The One Minute Manager

There are more books on how to be a good project manager than you can wave a stick at. Our text books are riddled with references and examples, but when I read our text-it is missing a very key point. That the person running the project in the role they are running it is still a manager. A very different kind of manager, as they are not involved in the routine tasks. However a project manager is still a manager none the less. As such each manager has to have a foundation and style of management that they can rely on to guide them through the project. A book, yes I am recommending a book to you, that I have read which echos some of the tips and techniques that a good manager should have in any project or in any role is, “The One Minute Manager” by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. Here is why I recommend this book, it provides you with tips you can use the same day of reading, the book is very light (less than 100 pages) with big print, and here is what hooked me, “Help People Reach Their Full Potential. Catch Them Doing Something Right!” is one of tenants of the book. This sentenced restructured my frame of thinking. When in a project it is always easy to measure people who did and did not meet the goal or assignment, but providing them positive reinforcement during the assignment will give you better than expected results. Here are the cliff notes versions of the tenants:

  1. People who feel good about themselves produce good results.
  2. Help people reach their full potential. Catch them doing something right.
  3. The best minute I spend is the one I invest in people.
  4. Everyone is a potential winner. Some people are disguised as losers, don’t let their appearances fool you.
  5. Take a minute: look at your goals, look at your performance, see if your behavior matches your goals.
  6. We are not just our behavior. We are the person managing our behavior.
  7. Goals begin behaviors, consequences maintain behaviors.


When I think about project management, I think of this approach to my team. It has helped me in many different ways and helped me to tap into the potential of those people who would be wall flowers on my project. By using these tenants to frame a person in my team I have gotten excellent results. How do these tenants strike you? Do you feel it could benefit yourself as a member of a team or as a manager or even a project manager? Do you have any examples of someone taking this approach with you as a project team member?