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Putting the One Minute Manager to WorkHow to Turn the 3 Secrets into Skills
By Ken Blanchard
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2006 Ken Blanchard
All right reserved.
When the veteran manager finished reading The One Minute Manager, he put the book down on his coffee table. He leaned back with a questioning look. He had first read the book at the office but had brought it home to give it another reading.
"Even after a second time through," he thought to himself, "I cannot argue with the logic of the three secrets of the One Minute Manager. But if I practice them, will I actually become a more productive manager?"
The veteran manager decided to do something about his question. The next morning he would call a manager in a town a few hours away who had, in recent years, turned a troublesome company into a very profitable enterprise. The veteran had read a newspaper interview with this manager in which he had credited much of his success to practicing One Minute Management. In fact, he now called himself a "One Minute Manager."
The next morning when the veteran manager got to his office, he called the new One Minute Manager. He introduced himself and asked the manager if he could see him sometime that week and talk about One Minute Management. The veteran had been warned what the answer might be but he was still surprised when the One Minute Manager actually said, "Come anytime except Wednesday morning. That's when I meet with my key people. Tobe honest with you, I don't have much else scheduled this week. You pick the time."
"I'll be over tomorrow morning at ten," said the veteran manager, chuckling to himself. When he hung up the phone he thought, "This ought to be interesting. I'm sure I'll get my questions answered."
When the veteran manager arrived at the One Minute Manager's office, the secretary said, "He's expecting you. Go right in."
As he entered the room, he found a man in his late forties standing by the window looking out.
The veteran manager coughed and the One Minute Manager looked up. He smiled and said, "Good to see you. Let's sit down over here." He led the manager to a conversation area in the corner of the room.
"Well, what can I do for you?" the One Minute Manager asked as he sat down.
"I have read The One Minute Manager and so have my people," the veteran manager began. "I'm enthusiastic right now and so are they, but that has happened before when a new management system has been introduced. My question is how do you put One Minute Management to work in a way that turns the secrets into usable skills and makes a difference where it really counts--in performance?"
"Before I attempt to answer that question," said the One Minute Manager, "let me ask you one. What do you think the message of One Minute Management is?"
"It's quite simple," said the veteran manager. "If you have a sheet of paper I'll write it down for you."
The One Minute Manager went over to his desk and got a pad. He gave it to the veteran manager. Without pausing the veteran manager wrote:
People Who Produce Good Results Feel Good About Themselves
"That's an interesting twist," said the One Minute Manager, gesturing to a plaque on the wall behind his desk. It read: People Who Feel Good About Themselves Produce Good Results. "Why did you change it?"
"I think it better represents the essence of One Minute Management," insisted the veteran manager, "and besides, it's more consistent with what you teach."
"Consistent?" questioned the One Minute Manager.
"Yes," responded the veteran manager firmly. "You say that one of the key ingredients to a One Minute Praising is to be specific--to tell the person exactly what he or she did right."
"That's true," said the One Minute Manager.
"Then praisings, which help make people feel good about themselves, are not effective unless those people have done something positive first," smiled the veteran manager, feeling he had the One Minute Manager trapped.
"You're a tough man," laughed the One Minute Manager, "and you really have a handle on One Minute Management. I think I can learn a few things from you. I'll feel good about sharing as much as I can too."
"I doubt if you will learn much from me," said the veteran manager. I'm just a 'street fighter' who has survived."
"Can't take a compliment, huh?" mused the One Minute Manager. "Most people can't quite accept being praised."
"I would imagine that's because we've never gotten much practice receiving praisings," said the veteran manager. "And it's not easy to do something that you're not used to doing, even if you believe in it."
"Right," said the One Minute Manager. "One of the reasons it's hard to implement One Minute Management is that people will have to change some of their old behavior. And focusing on and changing how people treat each other in organizations is something that gets only lip service. Most top managers think that management training is just a fringe benefit--a nice little frill they can give all their employees every year. That's why I have that saying on the wall," he added as he gestured to a plaque on the other side of the room. It said:
Most Companies Spend All Their Time Looking For Another Management Concept And Very Little Time Following Up The One They Have Just Taught Their Managers
"That's so true," said the veteran manager. "And people do the same thing. They're always looking for the next quick fix rather than using what they have already learned. They go from one diet program to another diet program, one exercise plan to another, without following the last program."
"Then they wonder why they don't lose weight or build up their hearts," said the One Minute Manager. "It reminds me of a story of the man who slipped and fell off a cliff while hiking on a mountaintop. Luckily he was able to grab a branch . . . "
Excerpted from Putting the One Minute Manager to Work by Ken Blanchard Copyright © 2006 by Ken Blanchard. Excerpted by permission.
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