The One Minute Manager Synopsis

After reading the book, which was an extremely quick read, maybe half an hour, I figured I ‘d make a few quick notes to keep the ideas in my head.

The three main things the technique tries to instill are: 1-minute goal settings, 1-minute praisings, and 1-minute reprimands.  Obviously, the one minute thing isn’t literal, but it is all meant to be quick and not dragged out.

Some of the details of the story stuck with me, and some raised further questions.  For example, there is a lot of stress on the idea that a worker has clear goals and it is their job to do them.  If that worker doesn’t know how to accomplish a task, who do they turn to?  I thought it would be the manager, because the manager should know everything that is going on in the department.  But the manager doesn’t want to be doing the job of his workers, that is a drain on his efficiency.  There is the weekly meeting where everyone describes their current progress and roadblocks.  That may be where issues get raised and assignments made to resolve them.

Some things don’t sit all that well with me.  It doesn’t seem very useful for a “working” manager – one who has things of their own to do in addition to managing people below them.  The book never talks about that.  The manager is always available, never has clutter, never seems to be doing anything.  But maybe that’s the trick, to delegate everything.  If one of your goals is to create a report of how successful your department is, do you assign that task to another person to do?

One part of me says that this is correct.  A manager should do nothing but manage the people and tasks and make sure the work gets done.  Another part of me says that it’s not enough and wouldn’t be very fulfilling.

The book also doesn’t discuss how much time a manager must spend in meetings.  The story always has the manager fully available, except for one team meeting.  Surely this manager must have superiors and peers at his level.  What about that time?

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