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).

Three “Secrets” to One Minute Management

1. One Minute Goal Setting

Use dominant information to express your goals and prioritize your goals.  Leave out attitudes and feelings and focus on behavior/performance.

“A problem only exists if there is a difference between what is actually happening and what you desire to be happening” (Blanchard and Johnson, p. 31).

Everyone knows what is expected of them from the start.


2. One Minute Praisings

“Help people reach their full potential. Catch them doing something right” (Blanchard and Johnson, p. 39).

No surprises—everyone is aware of their performance.

“Everyone is a potential winner.  Some people are disguised as losers.  Don’t let their appearances fool you”

3. One Minute Reprimands

One minute reprimands are necessary because nobody is perfect and there needs to be transparency and accountability.

Even experts can make mistakes and it is up to the expert to fix the problem, but sometimes the expert may not know they are doing something wrong, which is where one minute reprimands are necessary.

Emotion is left out of the reprimand: “When I give a One Minute Reprimand, I never attack a person’s worth or value as a person.  Since there OK-ness as a person is not ‘up for grabs,’ they don’t feel they have to defend themselves.  I reprimand the behavior only” (Blanchard and Johnson, p. 87).

People are notified immediately and use of dominant information lets them know what is going on.



On the surface, it may seem like a system that attempts to control behavior but it is a system that maintains accountability and transparency.  “We are not just our behavior, we are the person managing our behavior” (Blanchard and Johnson, p. 93).  The author believes that we have control over our actions and that when someone is training us to do something, they are not relaying information to our brain, but rather using information to predict behavior.  “The most important thing in training somebody to become a winner is to catch them doing something right—in the beginning approximately right and gradually moving them towards the desired behavior” (Blanchard and Johnson, p. 81).  From this quote, it is seen that the author also understands the learning cycle.  We are continually perceiving, processing, and applying information whether we know it or not.  The result is change each time we complete the learning cycle.  The author devised a cycle that is similar to the cycle of learning:

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Blanchard, Kenneth H., and Spencer Johnson. The One Minute Manager. New York:
Morrow, 1982. Print.

Comments (1)

  1. Branden Lau


    I think that this article should be read by leaders in organizations. Through accountability, alignment, and transparency we can create more efficient and effective organizations. IMT has stressed the need to not control others, but to foster their talents and align people with the right environment.

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