The New One Minute Manager

The New One Minute Manager
Publisher: William Morrow
Published: 5/5/2015
For decades, The One Minute Manager® has helped millions achieve more successful professional and personal lives. While the principles it lays out are timeless, our world has changed drastically since the book’s publication. The exponential rise of technology, global flattening of markets, instant communication, and pressures on corporate workforces to do more with less—including resources have all revolutionized the world.

The New One Minute Manager By. Ken Blanchard & Spencer Johnson

Key Insights

Management styles can be tricky to perfect.

Everyone has a different idea about what makes a good manager.

But, there are some qualities we can all agree on. A good manager must be able to lead, be time-efficient, and be a role model to their employees.

“Our Manager makes sure we know what good performance looks like because he shows us. In other words, expectations are clear to both of us.”- Ken Blanchard

In Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson’s, “The New One Minute Manager,” they create a narrative that follows the story of an employee in the search of an effective manager to learn from. The character goes from employee to employee to learn the tips and tricks of effective management.

At the end of the narrative, the employee becomes an effective manager and gets the opportunity to show someone else the ropes.

These insights into management will help you to understand why rewarding gradual progress and immediate feedback to your employees is important. It will also solidify the idea that there must be a common goal within a company’s team.

Key Points

  • Managers Should Be Observers

There are different kinds of managers in the world. There are some who only focus on results and rely on data such as profits and revenue. These managers are often looked at as tough and unkind.

Then, there are managers that are focused on their staff. Those managers are seen as encouraging and supporting. But, oftentimes, the process slows down and changes in a company take longer than they should.

The best managers around are hands-off managers. These are managers that are not participatory and merely just observe. This allows people to mostly manage themselves. And, there is a balance between the interest of the people and the results being produced.

Managers are responsible for a lot. So one wrong mistake and the company could go down the hole.

It has been proven that 70% of employee engagement is directly correlated to their manager’s management style. And, employee engagement is important if a company wants to meet its goals and move forward.

The most engaged employees are the ones who are encouraged and allowed to use their best skills every day. Employees want to feel proud and challenged.

Letting employees solve their own problems and make their own decisions will help to keep them active and engaged.

  • One Minute Goals

One minute goals are goals that are created by the employee. But, the manager must agree. These goals are written down each on a separate piece of paper with a deadline. The goals are designed to be evaluated within one minute.

There should only be a few goals. But, these goals should be the ones making the most impact. The pieces of paper are meant to keep the employee on track with daily goals.

A good example of this is the beginning of a marketing campaign. The long-term goal for an employee might be to create an advertisement banner for the company’s window display. One of the employee’s goals could be to research different banner-makers in the area to see where they can get the best quality for the best price.

Another example would be is if someone is in charge of writing copy for a product. The employee may have a one-minute goal of creating a few different landing pages for the product to see what works best for the company and the product.

Both of these examples can be evaluated in one minute with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’; either you completed the goal or you didn’t.

  • One Minute Goals Work

The reason that one-minute goals work is because both the employer and manager have agreed on how it will be evaluated, so there is no room for confusion. This makes the employee accountable for their work.

This also allows the employee to manage themselves and takes the duty off of the manager to constantly check-in on the employee’s progress.

“Our Manager works with us to make it clear what our responsibilities are and what we are being held accountable for.”- Ken Blanchard

Unfortunately, there is a lot of disconnect today between workers and their companies. In 2012, a survey from Gallup determined that 41% of employees stated that they did not agree with their company’s purpose and did not understand why it was unique, different, or special. This is a problem.

A company’s vision statement should not only be the basis of the company, but it should also be a motivator to its employees. Everyone involved should believe in the same vision.

Another reason why it’s important to have a vision statement that employees can revert back to is because it helps them to understand what they are accountable for. It sets standards and shows them what they are working for as individuals and as a team.

The mission statement acts as an additional one-minute goal. It is a constant reminder to employees.

  • One Minute Praisings

One minute praisings are extremely important to company morale. They happen when a manager pauses and shows gratitude for an employee doing something correctly.

The key to being a One Minute Manager is to start a new project by observing their employees to make sure they are headed in the right direction and doing their tasks correctly. When they catch good behavior they must compliment it. This is what keeps the team motivated and moving forward in the right direction. It builds your team’s confidence.

“People Who Feel Good About Themselves Produce Good Results.” - Ken Blanchard

It’s also important to manage at a distance but to keep observing the process to make sure no employee diverts from the goal.

An example of this is a manager complimenting a new employee for making a sale. It doesn’t matter how big or small the sale was. Even a small sale when complimented will lead to bigger sales in the future.

It’s important that the compliments are specific though, so the employee knows exactly what they did correctly. Rather than saying “good job on that sale!” a manager could say “You nailed that because you understood the customer’s problem and you offered the solution of one of our products to solve it.”

A manager must also point out any last-minute complications that could have gotten in the way but didn’t. And, offer advice on how to handle it if it did become an issue next time. For example, if the customer absolutely hated the brand you suggested for their new speaker. The manager could give you the advice of offering a completely different brand but with similar benefits that would also solve their problem.

Over time, the manager will be able to compliment bigger sales, rather than small ones because the employee’s confidence has already been boosted and they no longer need that external praise for tasks they already know how to do. They will seek praise for bigger sales.

  • One Minute Praisings Work

The reason that one-minute praisings work is because they reward gradual progress. Or in other words, the end-goal is not the only thing that matters.

And, over time the employee doesn’t need constant praise to do good work. They will begin to reward themselves.

A classic example of this is when a baby starts learning how to walk. You don’t wait until they are walking, hopping, and skipping all over the house. You clap and give praise when they are trying to stand and wobbling around. That praise leads to more attempts and eventual success.

A shocking survey done in 2016 recorded that 21% of employees had never been praised for doing a job well done. 33% said it had been over six months that they had been recognized.

A New One Minute Manager’s employees should be praised at least once every two months.

  • One Minute Re-Directs

A one-minute re-direct is pretty simple. It re-directs an employee’s behavior in a respectful way without making them feel as if their mistake defines them.

The manager must be clear and explain why the mistake was, in fact, a mistake.

After the mistake has been corrected neither of the two should hold any sour feelings about the conversation.

“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

An example of a re-direct is if a manager catches an employee skipping a step during a daily process to save time. The manager can correct the behavior in a kind way and explaining the importance of the step. Once the step is corrected the employee will continue on performing the task in the correct fashion.

  • One Minute Re-Directs Work

The reason why one minute re-directs work is because it provides instant feedback about a behavior. This is something that is done now not at the end of the month during the monthly meeting. This nips the behavior in the bud and stops it from happening again.

Corrections need to be delivered in a proper and respectful way. If they are not, it can cause toxic relationships in the workplace.

Employees do not want to feel blamed which can turn them into playing the role of the victim, which is not what a manager is aiming for. People who start to play the victim will feel as if their manager is an obstacle to their success which causes unnecessary tension and decreases productivity.

An improper in-direct will also cause employees to avoid asking for help when needed.

  • New One Minute Managers Don’t Make Decisions For Others

New One Minute Managers don’t believe in making decisions for others. This saves the manager time. And, it also allows for the employee to be accountable for their actions.

The New One Minute Manager sits back, listens, and observes. They do not micromanage and they are not participatory managers.

The manager also tries to get the employees to interact and come to decisions together to create efficient plans. Empowering people and giving them the freedom they crave produces excellent results.

By forcing employees to make more decisions, they will become more motivated to do their job and do it well. This is proven by studies that have been done on the part of the brain where decision-making takes place.

It is smart to have the employees make the decisions because they are the ones who are closest to the subject. They are the ones working directly on solving problems, so it only makes sense they have some say in the process.

  • How New Minute Managers Expect Their Employees To Solve Problems

New Minute Managers expect that their employees decide who takes on what role, how the process will go, and what steps to take.

New Minute Managers should encourage their employees to solve their own problems, even if that employee specifically asks for help.

Employees can work to solve their own problem by first defining the problem, then figuring out what is causing the problem, and finally eliminating the behaviors or factors that are the cause.

The employee then must look at the initial problem and how it affected the process and then look at the ideal process to decide how everything should be done in the future.

By employees solving problems that have to do directly with what they are working on, it allows the manager to only deal with problems that they are required to solve such as a team dispute.

Main Take-Away

By practicing the One Minute Manager’s style of management, you will allow your employees to gain confidence working independently and feel the motivation to represent the company to the best of their ability. As a manager, it will also save you time and help you to focus your attention elsewhere.


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