The One Minute Manager Explains
WHEN he got to the One Minute Manager’s, his secretary said, “You can go right in. He’s been wondering when you’d be back to see him.”
As the young man entered the office, he noticed again how clear and uncluttered it was. He was greeted by a warm smile from the One Minute Manager.
“Well, what did you find out in your travels?” he asked.
“A lot!” the young man said enthusiastically.
“Tell me what you learned,” the manager encouraged.
“I found out why you call yourself a One Minute Manager. You set One Minute Goals with your people to make sure they know what they are being held accountable for and what good performance looks like. You then try to catch them doing something right so you can give them a One Minute Praising. And then, finally, if they have all the skills to do something right and they don’t, you give them a One Minute Reprimand.”
“What do you think about all that?” asked the One Minute Manager.
“I’m amazed at how simple it is,” said the young man, “and yet it works – you get results. I’m convinced that it certainly works for you.”
“And it will for you too, if you’re willing to do it,” the manager insisted.
“Perhaps,” said the young man, “but I would be more likely to do it if I could understand more about why it works.”
“That’s true of everyone, young man. The more you understand why it works, the more apt you are to use it. I’d be happy, therefore, to tell you what I know. Where do you want to start?”
“Well, first of all, when you talk about One Minute Management, do you really mean it takes a minute to do all the kinds of things you need to do as a manager?”
“No, not always. It just is a way to say that being a manager is not as complicated as people would have you believe. And also managing people doesn’t take as long as you’d think. So when I say One Minute Management, it might take more than a minute for each of the key elements like goal setting, but it’s just a symbolic term. And very often it does take only a minute.
“Let me show you one of the notes I keep on my desk.”
When he looked, the young man saw:
The Best Minute I Spend Is The One I Invest In People
“It’s ironic,” the manager said. “Most companies spend 50% to 70% of their money on people’s salaries. And yet they spend less than 1% of their budget to train their people. Most companies, in fact, spend more time and money on maintaining their buildings and equipment than they do on maintaining and developing people.”
“I never thought of that,” the young man admitted. “But if people get results, then it certainly makes good sense to invest in people.”
“Exactly,” the manager said. “I wish I had had someone invest in me sooner when I first went to work.”
“What do you mean?” the young man asked.
“Well, in most of the organizations I worked in before, I often didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing. No one bothered to tell me. If you asked me whether I was doing a good job, I would say either ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I think so.’ If you asked why I thought so, I would reply, ‘I haven’t been chewed out by my boss lately’ or ‘no news is good news.’ It was almost as if my main motivation was to avoid punishment.”
“That’s interesting,” the young man admitted. “But I’m not sure I understand it.”
Then he added anxiously, “In fact, if it’s all right with you, maybe I could understand things better if I could get to some of my ‘why’ questions. Let’s start with One Minute Goal Setting. Why does it work so well?”
Why One Minute Goals Work