Review of The One Minute Manager

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The One Minute Manager book summary


8 Overall

9 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


This little book from the early 1980s was a phenomenon at the time. It sold 10 million-plus copies, inspiring updates and spinoffs like The One Minute Entrepreneur, and opening the door to countless other business parables. Prolific authors Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson – who co-wrote the best-seller Who Moved My Cheese? – keep the writing and structure purposeful. The story explores “One-Minute Management” principles with surprising charm. Blanchard and Johnson effectively use a parable to present their basic management advice. A bright young man who wants to become a manager in the future sets out to find an effective boss. After hunting high and low, he hears of a great manager who has a reputation for producing stellar results by working with his employees. He finally meets the manager, who shares his secrets. Blanchard and Johnson wrote this classic as a quick, easy-to-read story, using a novelistic framework as a dramatic way of highlighting their management ideas. This approach brings their description of commonsense business principles to life. Blanchard returned to the allegory form in 1998’s Gung Ho!, which he co-wrote with Sheldon Bowles. While some readers may want to get to the core of the lessons, which could be wrapped up in a few pages, the allegory tactic has proven very popular. getAbstract recommends this condensed, readable and accessible classic to everyone in business. It’s Management 101.

About the Authors

Kenneth Blanchard, PhD, is a writer, speaker, trainer and business consultant. His One Minute Manager sold more than 10 million copies and has been translated into more than 20 languages. He wrote Raving Fan and co-founded Blanchard Training and Development. Spencer Johnson, MD, originated the One Minute System. His bestsellers include The Precious Present and Yes or No: The Guide to Better Decisions. He also co-wrote the bestseller Who Moved My Cheese?


The Premise

A young man seeking effective managers meets “tough” bosses who emphasize results over people and “nice” supervisors who emphasize people over results.

He’s frustrated until he meets the actual “One Minute Manager,” who supports both “people and results.” The one-minute manager explains core ideas like, “People who feel good about themselves produce good results.”

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