Boris Smus

interaction engineering

The One Minute Manager

This little book was recommended to me by a ski instructor after a ski lesson at Squaw. The man was probably in his 70s, but skied incredibly well, and had a lot of wisdom to pass on. He was tough, but nice, like a One Minute Manager.

More of a pamphlet than a book, One Minute Manager unfolds as a story about a young man wanting to learn to be a good people manager. The story makes the points more vivid, but at its core, there is an interesting and somewhat surprising strategy outlined for being a good hands off manager. The approach reminds me a little bit of Christian's management style. There are three parts:

  1. Set goals and expectations with the employee, write them down succinctly and have them ready for review. (This is similar to Google OKRs, and definitely worthwhile).
  2. Especially early on, look for behaviors that are praise-worthy, and give due praise honestly and directly. (This seems like a great idea to try on interns).
  3. Reprimand unwanted behavior as it happens, but emphasize their worth as people. (This seems quite hard to pull off without being a dick).