Book Review – The One Minute Manager

People who feel good about themselves produce good results

The One Minute Manager Cover Image

The One Minute Manager is a tiny (less than 100 pages) little book with just three simple steps to become a great manager. I’m sold.

The book is written as a short story where a young enthusiastic job-seeker is looking for a great place to work; more specifically, a great manager to work for.

His search brings him to the One Minute Manager. The One Minute Manager agrees to chat with him and shares three secrets of One Minute Management.

  • One Minute Goals
  • One Minute Praisings
  • One Minute Reprimands

One Minute Goals

  • Goals should be recorded on no more than one sheet of paper
  • The goal, and its performance standard, should be no more than 250 words
  • You should be able to read it in one minute
  • Focus on the key areas of responsibility – 5 or 6 goals
  • Solve your own problems: A problem only exists if there is a difference between what is actually happening and what you desire to be happening
  • Take a minute every once in a while to review your goals

One Minute Prasings

  • Catch people doing something right
  • Be specific
  • Praise them immediately
  • Let people know how good it makes you feel that they did well
  • Stop for a few seconds to let them feel how you feel
  • Encourage them to do more of the same

One Minute Reprimands

  • Reprimand people immediately – don’t wait for monthly/yearly reviews
  • Tell people what they did wrong
  • Be specific
  • Tell people how you feel about what they did wrong
  • Stop for a few seconds to let them feel how you feel
  • Remind them how much you value them
  • Reafferm that you think well of them, but not their performance in this situation
  • When a reprimand is over, its over

It sounds very simple, which funnily enough is a recurring theme throughout the story. The later chapters of the book explain why these techniques work, with nice anecdotal examples.

I’d definitely recommend reading The One Minute Manager whether you’re a manager or not. A key point of the story is that the One Minute Manager’s employees become One Minute Managers of themselves.

You can read it in a lunchtime and the advice will always be useful.

Five stars.