Become a Better Manager in 60 Seconds

One minute doesn’t seem like much. And yet, there’s so much you can do in one minute.

  • You can book that long vacation. 
  • You can drink a glass of water.
  • You can take 10 deep breaths.
  • You can cuddle your dog.

But would you believe us if we say that you can manage an entire team in one minute?

Did the word ‘bonkers’ just come to your mind?

You’ve every right to believe that.

But we’ll discuss the miracles of one minute that can improve your management skills by leaps and bounds.

This blog is an overview of the book The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard & Spencer Johnson.

According to the co-authors, managing people is an art.

And although some think micro-management is the way to go, it’s anything but. 

There are 3 secrets to becoming a better manager. And you’ll need a minute of your day for that.

Secret Number 1 – Set One Minute Goals

When your staff knows what they have to achieve and where they are expected to be, it becomes easier to adapt to the environment.

Your role as the manager is to set those goals and align them in a single page that you and your staff can go through daily. 

While setting goals, remember that your supervision is not to pick faults or point errors specifically; it’s about guiding your team in the right direction and letting them know what they’re doing right. 

How Do One Minute Goals Work?

A person without a goal is bound to fail, whether: 

  • in life 
  • in a relationship 
  • at a bowling club 
  • at workplace

In comparison, setting goals clears the picture by knowing what to do. 

A good example is to observe basketball, where players yell happily after they’ve landed the ball in the basket. They all run with a single aim – to get the ball across. 

Secret Number 2 – Offer One Minute Praises

Being caught up in the whirlwind of projects, client issues, and managerial stuff is understandable. But it does more damage than good.

Most importantly, being in your own bubble can create a negative impression about you. 

Your staff may think you’re too aloof or don’t care about their performance. Or they can simply descend into a pit of negativity, thinking they don’t deserve the job they’re assigned.

That’s why it’s important to offer praises right after you see a team member doing something right. 

It doesn’t take longer than a minute. But the effects are long-lasting, with the one praised knowing you notice. 

How Do One Minute Praises Work?

Who doesn’t love being appreciated?

Knowing you did something right is a kickass motivator to do even better the next time. 

Take an example of a dog you wish to train. It would take longer than ever if you expected your dog to jump hoops without offering a reward. But when you place their favorite dog treat with every hoop they jump, the willingness to get to the next hoop gets double.

You’ll see a new edge to how they move and less displaced hoops. 

And that’s the way it works for individuals.

You don’t have to wait for the annual performance report to praise your staff. Simply highlighting the key points after a meeting would be enough.

Just remember to look them in the eye when you tell them what they did right. 

Secret Number 3 – One Minute Redirect 

The ideology behind the one-minute redirect or reprimand is the same as in Secret Number 2 – to give feedback as soon as you observe something worth pointing out. 

Remember that your team members have hearts that beat and feelings that hurt.

So, you might reprimand them intending to redirect, but it may come off as harsh – all because you did so with others around. Not only does it reflect badly on your managerial skills, but it also compromises the position of the one you reprimanded. 

So, what can you do instead? 

Check if the goals are clear and well-defined.

If they are:

  • Address the mistake
  • Tell the individual your expectations

All the while, don’t forget that the problem lies with the attitude and not the person themselves. 

How Do One-Minute Re-Directs Work?

The thought of reprimanding someone can make even the best of managers nervous. But thinking about it as something you’re doing for the greater good can help. 

Think of it like this:

A child loves putting their hands and feet in unlikely places. The flickering fireplace, the scorching iron, or down the staircase.

It takes one cold stare from the mother to make them stop dead in their tracks. 

Of course, no mother likes doing it, but it’s for the child’s own good.

And so, when you reprimand your staff with the thought that it’s for their well-being:

  • Redirection becomes more focused
  • Attitudes change
  • Goals realign

All’s well that ends well. 


The book The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard & Spencer Johnson came out more than 35 years ago, but its ideas still hold true for workplaces in the current era. 

Go check it out now!