One of my team recommended The One Minute Manager to me in a recent 1-1. It’s a slim book, not exactly a one-minute read but not far off. It takes the form of a parable about a man in search of effective management who encounters the One Minute Manager and his staff and learns essentially this:

  • set clear goals and monitor progress towards them
  • provide clear and timely feedback

There are, of course, homilies along the way, including “We are not just our behaviour. We are the person managing our behaviour.” and “The best minute I spend is the one I invest in people.”  and the writing, not unlike the similarly-structured Quality is Free, can be cloyingly, clunkily patronising at times. Even so, the core lessons are sound enough and it does no harm for a manager to be reminded of them.

But the aspect of the book that I find most appealing is that the One Minute Manager’s team members use the same techniques on, for and by themselves and are encouraged and expected to be independent and independent-minded. I like my teams to be this way which is why I’m delighted when they point me at a resource that can help me to do my job better.