Be the Perfect Manager…In One Minute


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The One Minute Manager is a very popular book Ken Blanchard. In the book, we have the journey of a young man who is looking for and willing to work for the “perfect manager”. He finds autocratic managers, the ones who only care about results and not people, and democratic ones who only care about people and not results: two extremes. He finally comes across someone who calls himself a ‘one minute manager’. The one minute manager delivers big results in a span of one minute.

Now, you need to read the book to actually discover the tips he offers, but there are some brief takeaways which we would like to list out.

Whether you are an actual manager or just good co-worker trying to motivate his or her colleagues, we offer some ‘one minute manager’ hacks!

Remember those ‘one minute games’ we all have played at some point? Those competitions where you must finish a task in just one minute, whether it is eating as many gol-gappas as you can or lighting as many candles as you can! Remember the thrill that comes with those games? The sudden gust of motivation and energy?

Well, the following one minute tasks can provide equal, if not more, motivation and energy in the office environment to get things done.


  • One Minute Goals: These ‘goals’ have to be ones which could be completed in around a minute. We often delay smaller things for later, piling them up, and ending up with a big pile of smaller tasks. Setting one minute goals is great way to get work done quickly. They end quickly, so there you have a quick dose of motivation too!

Think of all the smaller tasks which could be completed in one minute and set out to finish them. It could be anything from writing out a to-do list to making a quick call to that client.

  • One Minute Praises: Sometimes, all one needs is a quick “good job!” to feel motivated and actually get to work. Instead of waiting to include something in appraisals or weekly meetings, sometimes it’s a good idea to deliver praise just by-the-way.
  • One Minute Feedback: Similarly, sometimes, people want to know how they are doing at the moment. They need to know what wrong they are doing in terms of action, outcomes or decisions, and what they could do undo that wrong, immediately, instead of hearing about the problem in some meeting when they have already forgotten what the problem was in the first place.

This brings us to the next one minute hack.

  • One Minute Catch ups: Little one minute catch ups, where there’s a quick briefing of how a team is going on with a task are a quick way to ensure there’s an equally quick course correction. One minute catch ups allow one to figure out smaller problems which could be stopped from turning into bigger problems there and then.
  • One Minute Connection: Setting aside a special day to “connect” with employees and colleagues is great, to give them space to talk about their life beyond work, but sometimes a quick personal catch up is not a bad idea. It gives one the feeling that people do remember about their life, that people do care, which can be a great booster of motivation.


So, being a one minute manager, or to make it more general, one minute action taker is a great way to ensure a steady momentum of work. But make sure to not lose the bigger picture! One minute managing needs a fine balance (like all other things). We need to be tactful:

We take out a minute to deliver bigger results with ease. We don’t take out a minute to delay bigger results. Make sure the one minute managing adds to the flow of work, and doesn’t act as an interruption.