The One Minute Manager
The objective of the book ‘The One Minute Manager’ by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson is to define the effective managers in this dynamic world of business where various external and internal factors influence their performance. The author does it through a search mission of a young man whose quest is to find managers who make both- their organization and people win with their managerial skills. The author talks about a continuum, where one end is occupied by tough or autocratic managers who make their organization win but their people loose; while the other end is reserved for nice or democratic ones who make their people win but their organizations loose. Effective managers are ‘the one minute managers’ who adopt principles of one minute goals, one minute praising and one minute reprimands.
The principle of one minute goals is to set a direction of every single person in the organization. There should be allocation of clear responsibilities and accountability. Goal and performance should be written in less than 250 words on one piece of paper which is followed by assessment of difference between performance and goals. Our behavior should be in conformity with our goals.
The second principle of praising consists of an attempt to catch people doing something right and praising them instantly.
There should be genuine effort to make people feel good about their strengths because the author suggests that ‘only those people who feel good about themselves perform’. The principle of one minute reprimand includes reprimanding people when they do not perform well. But a manager should know the specific use of praise. Moreover, only the wrong behavior by an individual needs to be reprimanded; not the individual himself.
This book is full of implications for managers. But the focus has been on one minute.
When every process is reduced to one minute, it leads to over simplification of the process which a manager has to undertake. It has ignored the dual role that a manager performs in structured organization where there are both subordinates and seniors. This book has teachings for seniors only. But this book talks of empowering people and giving them onus of their lives through applications of various principles of human relations and communications. An eye opener for many indeed!