Book Review: One Minute Manager

One Minute Manager

Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

Key Concepts:

Emphasis on efficiency: by being more organized efficiency is increased.

Emphasizes that everyone makes their own decisions (more accountability).

Participative management is bad—let others make their own decisions and efficiency is increased.  Managers that participate in the decision-making of their employees try to control the situation more often then not and are less efficient.

“A One Minute Manager—someone who gets good results without taking much time” (Blanchard and Johnson, p. 22).

A Narrow Focus in College Could Backfire

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Peter Cappelli of The Wall Street Journal investigates how the job market has changed over time for college graduates. While the end goal for students and their parents has always been securing a job, Capelli argues that the path to this goal is ever-changing. Capelli asserts that many students are pressured to choose a career path prematurely due to the high costs of college and setbacks that come from changing majors. As in the tech bust of the early 2000’s, many students who believe that they are in a “hot” degree program may actually struggle to secure a job if the market shifts. Cappelli stresses the importance of evaluating the entire package of college in order to make decisions that most benefit the student and simultaneously generate the most aptitude to finding a job. For instance, not everyone may be cut out for a specialized degree, and despite the negative stimulus associated with liberal arts degrees, a practical degree which involves education in multiple areas may actually give the student the most options out of college. This is especially important since the job market is unpredictable. Further, most employers will value previous work experience over pure academic involvement. Thus, general aptitude may be more important than specialization.

Is Debt a Choice in America?

debt Outlaw investigates the possibility of the average American living debt free in today’s economy. Through use of figures published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the author breaks down the cost of affording the bare necessities in America: namely transportation, food, clothing, internet, gas, electricity, taxes, and insurance.  From the Bureau’s estimation of an average yearly income of $42,693 per person, after subtracting these necessities the average American is afforded $15/day ($5,500/year) of savings.  The author comes to this conclusion using “fair” estimates by rounding down yearly costs. He assumes a frugal citizen would make such attempts to save. Is $15 per day sufficient enough to escape debt in America?

The Dark Knight – Ferry Experiment

One scene of Batman: The Dark Knight has the Joker, who managed to place bombs on two ferries: one carrying prisoners and the other carrying law-abiding citizens. The Joker has also given each boat the detonator to the other boat’s explosives, and threatens that if someone does not blow the other boat up then he will detonate the explosives on both boats. He is performing a twisted social experiment to see who would detonate each other’s bombs first.