The narrative of The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson is that a young and apparently eager person has been searching the globe for a progressive and effective supervisor. Then once the unnamed protagonist finds said leader, he’d soak up all the lessons and wisdom and move forward.
The protagonist finds that boss and gets face-to-face meetings with him and three of his workers. That’s when the protagonist hears the three secrets to being a One Minute Manager:- One Minute Goals- One Minute Praisings- One Minute Re-Directs
Before we get into the meat of the book and whether it has value, I must provide a word of warning. If you’re looking for an involved and detailed read, this isn’t it. The edition I have is a flimsy 93 pages with large type. Some pages aren’t completely filled and others are just sayings. I didn’t officially time myself, but I’d be shocked if it took me more than 90 minutes to read. In fact, I probably could have gotten away with grabbing it off the shelf at my local bookstore, buying a coffee and scone and reading it on a comfy couch at said store, then returning the book to the shelf and leaving.
Alas, I didn’t do that.
Anyway, for a quick and breezy read, the book will be a valuable addition to my library. It made me think about the supervisors I’ve had and the tricks and tactics they’ve used to get the most out of me. Of the three “secrets,” the one that got my mind going the most was the One Minute Re-Direct. This is basically what happens when an employee messes up and speaks to their boss. The tactic written about in the book feels surprisingly natural and obvious, and seems like one a lot of younger employees could respond to.
The book itself is an adaptation of The One Minute Manager. Published in 1982, the original had many of the same thoughts and ideas. One key difference is that the new version’s One Minute Re-Directs is a revision of the original’s One Minute Reprimands. As the authors wrote, this was an update to keep up with the times, knowing that what worked in the early 1980s wouldn’t necessarily work now. And they’re right. Personally, I would much rather go through a Re-Direct with one of my supervisors than a Reprimand.
In general, The New One Minute Manager lives up to what it promises. The solutions seem easy to execute and feel obvious and intuitive at the same time. The characters in the book are relatable, and the writing style is easy and accessible.
And you won’t need much time to read it.
Click here to see this story as it appears in the May 2017 issue of Modern Casting
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