use redirection instead of a reprimand.  This means taking a second look at goals, identifying needed resources and support, etc.  

How do these three principles sound to you?  Are they still relevant in today’s business environment? Share your thoughts and comments below.

7 thoughts on “One Minute Management: The Power of Simple Truths

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  3. We used The One Minute Manager along with an Assessment for a particular style and the results were remarkable. do I believe everything I read? NO. Absolutely not, however, within “Most” books there are tools that can be used to assist in any success story.

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