The Update to Management Classic, The One Minute Manager
Life gets busy. Has The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard been sitting on your reading list? Instead, learn the key insights now.
Ken Blanchard’s Perspective
Ken Blanchard is the co-founder and Chief Spiritual Officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies. He is a renowned speaker, author, consultant and trustee emeritus of the Board of Trustees at Cornell University. He also teaches the Master of Science in Executive Leadership Program at the University of San Diego. His books are available in more than 42 languages. In 2005, Ken joined Amazon’s Hall of Fame as one of the top 25 best-selling authors of all time.
Spencer Johnson’s Perspective
Spencer Johnson was a co-inventor of cardiac pacemakers. He was also a consultant to the Center for Study of the Person and Leadership Fellow at the Harvard Business School. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Southern California in 1963 and a medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He worked at the Harvard Business School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Johnson’s books are available in twenty-six languages. His most famous book is Who Moved My Cheese?
The New One Minute Manager builds on the foundation laid by the management classic, The One Minute Manager. The One Minute Manager was first published in 1981. The new book develops the ideas from the first book, recognizing the need for change due to how technology has advanced over the years. The world is a different place from how it was back then. You will learn three practical secrets for leading others by taking modern work styles into account.
StoryShot #1: The First Secret is One Minute Goals
“He feels that a goal and its performance standard—what needs to be done and by what due date—should take no more than a paragraph or two to express, so it can be read and reviewed in about a minute.”— Ken Blanchard
Learning how to set one-minute goals is the beginning of one-minute management. Your one-minute goals should only include your top priorities. The easiest way to identify this is to use the 80/20 rule. So, you should find the activities that take 20% of your time but provide you with 80% of the total results. These tasks should then be your focus for one-minute goals.
One-minute goals are always important, but there are five ways you can improve the outcome of these goals:
- Plan the goals together. When you do this, try to describe them briefly and clearly. You should also clearly define the outcomes you want by stating what you think good performance is.
- Each person should write their goals with due dates on a single page. This will act as a prompt and encourage them to work toward deadlines.
- Ask your colleagues to review their most important goals every single day. This will only take them a few minutes per day but will have a significant impact.
- After revision, encourage your colleagues to consider their current approaches. They need to decide whether they match their goals.
- If your colleagues cannot notice their shortcomings, you must help them rethink what they are doing to realize their goals.
StoryShot #2: The Second Secret is One Minute Praising
“People who feel good about themselves produce good results.”— Ken Blanchard
People perform better when they receive clear feedback. If you want your colleagues to reach their full potential, you should try to catch them doing something right. Provide them with praise within one minute of doing something well, and you will have a more significant positive impact. There are three benefits of immediate praising:
- Immediate praising shows you understand what the person is doing and why they have done it. To obtain this benefit, you must be specific with your praise.
- Offering immediate praise shows a level of consistency and competence.
- Immediate praise will build confidence in colleagues, making them more effective and more likely to do the right thing. This confidence will also help them to deal with the ever-changing workplace.
Despite the many benefits of one-minute praising, you must do it correctly. There are six features of effective one-minute praising:
- Praise people as soon as possible.
- Be specific by telling them what they did right.
- Tell them the positive impact of their actions and how that makes you feel.
- Pause after giving praise, so they can feel good about what they have done.
- Encourage the person to do more of the same type of actions.
- Emphasize that you have confidence in their abilities and this action proves their potential.
StoryShot #3: The Third Secret is One Minute Redirects
“Everyone is a potential winner. Some people are disguised as losers. Don’t let their appearances fool you.”— Ken Blanchard
Everyone makes mistakes, but what we do afterward determines our success. So, we all need to learn to adapt to the changing world. One of the best ways to help others learn is to provide one-minute redirects. Use these one-minute redirects as soon as someone makes a mistake. Straight after, you should remind this person the original goal. Once they understand, you can start your one-minute redirect.
There are two parts to a one-minute redirect:
- Focus on the mistake – Avoid pretending the mistake didn’t happen. Focus on it by confirming the facts and reviewing what went wrong. Be very specific about the thoughts and actions that led to the mistake. Also, be sure to tell them how you feel about it and the potential adverse outcomes. Once you have provided this focus, you should be quiet. This silence will let the information sink in so the other person can realize the seriousness of their mistake.
- 2. Focus on the person – After focusing on the mistake, you must focus on the person. Remind them they are better than their mistake and highlight your confidence in their ability. Explaining this trust means you don’t expect them to repeat this mistake ever again. They should understand that they need to cut out these mistakes as you want the best for them. You don’t want them or their team to be known for shoddy work. Try to avoid knocking the other people down as the aim of redirects is to build confidence. Effective redirects will also encourage people in your team to speak up if they make a mistake.
One-minute redirects need executing in the right way to be successful. You must redirect people to their mistakes within the first 30 seconds. You should then confirm and review the mistake, being specific to avoid confusion. Express how you feel about this lapse in judgment and how it may impact your results. Make sure you pause after this to allow the person time to process the information. Do not wait more than 30 seconds before reminding them that they are better than their mistake. Let them know that you believe they are a talented individual and that you have confidence in their abilities.
Then, move the focus onto something else.
Each of the three secrets also has its own reasons why it works. The better you understand something, the better equipped you are to use it.
StoryShot #4: Why One Minute Goals Work
One-minute goals are essential because managers tend to assume the people on their team know their company’s aims. This assumption may be wrong and it has a significant impact on the team’s outcomes. We can use the analogy of ten-pin bowling to explain this point. If you don’t know where the pins are (your goals), you won’t know how well you are doing.
So, clear goals and understanding current progress are crucial for success. This means feedback is a tool you must learn to use more frequently. Once you have learned this skill, you can help all your workers become winners. Everyone is a potential winner, even if some appear to be losers.
As a manager, you have three choices when hiring. You can start by hiring winners. But, these winners are hard to find and will cost you lots of money. An alternative is to hope that the individual you hire works out. The most effective approach is hiring someone and identifying areas to make them a winner. You should then systematically help that person become a winner by setting several one-minute goals. These goals will improve productivity and help the individual realize their potential. You should also apply these foundations to your work. Take a minute to look at your own goals, then what you are doing. See if these two match.
StoryShot #5: Why One Minute Praising Works
The first step to creating winners is catching them doing something almost correctly. Start by praising them for doing something nearly right and continue until they eventually get it right. If you have a natural winner, you won’t have to catch them doing things correctly constantly. These individuals see themselves doing something right. Natural winners know when they are winning. So, avoid over-praising these people but continue to praise those who need it. This praise is encouraging.
Don’t make the mistake of only praising people when they get things precisely right. This ruins motivation and means many talented individuals don’t become high performers. Managers who focus on mistakes hold their employees back. We need to redirect people who are learning rather than punish them.
StoryShot #6: Why One Minute Redirects Work
Feedback should always happen straight after viewing a piece of work. Storing and waiting to give feedback is not effective or fair. When you give feedback, you should be tough on the behavior rather than the person. Immediately after providing the feedback, you must be supportive of the person. Separating the individual from their behavior is vital because it shows that we understand that they are more than their mistake.
Redirecting should use respect and care to make you and your team more successful. Your job is to show people how to manage themselves and enjoy it. You want them to succeed when you are not around. Making mistakes is not the problem; it’s not learning from them that causes real problems.
Manage by this motto:
“Goals begin behaviors, consequences influence future behaviors.”— Spencer Johnson
Final Summary and Review of The New One-Minute Manager
“Goals make clear what is most important to focus on, Praisings build confidence that helps you succeed, and Re-Directs address mistakes. And all three of these help people feel better about themselves and produce good results.”— Ken Blanchard
The book ends by providing a game plan for managers. This game plan summarizes the main points from the book perfectly.
- Let people know up-front what you will do to help them win.
- Establish One-Minute Goals:
- Make it clear what the goals are.
- Show what good behavior is.
- Put each goal on one page.
- Quickly review goals frequently.
- Encourage people to notice what they are doing and see if it matches their goals.
- Give One Minute Praising(s):
- Praise the behavior.
- Do it soon.
- Be specific.
- Say how good you feel about it.
- Pause to let people feel good too.
- Encourage them to keep up the excellent work.
- Next, proceed with more success.
- One-Minute Redirects:
- Re-clarify and agree on goals.
- Confirm what happened.
- Describe the mistake soon.
- Say how concerned you feel.
- Pause to let people feel their concerns.
- Tell them they are better than the mistake, and that you value them.
- When it’s over, move on to a different subject.
We rate this book 4.2/5.
The New One Minute Manager PDF, Free Audiobook, Infographic, and Animated Book Summary
Did you like the lessons here? Share to show you care and don’t forget to tag us on social media. You may also comment below. We’d love to hear from you.
New to StoryShots? Get the PDF, audio, and animated versions of this summary of The New One Minute Manager and hundreds of other bestselling nonfiction books in our free top-ranking app. It’s been featured by Apple, Google, The Guardian, and the UN as one of the world’s best reading and learning apps.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in February 2022. It was updated in March 2022.
Disclaimer: This is an unofficial summary and analysis.
Related Book Summaries
The 80/20 Principle by Richard Bach
High Output Management by Andrew Grove
Difficult Conversations by Bruce Patton, Douglas Stone, and Sheila Heen
Crucial Conversations by Kelly Patterson
Words That Change Minds by Shelle Rose Charvet
The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey