The One Minute Manager
The One-Minute Manager
Booksby KennethH.Blanchard,Ph.D.MANAGEMENT OFORGANIZATIONAL
BEHAVIOR:UTILIZINGHUMAN RESOURCES (withPaul Hersey).
ORGANIZATIONALCHANGETHROUGH EFFECTIVELEADERSHIP (withRobertH.Guestand
THE FAMILY GAME: A SITUATIONALAPPROACHTOEFFECTIVEPARENTING(withPaul Hersey).
PUTTING THE ONEMINUTE MANAGER TO WORK (withRobertLorber,Ph.D.).
THE ONEMINUTE FATHER
THE ONEMINUTE MOTHER
THE PRECIOUSPRESENT: THE GIFT THAT MAKES A PERSON HAPPYFOREVER
THE VALUE TALE SERIES:
THE VALUE OFBELIEVING IN YOURSELF, The Storyof LoutsPasteur
THE VALUE OFPATIENCE,The Story of the WrightBrothers
THE VALUE OFKINDNESS,The Storyof ElizabethFry
THE VALUE OFHUMOR, The Storyof Will Rogers
THE VALUE OFCOURAGE, The Storyof Jackie Robinson
THE VALUE OFCURIOSITY, The Story of ChristopherColumbus
THE VALUE OFIMAGINATION,The Storyof CharlesDickens
THE VALUE OFSAVING,The Storyof BenjaminFranklin
THE VALUE OFSHARING,The Storyof the Mayo Brothers
THE VALUE OFHONESTY, The Story of Confucius
THE VALUE OFUNDERSTANDING,The Story of Margaret Mead
THE VALUE OFFANTASY,The Story of Hans ChristianAnderson
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“All managersandexecutivescaneasilyuse The One Minute Managerto buildamore efficient
organization.Those whohave triedit,like it.“ROY ANDERSON,Chairmanof the Board& Chief Executive
The One Minute Manager
“Not since Up the Organizationhave Ireadsuch a straightforward,innovative bookasThe One Minute
Manager. Shouldbe commandreadingforeveryrestauranteurandhotelierinthe country.”DONALDI.
SMITH, Director,School of Hotel,RestaurantandInstitutional Management,College of Business,
“Quite simply,The One Minute Managercan helpanyman eagerto assisthispeople tobecome peak
performers.Iinclude itinall myworkwithAmericancorporationsseekingtoimprove productivity,
Clinical Professor,Universityof California,Berkeley
“In government,criticizingperformance hasbecome the dominantmanagementtechnique.The One
Minute Man ager's approach of catching someone doingsomethingrightwouldbe farmore effective.”
DAVIDC. JONES,General,U.S.A.E,Retired,FormerChairman,The JointChiefsof Staff
“The bestmanagementbookI've read.Icouldn'tputit down.I've boughtcopiesforall my key
managers,andnow theyare doingthe same for theirpeople.”JEREW.THOMPSON,PresidentThe
“Finallythere isashort,readable,practical guide toeffective management!We have more thana
thousandcopiesof The One Minute Manager available toourmanagers.”ERNEST E. RENAUD,President
& Chief Executive Officer,Jerrico,Inc.
“I believeThe One Minute Managershouldbe made 'standardissue'at all managementdevelopment
trainingprogramsfromnewmanagers'school to advancedmanagementtraining.Itembodies(inan
easy-to-readform) the fundamental principlesof people managementwe are tryingtoinstill inour
managementteam.Ihave made itrequiredreadingforall ourmanagers.” DAVIDHANNA,President
“Buyingcopiesof The One Minute Manager isone of the bestinvestmentsI've made inmyself andin
our managers.”LOUIS P.NEEB, PresidentFastFoodDivision,W.R.Grace & Co.(formerlyChairmanof
the Board, BurgerKingCorp.)
“The One Minute Manager... don't missit!”MERV GRIFFIN
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all overthe world.There isno doubtaboutit it works!”R. W. BUTLER, President,GTEDirectories
“Our whole managementhasprofitedfromreadingThe One Minute Manager.”
MICHAEL D. ROSE, President&Chief Executive Officer,HolidayInn,Inc.
“I gave copiesto myboss,my subordinates,otherrefinerymanagers,andeventomywife,ourclose
friendsandourclergy.It has that kindof broadappeal and it'sthat good!” ROBERT W. DAVIS,President
The One Minute Manager
“Thisbook showsushowto manage our encounterswithpeopleinsucha waythat
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THE ONEMINUTE MANAGER
A BerkleyBook/publishedbyarrangementwithWilliamMorrow andCompany,Inc.
WilliamMorrowandCompanyeditionpublished1982 Berkleytrade paperbackedition
All rightsreserved.Copyright1981, 1982 by BlanchardFamilyPartnershipandCandle Communications
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withoutpermission.Forinformationaddress:WilliamMorrow andCompany,Inc.105 Madison Avenue,
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50 49 48
The One Minute Manager
The One Minute Manager'ssymbol a one minute readoutfromthe face of a moderndigital watchis
intendedtoremindeachof usto take a minute outof our dayto lookintothe facesof the people we
manage.Andto realize that theyare our most importantresources.
In thisbrief story,we presentyouwithagreat deal of whatwe have learnedfromourstudiesin
medicine andinthe behavioral sciencesabouthow people workbestwithotherpeople.Bybest,we
meanhowpeople produce valuable results,andfeelgoodaboutthemselves,the organizationandthe
otherpeople withwhomtheywork.Thisallegory,The One Minute Manager,isa simple compilationof
whatmany wise people have taughtusandwhatwe have learnedourselves.We recognize the
importance of these sourcesof wisdom. We alsorealize thatthe peoplewhoworkwithyouastheir
managerwill looktoyouas one of theirsourcesof wisdom. We trust,therefore,that youwill take the
practical knowledge yougainfromthisbook anduse it inyourdaily management. Forasthe ancient
sage,Confucius,adviseseachof us:The essence of knowledgeis,havingit,touse it.We hope youenjoy
usingwhatyou learnfromThe One Minute Manager and that,as a result,youandthe people you work
withwill enjoy healthier,happierandmore productive lives.
ONCEthere was a brightyoungman whowas lookingforaneffective manager.He wantedtoworkfor
one.He wantedtobecome one.Hissearchhad takenhimovermanyyears tothe far cornersof the
world.He had beeninsmall townsandinthe capitalsof powerful nations.He hadspokenwithmany
directors,withthe managersof shopsandstores,of restaurants,banksand hotels,withmenand
womenyoungandold.He hadgone intoeverykindof office,large andsmall,luxuriousandsparse,with
windowsandwithout.He wasbeginningtosee the full spectrumof how people manage people.Buthe
wasn'talwayspleasedwithwhathe saw.He had seenmanytoughmanagerswhose organizations
seemedtowinwhile theirpeople lost.Some of theirsuperiorsthoughttheywere goodmanagers.Many
of theirsubordinatesthoughtotherwise.Asthe mansat ineach of these toughpeople'sooffices,he
asked,Whatkindof a managerwouldyousay youare? Theiranswersvariedonlyslightly.
I'm an autocratic managerI keepontopof the situation,he wastold.
A bottom-line manager.Hard-nosed.Realistic.Profit-minded.He heardthe pride intheirvoicesand
theirinterestinresults.The manalsometmanynice managerswhose peopleseemedtowinwhiletheir
organizationslost.Some of the peoplewhoreportedtothemthoughttheywere goodmanagers.Those
to whomtheyreportedhadtheirdoubts.Asthe man sat andlistenedtothese nice people answerthe
same question,he heard,
I'm a democraticmanager.Participative.Supportive.Considerate.Humanistic.
He heardthe pride intheirvoicesandtheirinterestinpeople.Buthe wasdisturbed.Itwasas though
mostmanagersin the worldwere primarilyinterestedeitherinresultsorinpeople.The managerswho
were interestedinresultsoftenseemedtobe labeledautocratic,while the managersinterestedin
people were oftenlabeleddemocratic.The youngmanthoughteachof these managersthe tough
autocrat and the nice democratwere onlypartiallyeffective.It'slike beinghalf amanager,he thought.
He returnedhome tiredanddiscouraged.He mighthave givenuphissearchlongago,buthe hadone
great advantage.He knewexactlywhathe waslookingfor.
Effective managers,he thought,manage themselvesandthe people theyworkwithsothatboththe
organizationandthe people profitfromtheirpresence.The youngmanhadlookedeverywhereforan
effectivemanagerbuthadfoundonlya few.The few he didfindwouldnotshare theirsecretswithhim.
He beganto thinkmaybe he wouldneverfindoutwhatreallymade aneffectivemanagertick.Thenhe
heardthat people likedtoworkforthisman and that theyproducedgreatresultstogether.The young
man wonderedif the storieswerereallytrue and,if so,whetherthismanagerwouldbe willingtoshare
Curious,he telephonedthe special manager'ssecretaryforanappointment.The secretaryputhim
throughimmediately.The youngmanaskedthisspecial managerwhenhe couldsee him.He heard,Any
time thisweekisfine,exceptWednesdaymorning.Youpickthe time.The youngmanquietlychuckled
because thissupposedlymarvelousmanagersoundedlike akooktohim.What kindof manager hadthat
kindof time available?Butthe youngmanwasfascinated.He wenttosee him.
WHEN the youngman arrivedat the manager'soffice,he foundhimstandingandlookingoutof the
window.Whenthe youngmancoughed,the managerturnedandsmiled.He invitedthe youngmanto
sitdownand asked:What can I do foryou? The youngman said,I'd like toaskyou some questions
abouthow youmanage people.The managerwillinglysaid,Fireaway.
Well,tobeginwith,do youholdregularlyscheduledmeetingswithyour subordinates?
Yes,I do once a weekonWednesdaysfrom9:00 to 11:00. That's why I couldn'tsee you then,responded
What do youdo at those meetings?probedthe youngman.
I listenwhilemypeoplereviewandanalyze whattheyaccomplishedlastweek,the problemstheyhad,
and whatstill needstobe accomplished.Thenwe developplansandstrategiesforthe nextweek.
Are the decisionsmade atthose meetingsbindingonbothyouandyour people?questionedthe young
Of course theyare,insistedthe manager.Whatwouldbe the pointof havingthe meetingif they
Thenyou are a participative manager,aren'tyou?askedthe youngman.
On the contrary,insistedthe manager,Idon't believe inparticipatinginanyof my people'sdecision-
Thenwhat isthe purpose of your meetings?
I alreadytoldyouthat, he said.Please,youngman,donotask me to repeatmyself.
It isa waste of my time andyours.
We're here to getresults,the managercontinued.The purpose of thisorganizationis efficiency.By
beingorganizedwe are a greatdeal more productive.
Oh,so you're aware of the needforproductivity.Thenyou're more results-orientedthanpeople-
No the managerresounded,startlinghisvisitor.Ihearthat all toooften.He got to hisfeetandbeganto
walkabout.How onearth can I get resultsif it'snotthroughpeople?Icare aboutpeople andresults.
Theygo hand inhand.
Here,youngman,lookat this.The managerhandedhisvisitoraplaque.Ikeepitonmy deskto remind
me of a practical truth.
People Who Feel Good About Themselves
Produce Good Results
As the youngman lookedatthe plaque,the managersaid,Thinkaboutyourself.Whendoyouwork
best?Is itwhenyoufeel goodaboutyourself?Orwhenyoudon't?The youngman noddedashe began
to see the obvious.Igetmore done whenI'mfeelinggoodaboutmyself,he responded.
Of course youdo,the manageragreed.Andsodoeseveryone else.The youngmanraisedhisindex
fingerwithnew-foundinsight.So,he said,helpingpeople tofeel goodaboutthemselvesisakeyto
Yes,the manager agreed.However, rememberproductivityismore thanjustthe quantityof workdone.
It isalso the quality.He walkedovertothe window andsaid, Come overhere,youngman.He pointedto
the trafficbelowandasked,Doyou see how manyforeigncarsthere are on the road? The youngman
lookedoutat the real world,andsaid,I see more of themeveryday.AndIguessthat's because they're
more economical andtheylastlonger.The managernoddedreluctantlyandsaidExactly.Sowhydo you
thinkpeople are buyingforeigncars?Because Americanmanufacturersdidnotmake enoughcars?Or,
the managersaid withoutinterrupting,because theydidnotmake the qualitycarthe Americanpublic
Nowthat I thinkof it,the youngmananswered,it'sa questionof qualityandquantity.
Of course,the manageradded.Qualityissimplygivingpeoplethe productorservice theyreallywant
and need.The oldermanstoodat the window lostinhisthoughts.He couldremember,notsolongago,
whenhiscountryprovidedthe technologythathelpedtorebuildEurope andAsia.Itstill amazedhim
that Americahadfallensofar behindinproductivity.The youngmanbroke the manager's
concentration.I'mremindedof anad I saw on television,the visitorvolunteered.Itshowedthe name of
the foreigncar, andoverit came the wordsIf you're goingto take outa long-termcarloan,don'tbuy a
short-termcar The managerturnedand saidquietly,I'mafraidthat'sa rather goodsummary.Andthat's
the whole point.Productivityisbothquantityandquality.The managerandhisvisitorbegantowalk
back towardsthe couch. Andfrankly,the bestwayto achieve bothof these resultsisthroughpeople.
The young man'sinterestincreased.Ashe satdown,he asked,Well,you've alreadysaidthatyou're not
a participative manager.Justhowwouldyoudescribeyourself?
That's easy,he respondedwithouthesitation.I'maOne Minute Manager.The young man'sface showed
surprise.He'dneverheardof a One Minute Manager.
You're a what?The managerlaughedandsaid,I'ma One Minute Manager.I call myself that because it
takesverylittle time forme toget verybigresultsfrompeople.Althoughthe youngmanhadspoken
withmanymanagers,he had neverheardone talklike this.Itwashard to believe.A One Minute
Manager someone whogetsgoodresultswithouttakingmuchtime.Seeingthe doubtonhisface the
managersaid,You don'tbelieve me,doyou?Youdon'tbelieve thatI'ma One Minute Manager.
I mustadmitit's hard for me eventoimagine,the youngmanresponded.The managerlaughedand
said,Listen,you'dbettertalktomy people if youreallywanttoknow whatkindof managerI am. The
managerleanedoverandspoke intothe office intercom.Hissecretary,Ms.Metcalfe,came inmoments
laterand handedthe youngmana sheetof paper.
Those are the names,positionsandphone numbersof the six peoplewhoreporttome the One Minute
WhichonesshouldItalk toothe youngman asked.
That's your decision,the managerresponded.Pickanyname.Talktoany one of them
or all of them.Well, ImeanwhoshouldIstart with?
I alreadytoldyou,I don'tmake decisionsforotherpeople,the managersaidfirmly.Make thatdecision
yourself.He stoodupand walkedhisvisitortowardsthe door.
You have askedme,notonce,but twice,tomake a simple decisionforyou.Frankly,youngman,Ifind
that annoying.Donotask me to repeatmyself.Eitherpickaname and getstarted,or take your search
for effective managementelsewhere.The visitorwas stunned.He wasuncomfortable,very
uncomfortable.A momentof embarrassedsilence seemedlike aneternity.Thenthe One Minute
Manager lookedthe youngmaninthe eye and said,You wantto know aboutmanagingpeople,andI
admire that.He shookhisvisitor'shand.
If you have any questionsaftertalkingtosome of mypeople,he saidwarmly,come backandsee me.I
appreciate yourinterestanddesire tolearnhow tomanage.I would,infact,like togive youthe concept
of the One Minute Manager as a gift.Someone gave ittome once andit's made all the difference tome.
I wantyou to understanditfully.If youlike it,youmaywantto become aOne Minute Manager yourself
Thank you,the youngman managed.He leftthe manager'soffice somewhatdumbfounded.Ashe
passedthe secretaryshe saidunderstandingly,Ican see fromyourdazedlookthat you've already
experiencedourOne Minute Manager.The youngmansaid veryslowly,still tryingtofigure thingsout,I
Maybe I can helpyou,Ms. Metcalfe said.I've phonedthe six people whoreporttohim.Five of themare
here and theyhave eachagreedto see you.Youmay be betterable to understandour"One Minute
Manager' afteryou've spokenwiththem.The youngmanthankedher,lookedoverthe listanddecided
to talkto three of them:Mr. Trenell,Mr.Levyand Ms. Brown.
The First Secret: One Minute Goals
WHEN the youngman arrivedat Trenell's office,he foundamiddle-agedmansmilingathim.Well,
you've beentosee the 'ole man."He's quite a guy,isn'the?
He seemsthatway,the youngman responded.
Didhe tell youaboutbeinga One Minute Manager?
He sure did.It's nottrue,is it?askedthe youngman.
You'd betterbelieve itis.Ihardlyeversee him.
You meanyounevergetany helpfromhim?puzzledthe youngman.
Essentiallyverylittle,althoughhe doesspendsome timewithme atthe beginningof a new taskor
responsibility.That'swhenhe doesOne Minute Goal Setting
One Minute Goal Setting.What'sthat?saidthe youngman.He toldme he wasa One Minute Manager,
but he didn'tsay anythingaboutOne Minute Goal Setting.
That's the firstof the three secretstoOne Minute Management,Trenell answered.
Three secrets?othe youngmanasked,wantingtoknow more.
Yes,saidTrenell.One Minute Goal Settingisthe firstone andthe foundationforOne Minute
boss,all too oftenyougettwodifferentlists.Infact,insome organizationsI've workedin,any
relationshipbetweenwhatIthoughtmy jobresponsibilitieswere andwhatmybossthoughttheywere,
was purelycoincidental.AndthenIwouldget introuble fornotdoingsomethingIdidn'teventhinkwas
Doesthat everhappenhere?askedthe youngman.
No Trenell said.Itneverhappenshere.The One Minute Manageralwaysmakesitclearwhatour
responsibilitiesare andwhatwe are beingheldaccountable for.
Justhow doeshe do that?the youngman wantedto know.
Efficiently,Trenell saidwithasmile.Trenell begantoexplain.Once he hastoldme whatneedstobe
done or we have agreedonwhat needstobe done,theneachgoal isrecordedonno more than a single
page.The One Minute Manager feelsthata goal,and itsperformance standard,shouldtake nomore
than 250 wordsto express.He insiststhatanyone be able toreadit withinaminute.He keepsacopy
and I keepacopy so everythingisclearandsowe can both periodicallycheckthe progress.
Do youhave these one-page statementsforeverygoal?
Well,wouldn'tthere be alotof these one-page statementsforeachperson?
No,there reallyaren't,Trenell insisted.The oldmanbelievesinthe 80-20 goal-settingrule.Thatis,80%
of yourreallyimportantresultswill come from20% of yourgoals.So we onlydoOne Minute Goal
Settingonthat 20%, that is,our keyareasof responsibilitymaybe three tosix goalsinall.Of course,in
the eventa special projectcomesup,we setspecial One Minute Goals.
Interesting,the youngmancommented.IthinkIunderstandthe importance of One Minute Goal
Setting.Itsoundslike aphilosophyof 'nosurprises'everyoneknowswhatisexpectedfromthe
So isOne Minute Goal Settingjustunderstandingwhatyourresponsibilitiesare? The youngmanasked.
No.Once we knowwhatour jobis,the manager alwaysmakessure we know whatgoodperformance is.
In otherwords,performance standardsare clear.He showsuswhat he expects.
How doeshe do thatshowyou whathe expects?askedthe youngman.
Let me give youan example,Trenellsuggested.
One of myOne Minute Goals wasthis:Identifyperformance problemsandcome up
withsolutionswhich,whenimplemented,will turnthe situationaround.
WhenI firstcame to workhere I spottedaproblemthatneededtobe solved,butIdidn'tknow whatto
do.So I calledthe One Minute Manager.Whenhe answeredthe phone,Isaid,Sir,Ihave a problem.
Before Icouldget anotherwordout,he said,Good!That's what you've beenhiredtosolve.Thenthere
was a deadsilence onthe otherendof the phone.
I didn'tknowwhatto do. The silence wasdeafening. Ieventuallystutteredout,But,but,Sir,Idon't
knowhowto solve thisproblem.
Trenell,he said,one of yourgoalsforthe future isforyou to identifyandsolve yourownproblems.But
since youare new,come onup and we'll talk.
WhenI got up there,he said,Tell me,Trenell,whatyourproblemisbutputitin behavioral terms.
Behavioral terms?Iechoed.Whatdoyou meanbybehavioral terms?
I mean,the managerexplainedtome,thatI do not wantto hear aboutonlyattitudes orfeelings.Tell
me what ishappeninginobservable,measurable terms.
I describedthe problemthe bestIcould.
He said,That's good,Trenell!Nowtellme whatyouwouldlike tobe happeninginbehavioralterms.
I don't know,Isaid.
Thendon't waste mytime,he snapped.
I justfroze inamazementfora fewseconds.Ididn'tknow whatto do. He mercifullybroke the dead
If you can't tell me whatyou'd like tobe happening,he said,youdon'thave a problemyet.You're just
complaining.A problemonlyexistsif there isadifference betweenwhatisactuallyhappeningandwhat
youdesire tobe happening.
Beinga quicklearner,IsuddenlyrealizedIknew whatIwantedto be happening.AfterItoldhim, he
askedme to talkabout whatmay have causedthe discrepancybetweenthe actual andthe desired.
Afterthat the One Minute Manager said,Well,whatare yougoingto do aboutit?
Well,Icoulddo A,I said.
If you didA,wouldwhatyou wantto happenactuallyhappen?He asked.
Thenyou have a lousysolution.Whatelse couldyoudo?he asked.
I coulddo B, I said.
But if youdo B, will whatyouwantto happenreallyhappen?He counteredagain.
Then,that's alsoa bad solution,he said.Whatelse canyoudo?
I thoughtaboutit for a couple of minutesandsaid,Icoulddo C. But if I do C, whatI wantto happen
won'thappen,sothat is a bad solution,isn'tit?
Right.You're startingto come around,the managerthensaid,witha smile onhisface.Is there anything
else you coulddo?he asked.
Maybe I couldcombine some of these solutions,Isaid.
That soundsworthtrying,he reacted.
In fact,if I doA thisweek,BnextweekandC intwo weeks,I'll have itsolved.That's fantastic.Thanksso
much.You solvedmyproblemfor me.
He got veryannoyed.Ididnot,he interrupted,yousolvedityourself.Ijustaskedyouquestions
questionsyouare able toask yourself.Now getoutof here andstart solvingyourownproblemsonyour
I knewwhathe had done,of course.He'd shownme how to solve problemssothatI coulddo it on my
ownin the future.
Thenhe stood,lookedme straightinthe eye andsaid,You're good,Trenell.
Rememberthatthe nexttime youhave a problem.
I remembersmilingasIlefthisoffice.Trenell leanedbackinhischairand lookedasif he were reliving
hisfirstencounterwiththe One Minute Manager.
So,the youngman began,reflectingonwhathe hadjust heard....One Minute Goals:
One Minute Goal Settingissimply
1. Agree on yourgoals.
2. See what goodbehaviorlookslike.
3.Write out eachof your goalsona single sheetof paperusinglessthan250 words.
4.Readand re-readeachgoal,whichrequiresonlyaminute orso eachtime youdo it.
5.Take a minute everyonce inawhile outof your dayto lookat your performance,and
6.See whetherornot yourbehaviormatchesyourgoal.
That's it,Trenell exclaimed,you're afastlearner.
Thank you,the youngman said,feelinggoodabouthimself.Butletme justjotthat down,he said,Iwant
to rememberthat.Afterthe youngmanwrote brieflyinthe small blue notebookhe carriedwithhim,he
leanedforwardandasked,If One Minute Goal Settingisthe firstsecretto becomingaOne Minute
Manager, whatare the othertwo?
Trenell smiled,lookedathiswatchandsaid,Why don't youask Levythat? Youare scheduledtosee him
thismorningtoo,aren't you?The youngman was amazed.
How didTrenell knowthat?Yes,the youngmansaidas he rose to shake Trenell'shand.
Thanksso much foryour time,sir.
You're welcome Trenell answered.Time isone thingIhave a lotmore of now.Asyou
can probablytell,I'mbecomingaOne Minute Manager myself.
The Second Secret: One Minute Praisings
As the youngman leftTrenell's office,he wasstruckbythe simplicityof whathe hadheard.He thought,
It certainlymakessense.Afterall,howcanyoube an effectivemanagerunlessyouandyourpeople are
sure of whattheyare beingaskedtodo.And whatan efficientwaytodo it. The youngmanwalkedthe
lengthof the buildingandtookthe elevatortothe secondfloor.Whenhe gotto Mr. Levy'soffice,he
was surprisedtomeetsoyounga man. Levywasprobablyinhislate 20's or early30's.
Well,you've beentosee the 'ole man." He'squite a guy,isn'the?He was alreadygettingusedtothe
One Minute Manager beingcalledquite aguy.
I guesshe isrespondedthe youngman.
Didhe tell youaboutbeinga One Minute Manager?askedLevy.
He sure did.It's nottrue,is it?askedthe youngman, wonderingif he'dgetadifferent answerfrom
You'd betterbelieve it'strue.Ihardlyeversee him.
You meanyounevergetany helpfromhim?pursuedthe youngman.
Essentiallyverylittle,althoughhe doesspendafairamountof time withme at the beginningof anew
task or responsibility.
Yes,I knowabout One Minute Goal Setting,interruptedthe youngman.
ActuallyIwasn'tthinkingsomuch aboutOne Minute Goal Setting.Iwasreferringto One Minute
One Minute Praisings?echoedthe youngman.Are theythe secondsecrettobecoming aOne Minute
Yes,theyare,Levy revealed.Infact,whenIfirststartedto workhere,the One Minute Manager made it
veryclearto me whathe was goingto do.
What was that?the visitorasked.
He saidthat he knewthat itwouldbe a loteasierforme to dowell,if Igot crystal- clearfeedbackfrom
himon howI was doing.
He saidhe wantedme to succeed.He wantedme to be a big helptothe organization, andtoenjoymy
He toldme that he wouldtry,therefore,toletme know inno uncertaintermswhenIwasdoingwell,
and whenIwas doingpoorly.
Andthenhe cautionedme thatitmightnot be verycomfortable atfirstfor eitherof us.
Why? the visitorasked.
Because, ashe pointedouttome then,mostmanagersdon't manage that wayand people aren'tused
to it.Thenhe assuredme that suchfeedbackwouldbe abighelpto me.
Can yougive me an example of whatyouare talkingabout?the youngman requested.
Sure,Levy complied.ShortlyafterIstartedto work,I noticedthat,aftermymanager
had done One Minute Goal Settingwithme,he wouldstayinclose contact.
What do youmeanby 'close contact'? askedthe youngman.
There were twowaysthat he didit, explainedLevy.Firstof all,he observedmyactivitiesveryclosely.He
neverseemedtobe veryfaraway.Secondly,he made me keepdetailedrecordsof myprogresswhich
That's interesting,saidthe youngman.Whydoeshe do that?
At firstI thoughthe wasspyingand didn'ttrustme.That is, until Ifoundoutfrom some of the other
people whoreporttohimwhathe wasreallydoing.
What was that?the youngmanwantedto know.
He wastryingto catch me doingsomethingrightLevysaid.
Catch youdoingsomethingrightechoedthe youngman.
Yes,respondedLevy.We have amotto aroundhere that says:
HelpPeople ReachTheirFull Potential
Levycontinued,In mostorganizationsthe managersspendmostof theirtime catchingpeople doing
what?he askedthe youngman.The youngmansmiledandsaidknowingly,Doingsomethingwrong.
Right!saidLevy,Here we put the accent onthe positive.We catch people doingsomethingrightThe
youngman made a fewnotesinhisnotebookandthenasked,Whathappens,Mr. Levy,whenthe One
Minute Manager catchesyou doingsomethingright.
That's whenhe givesyoua One Minute Praising,Levysaidwithsome delight.
What doesthat mean?the youngman wantedtoknow.
Well,whenhe hasseenthatyouhave done somethingright,he comesoverandmakescontact with
you.That oftenincludesputtinghishandonyour shoulderorbrieflytouchingyouinafriendlyway.
Doesn'tthat botheryou,the youngman wondered,whenhe touchesyou?
No Levyinsisted.Onthe contrary,ithelps.Iknow he reallycaresaboutme and he wants me to prosper.
As he says,The more consistentlysuccessful yourpeople are,the higheryourise inthe organization."
Whenhe makescontact, it'sbrief,butit letsme know once againthat we're reallyon
the same side.
Anyway,afterthat,Levycontinued,he looksyoustraightinthe eye andtellsyoupreciselywhatyoudid
right.Thenhe shareswithyouhowgoodhe feelsaboutwhatyoudid
I don't thinkI've everheardof a managerdoingthat, the youngman broke in.
That must make youfeel prettygood.
It certainlydoes,Levyconfirmed,forseveral reasons.Firstof all,Igeta praisingassoonas I've done
somethingrightHe smiledandleanedtowardshisvisitor.Thenhe laughedandsaid,Idon'thave to wait
for an annual performance review,if youknow whatImean.Both mensmiled.
Second,since he specifiesexactlywhatIdidright,I know he'ssincere andfamiliarwithwhatIam doing.
Third,he is consistent.
Consistent?echoedthe youngman,wantingtoknow more.
Yes,insistedLevy.He will praiseme if Iam performingwellanddeserveitevenif thingsare notgoing
well forhimelsewhere.Iknowhe maybe annoyedaboutotherthings.Buthe respondstowhere Iam,
not justto where he isat the time.AndI reallyappreciate that.
Doesn'tall thispraisinghave totake upa lotof the manager'stime?the youngman asked.
Notreally,saidLevy.Rememberyoudon'thave to praise someone forverylongforthemtoknowyou
noticedandyoucare. It usuallytakeslessthanaminute.
Andthat's whyit's calledaOne Minute Praising,the visitorsaid,ashe wrote downwhathe was
Is he alwaystryingto catch youdoingsomethingright?the youngmanasked.
No,of course not,Levyanswered.Justwhenyoufirststartworkhere or whenyoubegina new project
or responsibility,thenhe does.Afteryougettoknow the ropes,he doesn'tseemtobe aroundmuch
Why? the youngman wondered.
Because youand he have otherwaysof knowingwhenyourjobperformance is'praise worthy."You
bothcan reviewthe datainthe informationsystemthe salesfigures,expenditures,production
schedules,andsoon.Andthen,Levyadded,afterawhile youbegintocatchyourself doingthingsright
and youstart praisingyourself.Also,you're alwayswonderingwhenhe mightpraise youagainandthat
seemstokeepyougoingevenwhenhe'snotaround.It'suncanny.I've neverworkedsohard at a job in
That's reallyinteresting,commentedthe youngman.SoOne Minute Praisingisa secrettobecominga
One Minute Manager.
It is,indeed,Levysaidwithagleaminhiseye.He enjoyedwatchingsomeone learnthe secretsof One
Minute Management.Asthe visitorlookedathisnotes,he quicklyreviewedwhathe hadlearnedabout
the One Minute Praising.
One Minute Praisings:Summary
The One Minute Praisingworkswellwhenyou:
1.Tell people upfrontthatyouare goingto letthemknow how theyare doing.
2. Praise people immediately.
3.Tell people whattheydidrightbe specific.
4.Tell people howgoodyoufeel aboutwhattheydidright,andhow ithelps the organizationandthe
5.Stop fora momentof silence toletthemfee lohow goodyoufeel.
6. Encourage themto domore of the same.
7.Shake handsor touch people inaway thatmakesit clearthat yousupport theirsuccessinthe
What's the thirdsecret?the youngman askedanxiously.Levylaughedatthe visitor'senthusiasm,rose
fromhis chairand said,Why don'tyou askMs. Brown?I understandyou're planningtotalkto her,too.
Yes,I am, admittedthe youngman.Well,thanks somuchfor yourtime.
That's OK,insistedLevy.Time isone thingIhave plentyof yousee I'ma One Minute Managermyself
now.The visitorsmiled.He'dheardthatsomewherebefore.He wantedtoreflectonwhathe was
learning.He leftthe buildingandtooka walkamongthe treesnearby.He was struckagain bythe
simplicityandcommonsense of whathe hadheard.
How can youargue withthe effectivenessof catchingpeople doingsomethingrightthe youngman
thought,especiallyaftertheyknowwhattheyare todo and whatgoodperformance lookslike.
But do One Minute Praisingsreallywork?he wondered.Doesall thisOne Minute Managementstuff
reallygetresultsbottom-line results?Ashe walkedalonghiscuriosityaboutresultsincreased.Sohe
returned tothe One Minute Manager's secretaryand askedMs. Metcalfe toreschedule hisappointment
withMs. Brownfor some time the nextmorning.
Tomorrowmorningisfine,the secretarysaidasshe hung upthe phone.Ms.Brownsaid to tell youto
come any time exceptWednesdaymorning.Thenshe calleddowntownandmade the new appointment
he requested.He wastosee Ms. Gomez,an official inthe headquartersoffice.Theyhave information
there aboutall the differentplantsandlocationsinthe total company,Ms. Metcalfe saidina very
knowingway.I'msure you'll findwhateveryou're lookingfor.He thankedherandleft.
AFTER lunchthe youngman wentdowntown.He metwithMs.Gomez,a competentlookingwomanin
herearly40's. Gettingdownto business,the youngmanasked,
Couldyouplease tell me whatisthe mostefficientandeffective of all youroperationsinthe country?I
wantto compare itwiththe so-called"One Minute Manager's."oA momentlater,he laughed,ashe
heardMs. Gomez say, Well,youwon'thave to lookveryfar,because itis the One Minute Manager's.
He's quite aguy, isn'the?His operationisthe mostefficientandeffectiveof all of ourplants.
That's unbelievable,saidthe youngman.Doeshe have the bestequipment?"."
No,saidMs. Gomez.Infact, he'sgot some of the oldest.
Well,there'sgotto be somethingwrongoutthere,saidthe youngman,still puzzledby the oldman's
managementstyle.Tell me,doeshe lose alotof hispeople?Doeshe have alotof turnover?
Come to thinkof it,Ms. Gomezsaid,he doeshave a lotof turnover.
Aha,the youngman said,thinkinghe wasonto something.
What happenstothose folkswhentheyleave the One Minute Manager?the youngmanwantedto
We give themtheirownoperation,Ms.Gomezquicklyresponded.Aftertwoyearswithhim, theysay,
"Who needsamanager?"He's our besttrainerof people.Wheneverwe have anopeningandneeda
goodmanager,we call him.He alwayshas somebodywhoisready.Amazed,the youngmanthanked
Ms. Gomezfor her time butthistime he got a differentresponse.
I was gladI couldfityouin today,she said.The rest of my weekisreallyjammed.IwishIknew whatthe
One Minute Manager's secretswere.I've beenmeaningtogooverthere and see him,butI justhaven't
had time Smiling,the youngmansaid,I'll give youthose secretsasagiftwhenI findthemoutmyself.
That wouldbe a preciouspresent,Ms.Gomezsaidwitha smile.She lookedaroundhercluttered office
and said,I coulduse whateverhelpIcanget.The youngman leftMs.Gomez'soffice andwalkedout
ontothe street,shakinghishead.The One Minute Managerwasabsolutelyfascinatingtohim.That
nightthe youngman had a veryrestlesssleep.He foundhimselfexcitedaboutthe nextdayabout
learningthe thirdsecrettobecomingaOne Minute Manager.
The Third Secret: One Minute Reprimands
THE nextmorninghe arrivedatMs. Brown's office atthe stroke of nine.
A verysmartlydressedwomaninherlate 50's greetedhim.He gotthe usual,He'squite a guy,isn't he?
routine,butbynowthe youngmanwas gettingtothe pointwhere he couldsincerelysay,Yes,he is.
Didhe tell youaboutbeinga One Minute Manager?askedMs. Brown.
That's all I've beenhearingabout,the youngmansaidlaughing.It'snot true,isit? he asked,still
wonderingif he'dgeta differentanswer.
You'd betterbelieve itis.Ihardlyeversee him.
You meanyoudon't have much contact withhim, pursuedthe youngman,outside yourregularweekly
Shocked,the youngmansaid,You meanthe onlytime yousee the One Minute Manager iswhenyoudo
Yes. Well,notquite,saidMs.Brown,but almost.
But I thoughta keymottoaround here wascatchingpeople doingthingsright.
It isinsistedBrown.Butyouhave to know some thingsaboutme.
What? askedthe youngman.
I've beenworkinghere forquite afewyears.Iknow thisoperationinside andout.Asa result,the One
Minute Manager doesn'thave tospendmuch time withme,if any,ongoal setting.Infact,I usuallywrite
out mygoalsand sendthemoverto him.
Is eachgoal ona separate sheetof paper?askedthe youngman.
You bet.Nolongerthan 250 wordsand each one takesme or the One Minute Manager onlya minute to
Anotherthingaboutme that's importantisthat I justlove mywork.As a result,Ido mostof myown
One Minute Praisings.Infact,I believeif you're notforyourself,whois?A friendof mine toldme a
mottoI'll alwaysremember:"If youdon'tblow yourownhorn, someone elsewill use itasa spittoon."o
The young mansmiled.He likedhersense of humor.Doesyourmanagereverpraise you?he asked.
Sometimeshe does,buthe doesn'thave todoit veryoftenbecause Ibeathimto the punch,answered
Ms. Brown.WhenI do somethingespeciallygood,Imightevenaskthe One Minute Managerfor a
How wouldyoueverhave the nerve todothat? askedthe youngman.
It's easy.Justlike makingabetwhere I eitherwinorI breakeven.If he givesme the praising,Iwin.
But if he doesn't?the youngman broke in.
ThenI breakeven,respondedMs.Brown.Ididn'thave it before I asked.The youngmansmiledashe
tooknote of Ms. Brown's philosophy,andthencontinued.
You saidhe spendstime withyouwhenyoudosomethingwrong.Whatdoyou mean?askedthe young
If I make a significantmistake,that'swhenIinvariablyget aOne Minute Reprimand,Ms.Brownsaid.
A what?the startledyoungman asked.
A One Minute Reprimand,Ms.Brownrepeated.That'sthe thirdsecretto becomingaOne Minute
How doesitwork?wonderedthe youngmanoutloud.
I figuredyou'dsaythat, saidthe youngman.Ms. Brownjoinedhislaughandexplained,If youhave been
doinga jobfor some time andyou knowhow to do itwell,andyoumake a mistake,the One Minute
Manager isquickto respond.
What doeshe do? askedthe youngman.
As soonas he has learnedaboutthe mistake he comestosee me.Firsthe confirmsthe facts.Thenhe
mightput hishandon my shoulderormaybe justcome aroundto my side of the desk.
Doesn'tthat botheryou?askedthe youngman.
Sure,itdoes,because youknowwhat'scoming,especiallysince he doesn'thave a
He looksme straightinthe eye,she continued,andtellsme preciselywhatIdidwrong.Thenhe shares
withme howhe feelsaboutithe'sangry,annoyed, frustratedorwhateverhe isfeeling.
How longdoesthattake?askedthe youngman.
Onlyabout30 secondsbutsometimesitseemsforevertome confidedMs.Brown.
The visitorcouldn'thelpbutrememberthe feelingshe hadwhenthe One Minute
Manager toldhimin nouncertaintermso how annoyedhe waswithhisindecision.
Andthenwhat happens?the youngmanaskedas he movedtothe edge of hischair.
He letswhathe saidsinkin witha fewsecondsof silence boy,doesitsinkinfo
He looksme squarelyinthe eye andletsme know how competenthe thinksIusuallyam.He makessure
I understandthatthe onlyreasonhe is angrywithme is that he has so muchrespectfor me.He says he
knowsthisisso unlike me.He sayshowmuch he looksforwardtoseeingme some othertime,aslongas
I understandthathe doesnot welcome thatsame mistake again.The youngmanbroke in.Itmust make
It certainlydoes,Ms.Brownnoddedvigorously.The youngmanknew whatMs. Brownwas talking
about.He wastakingnotesnowas fast as he could.He sensedthatitwasn't goingtotake thiswoman
longto coverseveral importantpoints.
Firstof all,Ms. Brownsaid,he usuallygivesme the reprimandassoonas I've done somethingwrong.
Second,since he specifiesexactlywhatIdidwrong,I know he is'on top of things'and that I'm not going
to getaway withsloppiness.Third,since he doesn'tattackme as a persononlymybehaviorit'seasier
for me not to become defensive.Idon'ttry to rationalize awaymymistake byfixingblame onhimor
somebodyelse.Iknowhe isbeingfair.Andfourth,he isconsistent.
Doesthat meanhe will reprimandyoufordoingsomethingwrong,evenif thingsare goingwellforhim
Doesthe whole processreallytake onlyaminute?the youngmanasked.
Usually,she said.Andwhenit'sover,it'sover.A One Minute Reprimanddoesn'tlastlongbutIcan
guarantee you,youdon'tforgetit and youdon't usuallymake the same mistake twice.
I thinkI knowwhatyou're talkingabout,the youngman said.I'mafraidI askedhim...
I hope,she interrupted,youdidn'taskhimto repeathimself.The youngmanwasembarrassed.Ididohe
Thenyou knowwhatit's like tobe on the receivingendof aOne Minute Reprimand,shesaid.AlthoughI
expect,asa visitor,yougota rathermildone.
I don't knowif you'dcall it mild,he said,butI don't thinkI'll askhimto repeathimself veryoften.That
was a mistake.
I wonder,the visitorsaidoutloud,if the One Minute Managerevermakesa mistake.
Ms. Brown beganto laugh.Hardly,she said.Buthe doeshave a goodsense of humor.So whenhe does
make a mistake,like forgettingtodothe lasthalf of the One Minute Reprimand,we pointitouttohim
Afterwe've hadtime torecoverfromthe Reprimand,thatis.We might,forexample,phonehimlater
and tell himwe knowwe were wrong.Thenwe mightlaughandask
for the praisinghalf of the Reprimand,because we're notfeelingtoogood.
Andwhat doeshe do then?the youngmanasked.
He usuallylaughsandsayshe'ssorry he forgotto remindme that I am an OKPerson
You can laughabout praisingsandreprimands?the youngmanasked.
Sure,Ms. Brown said.Yousee,the One Minute Manager has taughtus the value of beingable tolaugh
at ourselveswhenwe make amistake.Ithelpsusgetonwithour work.
That's terrific,the youngmanenthused.How didyoulearntodo that?
Simply,Ms. Brownanswered,bywatchingthe bossdoit himself.
You meanyour bosscan laughat himself whenhe makesamistake?The astonishedyoungmanasked.
Well,notalways,Ms.Brown admitted.He'slike mostof us.Sometimesit'stough.Buthe oftencan. And
whenhe doeslaughat himself,ithasapositive effectoneveryonearoundhim.
He mustbe prettysecure,the youngman suggested.
He isMs. Brown answered.The youngmanwasimpressed.He wasbeginningtosee how valuable sucha
managerwas to an organization.
Why doyou thinkthe One Minute Manager's reprimandsare soeffective?he asked.
I'll letyouask the One Minute Manager, she said,as she rose frombehindthe deskandwalkedthe
youngman to the door.Whenhe thankedherforher time,Ms.Brown smiledandsaid,Youknow what
the response tothat isgoingto be.Theyboth laughed.He wasbeginningtofeellike aninsiderrather
than a visitor,andthat feltgood.Assoonas he was inthe hall,he realizedhow littletime he'dspent
withherand howmuch informationshe hadgivenhim.He reflectedonwhatshe hadsaid.It soundedso
simple.He reviewedinhisownmindwhatyoushoulddowhenyoucatch an experiencedpersondoing
One Minute Reprimands:Summary
The One Minute Reprimandworkswellwhenyou:
1.Tell people beforehandthatyouare goingto letthemknow how theyare doingandin no uncertain
2. the firsthalf of the reprimand:
b. Tell people whattheydidwrongbe specific.
c.Tell people howyoufeelaboutwhattheydidwrongandin nouncertainterms.
d.Stopfora fewsecondsof uncomfortablesilence toletthemfeelhow youfeel.
3.the secondhalf of the reprimand:
a.Shake hands,or touchthemin a waythat letsthemknow youare honestlyontheirside.
c.Reaffirmthatyouthinkwell of thembutnotof theirperformance in thissituation.
4.Realize thatwhenthe reprimandisover,it'sover.
The young manmay not have believedinthe effectivenessof the One Minute Reprimandif he hadn't
personallyexperienceditseffect.There wasnodoubtthathe feltuncomfortable.Andhe didnotwant
to experience itagain.However,he knew that everyone made mistakesnow andthen,andthathe
mightverywell receiveanotherreprimandsome day.Buthe knew if itcame fromthe One Minute
Manager, that itwouldbe fair;that itwouldbe a commenton hisbehaviorandnoton hisworth as a
As he headedtowardthe One Minute Manager'soffice,he keptthinkingaboutthe simplicityof One
Minute Management.All three of the secretsmade sense One Minute Goals,One Minute Praisings,and
One Minute Reprimands.Butwhydotheywork?He wondered.Whyisthe One Minute Managerthe
mostproductive managerinthe company?
The One Minute ManagerExplains
WHEN he got to the One Minute Manager's,hissecretarysaid,You can go rightin.He's beenwondering
whenyou'dbe back to see him.Asthe youngman enteredthe office,he noticedagainhow clearand
uncluttereditwas.He wasgreetedbya warm smile fromthe One Minute Manager.
Well,whatdidyoufindoutin yourtravels?he asked.
A lot!the youngman saidenthusiastically.
Tell me whatyou learned, the managerencouraged.
I foundoutwhy youcall yourself aOne Minute Manager. Youset One Minute Goals withyourpeople to
make sure theyknowwhattheyare beingheldaccountable for andwhatgoodperformance lookslike.
You thentry to catch themdoingsomethingrightsoyoucan give thema One Minute Praising.Andthen,
finally,if theyhave all the skillstodosomethingrightandtheydon't,yougive thema One Minute
What do youthinkaboutall that? askedthe One Minute Manager.
I'm amazedat howsimple itissaidthe youngman, and yetitworksyou getresults.
Andit will foryoutoo,if you're willingtodoit,the managerinsisted.
Perhaps,saidthe youngman,but I wouldbe more likelytodoitif I couldunderstandmore aboutwhyit
That's true of everyone,youngman.The more youunderstandwhyitworks,the more aptyou are to
use it.I'd be happy,therefore,totell youwhatI know.Where doyouwant to start?
Well,firstof all,whenyoutalkaboutOne Minute Management,doyoureallymeanittakesa minute to
do all the kindsof thingsyouneedto doas a manager?
No,not always.Itjustis a way to saythat beinga managerisnot as complicatedaspeople wouldhave
youbelieve.Andalsomanagingpeople doesn'ttake aslongas you'dthink.So whenIsay One Minute
Management,itmighttake more than a minute foreachof the keyelementslike goal setting,butit's
justa symbolicterm.Andveryoftenitdoestake only aminute.
Let me showyouone of the notesI keeponmy desk.Whenhe looked,the youngman saw:
The Best Minute I SpendIsThe One I InvestInPeople
It's ironic,the managersaid.Most companiesspend50% to 70% of theirmoneyonpeople'ssalaries.
Andyettheyspendlessthan1% of theirbudgettotraintheirpeople.Mostcompanies,infact,spend
more time and moneyonmaintainingtheirbuildingsandequipmentthantheydoonmaintainingand
I neverthoughtof that,the youngmanadmitted.Butif people getresults,thenitcertainlymakesgood
Exactly,the managersaid.I wishI hadhad someone investinme soonerwhenIfirst wenttowork.
What do youmean?the youngman asked.
Well,inmostof the organizationsIworkedinbefore,Ioftendidn'tknow whatIwas supposedtobe
doing.Noone botheredtotell me.If youaskedme whetherIwas doinga goodjob,I wouldsayeither"I
don't know'or "I thinkso."If you askedwhyI thoughtso,I wouldreply,"Ihaven'tbeenchewedoutby
my bosslately'or'no newsis good news."Itwasalmostas if my mainmotivationwastoavoid
That's interesting,the youngmanadmitted.ButI'mnot sure I understandit.Thenhe addedanxiously,
In fact,if it's all rightwithyou,maybe I couldunderstandthingsbetterif Icouldgetto some of my 'why'
questions.Let'sstartwithOne Minute Goal Setting.Whydoesitworkso well?
WhyOne Minute GoalsWork
YOU wantto knowwhyOne Minute Goalswork,the managersaid.Fine.He gotup and beganto pace
Let me give youan analogythat mighthelp.I've seenalotof unmotivatedpeople atworkinthe various
organizationsI've beenemployedinoverthe years.ButI've neverseenanunmotivatedpersonafter
work.Everyone seemstobe motivatedtodosomething.
One night,forexample,IwasbowlingandIsaw some of the 'problememployees'atworkfrom mylast
organization.One of the real problempeople,whoIrememberedall toowell,tookthe bowlingball and
approachedthe line androlledthe ball.Thenhe startedtoscreamand yell andjumparound.Why do
youthinkhe was so happy?
Because he got a strike.He had knockeddownall the pins.
Exactly.Whydon't youthinkhe and otherpeople are thatexcitedatwork?
Because he doesn'tknowwhere the pinsare,smiledthe youngman.Igetit.How longwouldhe wantto
bowl if there were nopins?
Right,saidthe One Minute Manager. Now you can see whathappensinmostorganizations.Ibelieve
that mostmanagersknowwhat theywanttheirpeople todo.Theyjustdon'tbotherto tell theirpeople
ina waytheywouldunderstand.Theyassume theyshouldknow.Ineverassume anythingwhenit
comesto goal setting.
Whenyouassume that people knowwhat'sexpectedof them, youare creatinganineffectiveformof
bowling.Youputthe pinsup butwhenthe bowlergoestoroll the ball,he noticesthere isa sheetacross
the pins.So whenhe rollsthe ball,anditslipsunderthe sheet,he hearsacrack but doesn'tknow how
manypinshe knockeddown.Whenyouaskhimhow he did,he says,I don'tknow.But it feltgood.
It's like playinggolf atnight.A lotof my friendshave givenupgolf andwhenIaskedthemwhy,they
said,"Because the coursesare too crowded."WhenIsuggestedthattheyplayat night,theylaughed
because whowouldeverplaygolf withoutbeingable tosee the pins?
It's the same withwatchingfootball.How manypeople inthiscountrywouldsitinfrontof theirTV'son
a SundayafternoonorMonday nightand watchtwo teamsrun up anddownthe fieldif there wereno
goalsto shootat or anyway to score?
Yeah!Why isthat? askedthe youngman.
It's all because clearlythe numberone motivatorof people isfeedbackonresults.Infact,we have
anothersayinghere that'sworthnoting:"Feedbackisthe Breakfastof Champions."Feedbackkeepsus
motivatorof people,theyusuallysetupathirdform of bowling.
Whenthe bowlergoestothe line toroll the ball,the pinsare still upand the sheetisinplace but now
there isanotheringredientinthe game a supervisorstandingbehindthe sheet.Whenthe bowlerrolls
the ball,he hearsthe crash of the fallingpins,andthe supervisorholdsuptwofingerstosignifyyou
No,the youngman smiled.Theyusuallysayyoumissed eight.
Righton! saidthe One Minute Manager. The questionIalwaysusedtoask waswhy doesn'tthe manager
'liftthe sheetup'so bothhe andhis subordinate cansee the pins.Why?Because he hasthe great
Because he has Performance Review comingup?wonderedthe youngman.
Right.I usedto call that "NIHYSOB'whichstandsfor "Now I have youSOB."Such managersdon't tell
theirpeople whattheyexpectof them;theyjustleave themaloneandthen'zap' themwhentheydon't
performat the desiredlevel.
Why doyou suppose theywoulddothat?the youngman inquired,beingveryfamiliar withthe truthin
So theycan lookgood,saidthe manager.
What do youmean,so theycan lookgood?askedthe youngman.
How doyou thinkyouwouldbe viewedbyyourbossif youratedeveryone thatreportedtoyouat the
highestlevelonyourperformance review scale?
As a 'softtouch,"as someone whocouldnotdiscriminate betweengoodperformance andpoor
Precisely,saidthe manager.Inordertolookgoodas a managerinmostorganizations,youhave tocatch
some of your people doingthingswrong.Youhave tohave a few winners,afew losers,andeveryone
else somewhere inthe middle.Yousee,inthiscountrywe have anormal-distribution-curvementality.I
rememberone time whenvisitingmyson'sschool,Iobservedafifth-grade teachergivingastate
capitalstestto herclass.WhenI askedher whyshe didn'tput atlasesaroundthe roomand letthe kids
use themduringthe test,she said,"I couldn'tdothat because all the kidswouldget100 percent."As
thoughit wouldbe badfor everyone todowell.
I rememberonce readingthatwhensomeoneaskedEinsteinwhathisphone numberwas,he wentto
the phone bookto lookitup. The youngman laughed.You're kidding.
No,I'm not kidding.He saidhe neverclutteredhismindwithinformationhe couldfindsomewhereelse.
Now,if youdidn'tknowbetter,the managercontinued,whatwouldyouthinkof someone whowentto
the phone bookto lookuphis ownnumber?Wouldyouthinkhe wasa winneror a loser?The young
man grinnedandsaid,A real loser.
Sure,the managerresponded.Iwould,too,butwe'dbe wrong,wouldn'twe?The youngmannodded
It's easyfor anyof us to make thismistake,the managersaid.Thenhe showedhisvisitorthe plaque he
had made forhimself.Lookatthis:
Everyone Is A Potential Winner
Some People Are DisguisedAsLosers,
Don't Let TheirAppearancesFool You.
You see,the managersaid,youreallyhave three choicesasa manager.First,youcan hire winners.They
are hard to findandtheycost money.Or,second,if youcan't finda winner,youcanhire someone with
the potential tobe a winner.Thenyousystematicallytrainthatpersontobecome awinner.If youare
not willingtodoeitherof the firsttwo (andI am continuallyamazedatthe numberof managerswho
won'tspendthe moneyto hire a winnerortake the time to trainsomeone tobecome a winner),then
there isonlythe thirdchoice leftprayer.That stoppedthe youngmancold.He putdownhisnotebook
and penand said,
Prayer?The manager laughedquietly.That'sjustmyattemptat humor,youngman.But whenyouthink
aboutit, there are many managerswhoare sayingtheirprayersdaily"Ihope thispersonworksout."
Oh,the youngmansaid seriously.Well,let'stake the firstchoice.If youhire awinner,it'sreallyeasyto
be a One Minute Manager,isn'tit?
It sure is saidthe managerwitha smile. He wasamazedat how seriousthe youngman wasnow as
thoughbeingmore seriousmade apersona bettermanager.
All youhave to do witha winnerisdoOne Minute Goal Settingandletthemrunwiththe ball.
I understandfromMs. Brown,sometimesyoudon'tevenhave todo thatwithher said the youngman.
She'sabsolutelyrightsaidthe manager.She'sforgottenmore thanmostpeopleknow aroundhere.But
witheveryone,winnerorpotential winner,One Minute Goal Settingisabasic tool forproductive
I rememberonce readingthatwhensomeoneaskedEinsteinwhathisphone numberwas,he wentto
the phone bookto lookitup. The youngman laughed.You're kidding.
No,I'm not kidding.He saidhe neverclutteredhismindwithinformationhe couldfindsomewhereelse.
Now,if youdidn'tknowbetter,the managercontinued,whatwouldyouthinkof someone whowentto
the phone bookto lookuphis ownnumber?Wouldyouthinkhe wasa winneror a loser?The young
man grinnedandsaid,A real loser.
Sure,the managerresponded.Iwould,too,butwe'dbe wrong,wouldn'twe?The youngmannodded
It's easyfor anyof us to make thismistake,the managersaid.Thenhe showedhisvisitorthe plaque he
had made forhimself.Lookatthis:
Is ittrue that nomatter whoinitiatesthe One Minute Goal Setting,the youngmanasked,eachgoal
alwayshasto be writtendownona single sheetof paper?
Absolutely,insistedthe One Minute Manager.
Why isthat so important?
So people canreviewtheirgoals frequentlyandthenchecktheirperformance against those goals.
I understandyouhave themwrite downonlytheirmajorgoalsandresponsibilitiesand noteveryaspect
of theirjob,the youngmansaid.
Yes.That's because I don'twant thisto be a paper mill.Idon'twant a lotof piecesof paperfiledaway
somewhere andlookedatonlyonce a yearwhenit's time fornextyear'sgoal settingorperformance
As youprobablysaw,everyone whoworksforme hasa plaque nearthemthat looks like this.He
showedhisvisitorhiscopyof the plaque.
Take A Minute:
See If YourBehaviorMatchesYourGoals
The young manwas amazed.He'dmissedthisinhisbrief visit.Ineversaw this,"he said.It'sterrific.
CouldI getone of these plaques?
Sure,the managersaid.I'll arrange it.Ashe waswritingdownsome of whathe waslearning,the
learnaboutOne Minute Managementinsuch a short time.There'scertainlymore I'dlike tolearnabout
One Minute Goals,for instance,butmaybe Icoulddo that later.
Couldwe move toOne Minute Praisingsnow?askedthe youngman,as he lookedup fromhisnotebook.
Sure,saidthe One Minute Manager. You're probablywonderingwhythatworks,too.
I certainlyam,the visitorresponded.
WhyOne Minute PraisingsWork
LET'S lookat a fewexamples,the One Minute Managersaid.Maybe thenitwill be clearto youwhyOne
I'd like that,saidthe youngman.
I'll start witha pigeonexampleandthenmove ontopeople,saidthe manager.
Justrememberyoungman,people are notpigeons.Peopleare more complicated.Theyare aware,they
that and respectthat.It isa keytogood management.
Withthat in mind,letuslookat several simpleexampleswhichshow usthatwe all seekwhatfeelsgood
to us and we avoidwhatfeelsbadtous.
Suppose youhave anuntrainedpigeonthatyouwantto entera box in the lowerleft- handcornerand
run across the box to the upperright-handcornerandpush a leverwithhisrightfoot.Suppose thatnot
too far fromthe entrypointwe have a pelletmachine thatis,amachine that can release pelletsof food
to rewardand reinforce the pigeon.Whatdoyou thinkisgoingto happenif we putthe pigeoninthe
box and waituntil the pigeonrunsovertothe upperright-handcornerandpushesthe leverwithhis
rightfoot before we give himanyfood?askedthe One Minute Manager.
He wouldstarve todeath,respondedthe youngman.
You're right.We're goingto lose a lotof pigeons.The pigeonisgoingtostarve todeathbecause he
doesn'thave anyideawhat he is supposedtodo.
Nowit's actuallynottoo hardto train a pigeontodo thistask.All youhave to do is todraw a line not
too far fromwhere the pigeonentersthe box.If the pigeonentersthe box andcrossesthe line,bangthe
pelletmachine goesoff, andthe pigeongetsfed.Prettysoonyouhave the pigeonrunningtothatspot,
but youdon't wantthe pigeonthere.Where doyouwantthe pigeon?
In the upperright-handcornerof the box,saidthe youngman.
Right!the One Minute Manager confirmed.Therefore,afterawhile youstoprewardingthe pigeonfor
runningto thatspot and drawanotherline whichisn'ttoofar fromthe last line,butisinthe directionof
the goal the upperright-handcornerof the box.Now the pigeonstartsrunningaroundhisoldspotand
doesn'tgetfed.Prettysoonthough,the pigeonmakesitacrossthe new line andbangthe machine goes
off againand the pigeongetsfed.
Thenyou drawanotherline.Againthisline hastobe inthe directionof the goal,butnottoo far away
that the pigeoncan't make itagain.We keepsettingupthese linescloserandclosertothe upperright-
handcorner of the box until we won'tfeedthe pigeonunlesshe hitsthe leverandthenfinallyonly
whenhe hitsthe leverwithhisrightfoot.
Why doyou setup all these little goals?wonderedthe youngman.
By settingupthese seriesof lines,we are establishinggoalsthatthe pigeoncanachieve.Sothe keyto
trainingsomeone todoa newtask is,inthe beginning,tocatchthemdoingsomethingapproximately
rightuntil theycan eventuallylearntodoitexactlyright.
We use thisconceptall the time withkidsandanimals,butwe somehow forgetitwhenwe are dealing
withbigpeople adults.Forexample,atsome of these SeaAquariumsyousee aroundthe country,they
usuallyendthe showbyhavinga huge whale jumpoverarope whichishighabove the water.Whenthe
whale comesdownhe drenchesthe firsttenrows.
The people leave thatshowmumblingtothemselves”That'sunbelievable.How do they teachthat
whale todo that?"
Do youthinktheygo out inthe ocean ina boat, the managerasked,andput a rope outoverthe water
and yell,"Up,up!"until a whale jumpsoutof the wateroverthe rope?And thensay,"Hey,let'shire
him.He's a real winner."
No,laughedthe youngman,but thatreallywouldbe hiringawinner.The twomenenjoyedthe laugh
You're rightthe managersaid.Whentheycapturedthe whale,he knew nothingaboutjumpingover
ropes.Sowhentheybeganto trainhimin the large pool,where doyouthinktheystartedthe rope?
At the bottomof the pool,answeredthe youngman.
Of course!respondedthe manager.Everytime the whale swamoverthe rope which waseverytime he
swampast he got fed.Soon,theyraisedthe rope a little.
If the whale swamunderthe rope,he didn'tgetfedduringtraining.Wheneverhe swamoverthe rope,
he got fed.So aftera while the whale startedswimmingoverthe rope all of the time.Thentheystarted
raisingthe rope a little higher.
Why dotheyraise the rope?askedthe young man.
First,the managerbegan,because theywere clearonthe goal:to have the whale jumphighoutof the
waterand overthe rope.
So that's howtheydo it,the youngman said.Well,Ican understandnow how using
that methodworkswithanimals,butisn'tita bitmuch to use it withpeople?
No,it's verynatural infacto the managersaid.We all do essentiallythe same thingwiththe childrenwe
care for.How do youthinkyouteach themto walk?Canyou imagine standingachildupandsaying
"Walk,"and whenhe fallsdownyoupickhimupand spankhimand say,"I toldyou to walk."No,you
standthe childupand the firstday he wobblesalittle bit,andyougetall excitedandsay,"He stood,he
stood,"andyou hug andkissthe child.The nextday he standsfor a momentandmaybe wobblesastep
and youare all overhimwithkissesandhugs.
Finallythe child,realizingthatthisisa prettygooddeal,starts to wobble hislegsmore andmore until he
The same thinggoesforteachinga childto speak.Suppose youwantedachildtosay,"Give me a glass
of water,please."If youwaiteduntil the childsaidthe wholesentence before yougave heranywater,
the childwoulddie of thirst.Soyoustart off bysaying"Water,water."All of a suddenone daythe child
says,"Waller."Youjumpall overthe place,hug andkissthe child,getgrandmotheronthe phone sothe
childcan say "Waller,waller."Thatwasn't'water,"butit was close.
Nowyoudon't want a kidgoingintoa restaurantat the age of twenty-oneaskingforaglassof 'waller'
so aftera while youonlyacceptthe word'water' and thenyoubeginon'please."
These examplesillustrate thatthe mostimportantthingintrainingsomebodytobecome awinneristo
catch themdoingsomethingrightinthe beginningapproximatelyrightandgraduallymovingthem
towardsthe desiredbehavior.Withawinneryoudon'thave to catch themdoingthingsrightveryoften,
because goodperformerscatchthemselvesdoingthingsrightandare able to be self-reinforcing.
Is that whyyouobserve newpeoplealotinthe beginning,askedthe youngman,or whenyourmore
Yes,the One Minute Manager said.Most managerswaituntil theirpeople dosomethingexactlyright
before theypraise them.Asa result,manypeople nevergettobecome highperformersbecause their
managersconcentrate oncatchingthemdoingthingswrongthat is,anythingthatfallsshortof the final
desiredperformance.Inourpigeonexample,itwouldbe like puttingthe pigeoninthe box andnotonly
waitinguntil he hitsthe levertogive himanyfoodbutputtingsome electricgrillsaroundthe box to
That doesn'tsoundlike itwouldbe veryeffective,the youngmansuggested.
Well,itisn't,agreedthe One Minute Manager.Aftergettingpunishedforawhile andnotknowingwhat
acceptable behavioris(thatis,hittingthe lever),the pigeonwouldgointothe cornerof the box andnot
move.To the pigeonitisa hostile environmentandnotworthtakingany risksin.
That is whatwe oftendowithnew,inexperiencedpeople.We welcome themaboard,take themaround
to meeteverybody,andthenwe leave themalone.Notonlydowe notcatch themdoinganything
approximatelyright,butperiodicallywe zapthemjusttokeepthemmoving.Thisisthe mostpopular
leadershipstyle of all.We call itthe 'leave alone-zap'style.Youleave apersonalone,expectinggood
performance fromthem,andwhenyoudon'tget it,youzap them.
What happenstothese people?askedthe youngman.
If you've beeninanyorganization,andI understandyou've visitedseveral,the managersaid,youknow,
because you've seenthem.Theydoaslittle aspossible.
Andthat's what's wrongwithmostbusinessestoday.Theirpeople reallydonotproduce eitherquantity
Andmuch of the reasonforthispoor businessperformance issimplybecause the peopleare managed
so poorly.The youngmanput hisnotebookdown.He thoughtaboutwhathe justheard.He was
beginningtosee One Minute Managementforwhatitisa practical businesstool.Itwasamazingtohim
howwell somethingassimple asthe One Minute Praisingworkedwhetheritwasinside oroutside the
That remindsme of some friendsof mine,the youngmansaid.Theycalledme andsaidthat they'd
gottena newdog.Theyaskedme whatI thoughtof theirplannedmethodof trainingthe dog.The
managerwas almostafraidto ask.
How were theygoingtodo it?
Theysaidif the doghad an accidenton the rug, theywere goingtotake the dog, shove hisnose init,
poundhimon the butt witha newspaperandthenthrow the dogout thislittle window inthe kitchen
intothe back yard where the dogwas supposedtodohisjob.
I sure enjoya praisingmore thana reprimand,the youngmanlaughed.
I thinkI understandnowwhyOne Minute GoalsandOne Minute Praisingswork.Theyreallydomake
Good,said the One Minute Manager.
But I can't imagine whythe One Minute Reprimandworks,the youngmanwonderedoutloud.
Let me tell youa fewthingsaboutit,saidthe One Minute Manager.
WhyOne Minute ReprimandsWork
THERE are several reasonswhythe One Minute Reprimandworkssowell.
To beginwith,the managerexplained,the feedbackinthe One Minute Reprimandisimmediate.Thatis,
youget to the individualassoonas youobserve the 'misbehavior'oryourdata informationsystemtips
youoff.It isnot appropriate togunnysackor save up negative feelingsaboutsomeone'spoor
The fact that the feedbackissoimmediateisanimportantlessoninwhythe One Minute Reprimand
worksso well.Unlessdisciplineoccursasclose to the misbehavioraspossible,ittendsnottobe as
helpful ininfluencingfuture behavior.Mostmanagersare 'gunnysack'discipliners.Thatis,theystore up
observationsof poorbehaviorandthensome daywhenperformance review comesortheyare angry in
general because the 'sackisso full,"theycharge inand'dump everythingonthe table."Theytellpeople
all the thingstheyhave done wrongfor the lastfew weeksormonthsor more.The youngman breathed
a deepsighandsaid,So true.
Andthen,the One Minute Manager wenton,the managerand subordinate usuallyendupyellingat
each otheraboutthe facts or simplykeepingquietandresentingeachother.The personreceivingthe
feedbackdoesn'treallyhearwhathe orshe has done wrong.Thisisa versionof the 'leave alone-zap'
formof discipline thatI've spokenaboutearlier.
I rememberitwell,respondedthe youngman.ThatiscertainlysomethingIwanttoavoid.
Absolutely,agreedthe manager.If managerswouldonlyintervene early,theycoulddeal withone
behaviorata time andthe personreceivingthe disciplinewouldnotbe overwhelmed.Theycouldhear
the feedback.That'swhyI thinkperformance review isan ongoingprocess,notsomethingyoudoonly
once a year.
So,one reasonthatthe One Minute Reprimandworksisthatthe personreceivingthe reprimandcan
'hear' the feedback,because whenthe managerdealswithone behaviorata time,itseemsmore fair
and clear,the youngman summarized.
Yes,the manager said.Andsecondly,whenIgive aOne Minute Reprimand,Ineverattacka person's
worthor value as a person.Since theirOK-nessasapersonisnot 'up forgrabs," theydon'tfeel they
have to defendthemselves.Ireprimandthe behavioronly.Thus,myfeedbackandtheirownreactionto
it isaboutthe specificbehaviorandnottheirfeelingsaboutthemselvesashumanbeings.
So often,whendiscipliningpeople,managerspersecute the individual.Mypurpose ina One Minute
Reprimandistoeliminate the behaviorandkeepthe person.
So that's whyyoumake the secondhalf of the reprimandapraising,the youngmansaid.Theirbehavior
isnot OK.They are OK.
Yes,agreedthe One Minute Manager.
Why wouldn'tyougive the praisingfirstandthenthe reprimand?suggestedthe youngman.
For some reason,itjustdoesn'twork,insistedthe manager.Some people,know thatIthinkof it,say
that I am Nice 'n' Tough as a manager.But to be more accurate, I'm reallyTough'n' Nice.
Tough 'n' Nice,echoedthe youngman.
Yes,insistedthe One Minute Manager.Thisisan oldphilosophythathasworkedwell forliterally
There is,infact, a story inancientChinathat illustratesthis.Once upon atime,anemperorappointeda
secondincommand.He calledthisprime ministerinand,ineffect,saidtohim:Whydon't we divide up
the tasks?Why don't youdo all the punishingandI'll doall the rewarding?The prime ministersaid,Fine.
I'll do all the punishingandyoudoall the rewarding.
I thinkI'm goingto like thisstory,the youngmansaid.
You will,youwill,the One Minute Managerrepliedwithaknowingsmile.
Nowthisemperor,the managercontinued,soonnoticedthatwheneverhe askedsomeone todo
something,theymightdoitortheymightnot do it.However,whenthe prime ministerspoke,people
moved.Sothe emperorcalledthe prime ministerbackinandsaid:Why don't we divide the tasksagain?
You have beendoingall the punishinghere forquite awhile.Now letme dothe punishingandyoudo
the rewarding.Sothe prime ministerandthe emperorswitchedrolesagain.
And,withinamonththe prime ministerwasemperor.The emperorhadbeenanice person,rewarding
and beingkindtoeveryone;thenhe startedtopunishpeople.People said:What'swrongwiththatold
codger?and theythrewhimouton hisear. Whentheycame to lookfor a replacement,theysaid:You
knowwho'sreallystartingtocome aroundnow the prime minister.So,theyputhimrightintooffice.
Is that a true story? the youngman asked.
Who cares?saidthe One Minute Manager,laughing.Seriously,he added,Idoknow this.
If you are firsttoughon the behavior,andthensupportiveof the person,itworks.
Do youhave any modern-dayexamplesof where the One Minute Reprimandhas
workedotherthanin management?the youngmanaskedthe wise manager.
Yes certainly,the managersaid.Letme mentiontwo:one withsevere adultbehaviorproblemsand
What do youmeanwhenyousay 'severe adultbehaviorproblems'?the youngmanasked.
I'm talkingaboutalcoholicsinparticular,the manageranswered.Aboutthirtyyearsagoanobservant
clergymandiscoveredatechnique whichisnow called'crisisintervention."He made the discoverywhen
he was helpingaphysician'swife.She wasinaMinnesotahospital incritical conditionandslowlydying
fromcirrhosisof the liver.Butshe wasstill denyingthatshe hada drinkingproblem.Whenall herfamily
had gatheredather bedside,the clergymanaskedeachof themtodescribe specificdrinkingincidents
theyhad observed.That'sanimportantpart of the One Minute Reprimand.Beforegivingareprimand
youhave to see the behavioryourself youcan'tdependonwhatsomeone else saw.Younevergive a
Interesting,the youngmanbroke in.
Let me finish.Afterthe familydescribedspecificbehaviors,the clergymanaskedeachof the family
memberstotell the womanhowtheyfelt aboutthose incidents.Gatheredcloselyaroundher,one by
one theytoldherfirstwhat she did,andsecond,how theyfeltaboutit.Theywere angry,frustrated,
gentlysaidhowtheywantedhertolive andto enjoylife once again.Thatwaswhytheywere so angry
That soundsso simple,saidthe youngman,especiallywithsomethingascomplicatedasadrinking
Amazinglyso,the One Minute Managerinsisted.Andnow there are crisisinterventioncentersall over
the country.It's not as simple asI've summarizedit,of course.Butthese three basicingredients:
3.remindingpeople thattheyare valuable andworthwhile leadtosignificantimprovementsinpeople's
That's nothingshortof incredible,the youngmansaid.
I knowit isthe manageragreed.
You saidyou'dgive me two examplesof how otherpeople successfullyuse methodslike the One Minute
Yes,of course.Inthe early1970's, a familypsychiatristinCaliforniaalsomade the same amazing
discoverywithchildren.He hadreada lot aboutbondingthe emotional tiespeople have topeople.He
knewwhatpeople needed.People needtobe incontact withpeople whocare aboutthemto be
acceptedas valuable justbecause theyare people.The doctoralsoknew thatpeople needtohave a
spade calledaspade to be pulledupshortbypeople whocare whentheyare notbehavingwell.
How doesthattranslate,the youngman wantedtoknow,intopractical action?
Each parent istaughtto physicallytouchtheirchildbyputtingtheirhandonthe child'sshoulder,
touchinghisarm, or if he is youngactuallysittingthe childintheirlap.Thenthe parenttellsthe child
exactlywhathe didwrongand howthe parentfeelsaboutitandinno uncertainterms.(Youcan see
that thisisverylike whatthe familymembersdidforthe sickwoman.) Finally,the parenttakesadeep
breath,and allowsfora fewsecondsof silencesothe childcanfeel whateverthe parentisfeeling.Then
the parenttellsthe youngsterhowvaluableandimportantthe childistothe parent.
You see,itisveryimportantwhenyouare managingpeople torememberthatbehaviorandworthare
not the same things.Whatis reallyworthwhile isthe personmanagingtheirownbehavior.Thisisas
true of eachof us as managersas itis of each of the people we are managing.
In fact,if you knowthis,the managersaid,as he pointedtoone of his favorite plaques,youwillknow
the keyto a reallysuccessful reprimand:
We Are NotJust Our Behavior
We Are The PersonManagingOur Behavior
If you realize thatyouare managingpeople,andnotjusttheirrecentbehavior,the managerconcluded,
It soundslike there'salotof caring and respectbehindsuchareprimand,the young mansaid.
I'm gladyou noticedthat,youngman.You will be successful withthe One Minute Reprimandwhenyou
reallycare about the welfare of the personyouare reprimanding.
That remindsme the youngmaninjected,Mr.Levytoldme that youpat himon the shoulder,orshake
hands,or insome otherway make contact withhimduringa praising.Andnow Inotice that the parents
are encouragedtotouchtheirchildrenduringthe scolding.Istouchinganimportantpartof the One
Yesandno,the manageransweredwithasmile.Yes,if youknow the personwelland are clearly
interestedinhelpingthe persontosucceedinhisor herwork.Andno, if youor the otherpersonhas
Touch isa verypowerful message,the managerpointedout.Peoplehave strong feelingsaboutbeing
touched,andthat needstobe respected.Wouldyou,forinstance,likesomeone whose motivesyou
weren'tsure of,to touchyou duringa praisingora reprimand?
No,the youngman answeredclearly.Ireallywouldn't!
You see whatI mean,the managerexplained.Touchisveryhonest.People know immediatelywhenyou
touch themwhetheryoucare aboutthem, or whetheryouare justtryingto finda new wayto
There isa verysimple rule abouttouching,the managercontinued.Whenyoutouch,don'ttake.Touch
the people youmanage onlywhenyouare givingthemsomethingreassurance,support,
So youshouldrefrainfromtouchingsomeone,the youngmansaid,until youknow themandtheyknow
youare interestedintheirsuccess,thatyouare clearlyontheirside.Ican see that.
But, the youngman saidhesitantly,while the One Minute Praisingsandthe One Minute Reprimands
looksimple enough,aren'ttheyreallyjustpowerfulwaysforyouto getpeople todowhat youwant
themto do? Andisn'tthat manipulative?
You are rightaboutOne Minute Managementbeingapowerful waytoget people todo
whatyou wantthemto do, the managerconfirmed.
Howevermanipulationisgettingpeople todosomethingtheyare eithernotaware of or don't agree to.
That is whyitis so importanttoleteachpersonknow up frontwhat youare doingandwhy.
It's like anythingelseinlife,the managerexplained.There are thingsthatwork,andthingsthat don't
work.Beinghonestwithpeopleeventuallyworks.Onthe otherhand,as youhave probablylearnedin
I can see now, the youngman said,where the powerof yourmanagementstyle comesfrom:youcare
Yes,the manager saidsimply,IguessIdo.The youngman rememberedhow gruff he thoughtthis
special managerwaswhenhe firstmethim.It wasas thoughthe manager couldreadhismind.
Sometimes,the One Minute Managersaid,youhave tocare enoughtobe tough.And I am.I am very
toughon the poor performance butonlyonthe performance.Iam nevertoughonthe person.The
youngman likedthe One Minute Manager.He knew now whypeople likedtoworkwithhim.
Maybe youwouldfindthisinteresting,Sir,the youngermansaid,ashe pointedtohisnotebook.Itisa
plaque I've createdtoremindme of how goalsthe One Minute Goalsand consequences:the Praisings
and the Reprimandsaffectpeople'sbehavior.
That's verygood!the managerexclaimed.
Do youthinkso? the youngman asked,wantingtohearthe complimentonce again.
Young man,the managersaid veryslowlyforemphasis,itisnotmy role inlife tobe a humantape
recorder.I donot have time to continuallyrepeatmyself.Justwhenhe thoughthe wouldbe praised,
the youngman felthe wasin foranotherOne Minute Reprimand,somethinghe wanted toavoid.The
brightyoungman kepta straightface and saidsimply:What?Theylookedateach otheronlyfora
I like you,youngman,the managersaid.How wouldyoulike togo to workhere?The youngmanput
downhisnotebookandstaredinamazement.Youmeango to workfor you?he askedenthusiastically.
No.I meango to work foryourself like the otherpeopleinmydepartment.Nobodyeverreallyworksfor
of course,whatthe youngman had beenlookingforall along.
I'd love towork here,he said.Andsohe didforsome time.The time the special managerhadinvested
inhim paidoff.Because eventually,the inevitablehappened.
HE became a One Minute Manager.
He became a One Minute Manager notbecause he thoughtlike one,ortalkedlike one,butbecause he
behavedlike one.He setOne Minute Goals.He gave One Minute Praisings.He gave One Minute
Reprimands.He askedbrief,importantquestions;spoke the simple truth;laughed,worked,and
enjoyed.And,perhapsmostimportantof all,he encouragedthe people he workedwithtodothe same.
He had evencreatedapocketsize Game Planoto make iteasierforthe people aroundhimtobecome
One Minute Managers.He had givenitas a useful gifttoeachpersonwhoreportedtohim.
MANY yearslater,the man lookedbackonthe time whenhe firstheardof the principlesof One Minute
Management.Itseemedlike alongtime ago.He was gladhe had writtendownwhathe learnedfrom
the One Minute Manager. He hadput hisnotesintoa book,and had givencopiestomanypeople.He
rememberedMs.Gomez's telephoningtosay,Ican't thankyou enough.It'smade a bigdifference inmy
As he thoughtback onthe past,he smiled.He rememberedhow muchhe hadlearnedfromthe original
One Minute Manager, andhe wasgrateful.The new managerwasalsohappythat he couldtake the
knowledge one stepfurther.Bygivingcopiestomanyotherpeople inthe organization,he hadsolved
several practical problems.Everyonewhoworkedwithhimfeltsecure.Noone feltmanipulatedor
threatenedbecause everyone knewupfrontwhathe was doingandwhy.Theycouldalsosee whythe
seeminglysimple One Minute ManagementtechniquesGoals,PraisingandReprimandsworkedsowell
withpeople.Everypersonwhohadtheirowncopyof the textcouldreadand re-readitat theirown
pace until they couldunderstanditandputitto good use themselves.The managerknew full well the
verypractical advantage of repetitioninlearninganythingnew.Sharingthe knowledge inthissimple
and honestwayhad,of course,savedhima gooddeal of time.Andit had certainlymade hisjobeasier.
Many of the people reportingtohimhad become One Minute Managersthemselves.Andthey,inturn,
had done the same for manyof the people whoreportedtothem.The entire organizationhadbecome
more effective.Ashe satat hisdeskthinking,the new One Minute Managerrealizedwhatafortunate
individualhe was.He hadgivenhimself the giftof gettinggreaterresultsinlesstime.He hadtime to
thinkandto plan to give hisorganizationthe kindof helpitneeded.He hadtime toexercise andstay
healthy.He knewhe didnotexperience the dailyemotional andphysical stressothermanagers
subjectedthemselvesto.Andhe knewthatmanyof the otherpeople whoworkedwithhimenjoyedthe
same benefits.Hisdepartmenthad fewercostlypersonnel turnovers,lesspersonal illness,andless
absenteeism.The benefitswere significant.
As he lookedback,he wasglad he had notwaitedtouse One Minute Managementuntil he thoughthe
coulddo itjust right.Afterhisstaff hadread aboutthismanagementsystem, he hadaskedeachperson
whoreportedtohim if theywouldlike tobe managedbya One Minute Manager. He was amusedto
learnthat there wassome thingthat people reallywantedevenmore thanlearninghow tobecome a
One Minute Manager themselves.Andthatwastohave one for a boss!Once he knew this,itwasa lot
easierforhimto clearlytell hisstaff thathe wasn'tsure that he coulddoit justexactlythe wayhe was
I'm not accustomedtotellingpeople how goodtheyare orhow I feel aboutthings,he hadsaid.AndI'm
not sure I can remembertocalmdownafterI've givensomeoneareprimandandremindedthemof
howgood theyare as a person.The typical answerfromhisassociateshadcausedhimtosmile. Well,
youcouldat leastgive ita try! By simplyaskingif hisstaff wantedtobe managedbya One Minute
Manager and byadmittingthathe maynot alwaysbe able to doit right,he had accomplishedsomething
veryimportant.The people he workedwithfelt thathe washonestlyontheirside fromthe very
beginning.Andthatmade all the difference.Thenthe new One Minute Managergotup fromhisdesk
and beganto walkabouthisunclutteredoffice.He wasdeepinthought.He feltgoodabouthimself asa
personandas a manager.Hiscaring aboutpeople hadpaidoff handsomely.He hadriseninthe
organization,gainingmore responsibilitiesandmore rewards.Andhe knew he hadbecome aneffective
manager,because bothhisorganizationandthe people inithadclearlybenefitedfromhispresence.
A GiftFor Others
SUDDENLY the intercombuzzedandstartledthe man.Excuse me,sir,forinterruptingyou,he heardhis
secretarysay,but there isa youngwomanon the phone.She wantsto know if she can come and talk to
youabout the way we manage people here.The new One Minute Managerwaspleased.He knewmore
womenwere enteringthe businessworld.Andhe wasgladthat some of themwere as keentolearn
aboutgood managementashe had been.The manager'sdepartment wasnow runningsmoothly.As
youmightexpect,itwasone of the bestoperationsof itskindinthe world.Hispeople were productive
and happy.Andhe was happytoo.It feltgoodto be in hisposition.
Come any time he heardhimself tellingthe caller.
Andsoonhe foundhimselftalkingtoabrightyoungperson.I'mglad to share my managementsecrets
withyou,the newOne Minute Manager said,as he showedthe visitortohiscouch.I will onlymake one
What isthat, the visitorasked.
Share It With Others
Overthe yearswe have learnedfrom,andbeeninfluencedby,manyindividuals.We
wouldlike toacknowledge andgive apublicpraisingtothe followingpeople:
A Special Praisingto:Dr.GeraldNelson,the originatorof The One Minute Scolding,anamazingly
effectivemethodof parental discipline.We have adaptedhismethodintoThe One Minute Reprimand,
an equallyeffective methodof managerial discipline.
and to: Dr.ElliottCarlisle forwhathe taughtus aboutproductive managerswhohave
time to thinkandplan.
Dr. Thomas Connellanforwhathe taughtusabout makingbehavioral conceptsand
Dr. Paul Hersey forwhathe taughtus aboutweavingthe variousappliedbehavioral
Dr. VernonJohnsonforwhathe taught usabout the CrisisInterventionMethodof
Dr.DorothyJongeward,JayShelov,andAbe Wagnerforwhattheytaughtus about
communicationandthe OK-nessof people.
Dr. RobertLorber forwhat he taught usabout the applicationanduse of behavioral
Dr. KennethMajerforwhat he taught usabout goal-settingandperformance.
Dr. CharlesMcCormickfor whathe taughtus abouttouchingand professionalism.
Dr. Carl Rogersfor whathe taught us aboutpersonal honestyandopenness.
LouisTice forwhathe taught us aboutunlockinghumanpotential.
Dr. KennethBlanchard,Chairmanof BlanchardTrainingandDevelopment,Inc.(BTD),
He isthe co-authorof the highlyacclaimedandmostwidelyusedtextonleadership
and organization behavior- Managementof OrganizationBehavior:UtilizingHuman
Resources - whichisin itsfourtheditionandhasbeentranslatedintonumerous
Dr. BlanchardreceivedhisB.A.from Cornell UniversityinGovernmentandPhilosophy,anMA. from
Colgate UniversityinSociologyandCounselinganda Ph.D.fromCornell inAdministrationand
He presentlyservesasaprofessorof LeadershipandOrganizationalBehavioratUniversityof
Massachusetts,Amherst.Inaddition,he isamemberof the National TrainingLaboratories(NTL).
Dr. Blanchardhas advisedsuchdistinguishedcorporationsandagenciesasChevron,Lockheed,ATT,
Then,theyaskedme whatI thoughtwouldhappenwiththismethod.IlaughedbecauseIknew what
wouldhappen.Afteraboutthree daysthe dogwouldpooponthe floorand jumpoutthe window.The
dog didn'tknowwhatto do,but he knew he had betterclearthe area. The managerroared hisapproval.
That's a great story,he said.You see,that'swhat punishmentdoeswhenyouuse itwithsomebodywho
lacksconfidence orisinsecure because of lackof experience.If inexperiencedpeople don'tperform
(thatis,do what youwant themtodo),thenrather thanpunishthemwe needtogo back to One
Minute Goal Settingandmake sure theyunderstandwhatisexpectedof them, andthattheyhave seen
whatgood performance lookslike.
Well,then,afteryouhave done One Minute Goal Settingagain,the youngmanasked,
do youtry to catch themdoingsomethingapproximatelyrightagain?
Preciselyso,the One Minute Manageragreed.You're alwaystryingtocreate situationsinthe beginning
where youcan give a One Minute Praising.Then, lookingthe youngmanstraightinthe eyes,the
managersaid,You are a veryenthusiasticandreceptive learner.Thatmakesme feel goodaboutsharing
the secretsof One Minute Managementwithyou.Theybothsmiled.Theyknew aOne Minute Praising