The 4th Secret of the One Minute Manager: A Powerful Way to Make Things Better


With The One Minute Manager Ken Blanchard and coauthor Spencer Johnson forever changed the way we approach management by introducing their Three Secrets: One Minute Goals, One Minute Praisings and One Minute Reprimands. The book became an international bestseller and remains a timeless classic. Blanchard, along with coauthor Margret McBride, presents the 4th Secret, a concept that, when implemented properly, is one of the most powerful actions for improving company and employee morale. This is a book that can ...

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With The One Minute Manager Ken Blanchard and coauthor Spencer Johnson forever changed the way we approach management by introducing their Three Secrets: One Minute Goals, One Minute Praisings and One Minute Reprimands. The book became an international bestseller and remains a timeless classic. Blanchard, along with coauthor Margret McBride, presents the 4th Secret, a concept that, when implemented properly, is one of the most powerful actions for improving company and employee morale. This is a book that can extend well beyond the business realm and repair relationships that we thought were broken forever.

Using Blanchard's signature breezy style, The 4th Secret of the One Minute Manager tells the story of a bright young man, Matt Hawkins, who wants to help his mentor, the company president, face and deal with some crucial mistakes. For advice, Matt turns to family friend Jack Peterson, known by everyone as the One Minute Manager. What begins as a beautiful country weekend turns into an enlightening few days when Matt discovers how to take action effectively when we have done something wrong. Through this engaging parable, Blanchard and McBride teach readers step-by-step how to accept responsibility for their errors and deal with the cause of the damage while maintaining a genuine sense of integrity.

Destined to join Ken Blanchard's other groundbreaking classics, The 4th Secret of the One Minute Manager offers businesspeople—and just about anyone else—a cogent and clearheaded way of approaching one of life's most perplexing dilemmas: how to accept that we have made a wrong decision and how to correct it by making a meaningful apology. The techniques described in this simple but profound story will have significant results at work and at home.

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Editorial Reviews

Harvey Mackey
“A shark-proof strategy for making everyone’s life better.”
Deepak Chopra
“Read The One Minute Apology and discover a secret power that will makes things better for you.”
Stephen C. Lundin
“This delightful story highlights the wisdom and power that is contained in an honest admission of being wrong.”
Robert J. Nugent
“An invaluable resource for anyone who needs to say they’re sorry.”
Cal Thomas
“A testimony to the powers of repentance and forgiveness and how they improve relationships, your business and your home.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061470318
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 414,783
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Blanchard is the coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and fifty other books, including the New York Times business bestsellers Gung Ho! and Raving Fans. His books have combined sales of more than eighteen million copies in more than twenty-seven languages. He is the chief spiritual officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies, a full-service global management training and development company that he and his wife, Dr. Marjorie Blanchard, founded in 1979.

Margret McBride is a leader in the field of business publishing. She founded the Margret McBride Literary Agency in 1980 and has worked with authors whose books have appeared on the New York Times, BusinessWeek and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.

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Table of Contents

Foreword   Spencer Johnson, M.D.     ix
The Journey     1
The Fourth Secret     8
Honesty     23
Integrity     33
Not Attached To Outcome     55
Apology At Home and Work     58
Taking Responsibility     73
Confidence     77
Apologizing To Yourself     83
Asking For a One Minute Apology     87
A Chance To Finally Get It Right     92
The Best Way To Say Thank You     95
The Moment Of Truth     100
The President's One Minute Apology     108
Epilogue     115
Acknowledgments     121
Services Available     123

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First Chapter

4th Secret of the One Minute Manager
A Powerful Way to Make Things Better

Chapter One

The Journey

Once there was a bright young man named Matt who set out on a life-changing journey. A major crisis at the company where he worked troubled him greatly and sent him on his quest. Little did he know that he would soon learn about a secret power that was known to only a few, but would soon be valued by many people throughout the world.

It was a Friday before a three-day Fourth of July holiday weekend. An emergency meeting of the board of directors was in progress in the company's boardroom. Matt's boss, the photogenic and dynamic president and CEO, David J. Roberts, was speaking from the head of a long table.

At first, Roberts spoke confidently as he described the nature of the company's problem. However, his demeanor changed when members of the board responded with specific questions:

How long has this been going on? When was the first time you learned of this? Why didn't you take action before now? Couldn't you have seen what the consequences of such actions might be?

Refusing to take responsibility, Roberts became angry and defensive, which only made things worse. His voice became louder, his tone harsher, and his attitude more stubborn.

The board members had never heard Roberts talk like this before. When he stopped, everyone in the room was silent, stunned by what had just happened.

As Roberts's chief assistant, Matt Hawkins had been in many other board meetings at the president's request, but he'd never seen one like this. The president's behavior came as a shock, because Mattso admired him. As a matter of fact, right after Matt graduated from business school, Roberts had recognized his potential and gave him his first big opportunity.

What would happen now?

Is this the beginning of the end? Matt thought, feeling his heart sink. How will our company survive?

He knew that David Roberts needed to take a new course of action, or everybody's position would be in jeopardy. Indeed, even the future of the company was at stake now.

Matt listened as the chairman of the board addressed the president.

"Well, we've heard all of your excuses and rationalizations," the chairman began. "Frankly, I am unimpressed. If we don't resolve this quickly, our company's reputation will be ruined, along with our stock value.

"On Tuesday morning after the holiday weekend," the chairman continued, "we will meet here again. Because of your history with us, you deserve an opportunity to set the record straight. Between now and then think carefully about what you plan to do and what you will say to us. If you haven't come up with an effective way to restore our confidence, we may have to look for new leadership."

The chairman abruptly called for adjournment. Visibly shaken, Roberts stood up to leave the room.

Matt rose from his chair and opened the boardroom door for his boss. As the president strode past, he signaled for Matt to follow him to his waiting car.

"Please leave word on my voice mail where you are going to be this weekend in case I need to reach you," Roberts said. "If possible, I would like you to join me in my office at 7:00 A.M. Monday to prepare for Tuesday's meeting."

As the car sped away, a sense of dread came over Matt. He knew his boss was making a huge mistake. Everyone on the board seemed to see it except the president himself. Matt thought, What can I do to help?

Back in his office, Matt pondered the situation. What could his president possibly say to the board of directors Tuesday morning to avoid his downfall? Where can I find the answers that will help him see things differently and set things right? Matt wondered.

Then he remembered his late father's advice: "If you ever need help, call my good friend, Jack Peterson. There's a good reason everyone refers to him as The One Minute Manager. He's the only person I've met who can simplify complicated issues in a way you will know exactly what to do—and then be able to do it in a minute. He's my most trusted friend and he'll always be there for you."

Matt called Jack Peterson's office and learned that Jack was vacationing at his lake house with his wife, Carol, and their kids, Annie and Brad. Hearing that brought back many happy memories of when he and his family visited them every summer. Brad and Annie were almost like a brother and a sister to him. Yet it had been five years since his last visit and now he regretted not staying in touch.

Matt left a message on Jack's voice mail summarizing the problem and saying that he needed expert advice by Monday at the latest, but certainly understood if Jack didn't want to interrupt his vacation with his family.

Later at his apartment, Matt got the call he was waiting for.

"Of course, I'd love to help you!" Jack said enthusiastically. "There's a powerful new secret I've been teaching people. It sounds like it's exactly what your president needs right now. Once people put this secret into practice, they solve problems and improve relationships in ways they never believed possible."

"I can't wait to hear all about it," said Matt.

"It's more than we can cover in this phone call. Join us for the weekend! You'll see your problem from a new perspective up here at the lake. Bring your golf clubs and we'll have fun as we solve your problem. Carol just booked you on the 7:30 P.M. commuter flight and Brad is picking you up at the airport. Annie arrives tomorrow morning. We're all excited about seeing you! Everyone here is an expert on the new secret—including Nana!"

Matt's spirits soared and he immediately accepted.

"Regarding my new secret," said Jack, "on your way here you might give this some thought:

The Toughest Part Of Turning Around A Bad Situation Is Realizing And Admitting That You Were Wrong

4th Secret of the One Minute Manager
A Powerful Way to Make Things Better
. Copyright © by Ken Blanchard. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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