One Minute

My current role is changing a bit, with some additional responsibilities being added, specifically around line management.

As such, I’ve been reading The One Minute Manager and have to admit it’s given me a lot to think about.

The basic principles are to instill any team members or staff with a simple structure in which they can operate by breaking down the main management tasks of praise, reprimand and goal settings, into one minute activities.

The one minute goal setting helps set, review, clarify and agree on (SMART) goals.

One minute praising and recognition makes sure you are rewarding people as soon as you spot a behaviour you want to encourage, which in turn help set the expectation of how they should behave.

And one minute redirection and reprimand ensures that any deviations from the expected behaviour are caught as soon as they happen, making sure it is clear that the behaviour isn’t acceptable, again setting the expectations of how you expect your staff to behave.

The book itself is told from the point of view of a young manager who is struggling to find his way. He visits a successful manager who slowly reveals all of the secrets of one minute management. It’s not a big book, just over a hundred pages, and it’s certainly not a dry read as you are following the story to see what the young manager will uncover next. Yes it can be a bit over the top on occasion but all of the points are well made.

If you manage a team, no matter how big or small, I’d recommend you pick up a copy as it will undoubtedly change the way you think about how you manage your team.

The One Minute Manager (from Amazon UK, currently less than £5.


  1. Not sure if I’d be thrilled if my manager was turning to the One Minute Manager books for guidance. They’re an easy read but quite prescriptive. If you haven’t already, you might want to try “Built To Last” and “Good To Great” by Jim Collins, also “Coaching for improved work performance” by Ferdinand F. Fournies. In my opinion, the insights in these books are far more enduring and have much broader application for team leaders and managers.

  2. Roger, Thanks for the suggestions, I’ll have a look at them.

    However I think the key word in your comment is ‘guidance’. I certainly don’t want to follow a prescribed methodology, preferring to take the best from many. I do like the general idea of the one minute manager stuff but agree it doesn’t fit all applications.

  3. The best tip I got recently was to read your email twice a day.

    Once in the morning and then 15 min before you leave work.

    The rest of the time, keep it closed.

    Applies to IM and phones if you really want to increase producticity.



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