Something Old, Something New …


A rehash of old ideas?

Updating to make it seem new? 

Trading on the power of a best-selling title from the far away and long past?

promo_04… Well, YES and NO

The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson is available this week, decades after the original and

highly popular The One Minute Manager by these same two authors burst upon the consciousness of a much different workplace.

In 1982, I had already learned something of management with service in the Retail Wars, as a department manager, associate buyer, and store manager.  I was actually in my second career as a higher education administrator and desperately needed help to know how to deal more effectively with those with whom I worked.  It took me two more years to actually read The One-Minute Manager, and by that time I was into a larger role in a bigger institution in a new state.

So it was a great time to try this idea of having short conversations to help people focus and achieve clarity around what they were trying to do.  At the time, I did not always think of what I did as following Blanchard and Johnson’s model.  I do know that my work then and since has been more successful because I continue to manage by talking to folks in these short, focused interactions.  In retrospect, the concepts of one-minute managing have been an important part of my foundation for everything I have done since.


Much of what you will find in this short and enjoyable new edition is old stuff.  The same basic plot and the same basic goal:  to communicate how to effectively coach and lead others through the eyes of a curious hero.

Many of the concepts and even the titles are the same:  We still set goals and praise good performance in short time frames.


The story has morphed some for our modern sensibilities in ways both trivial and impacting.

Personally, I think the best update was the shift from “reprimand” to “re-direct” in the third of the three one-minute elements of effective leadership.  If only the language changed , this would still signal a more thoughtful and collaborative approach than the traditional command and control model of leadership.  However the authors also weave into the whole revision a coaching sense, and not a managing sense.

Since I believe fervently that a coaching model is most effective in our interactions as managers, leaders, and people sharing the planet, this revised title is both welcome and more effective.


A short and very thoughtful book, which you can leisurely read in a few hours and take a lifetime to absorb and apply.   I only know of a handful of books that really stand the test of time to stay pertinent and useful.  Anything by Viktor Frankl comes easily to mind, and so does the whole One Minute Manager series.   This is a book that represents a concept you need to buy, read and refer to often, and when not actively using it, place it lovingly next to the original version on your Special Bookshelf, where only those most valuable titles live.

Loved it then and loving it even more now in the Heartland ….




Ken Blanchard, PhD is one of the most influential leadership experts in the world. He has co-authored 60 books, including Raving Fans and Gung Ho! with Sheldon Bowles.

His groundbreaking works have been translated into 42 languages and their combined sales total more than 21 million copies. In 2005 he was inducted into Amazon’s Hall of Fame as one of the top 25 bestselling authors of all time.

The recipient of numerous leadership awards and honors, he is co-founder with his wife, Margie, of The Ken Blanchard Companies, a leading international training and consulting firm.


Spencer Johnson, MD is one of the most admired thought leaders and widely read authors in the world. His books, including the #1 bestseller Who Moved My Cheese?, are embedded in our language and culture.

Called “The King of Parables” by USA Today, Dr. Johnson is often referred to as the best there is at taking complex subjects and presenting simple solutions that work. His brief books contain insights and practical tools that millions of people use to enjoy more happiness and success with less stress.

Over 50 million copies of Spencer Johnson’s books are in use worldwide in 47 languages.


“Just One More … “

Online Addiction Screen Shot

Just one moreI have said this about potato chips, alcohol, and online games …

Just spent the first 50 minutes of my work week saying “Just one more …” as I gazed at mesmerizing screens like the one you see above.

The thing about saying “Just one more” is that we seldom use this as a stand-alone phrase, as in “Just one more …” and then we actually stop.   We tend to use this as part of a series:  “Just one more … Just one more… Just one more … “ and so on and so forth.

Some mistaken beliefs we affirm to ourselves by saying “Just one more” to something that uses our time, talents, and treasure:

We are in control of our behavior and can stop when we want to.

We could resist the temptation, but choose not to do so.

We are just relaxing, not wasting time or avoiding something else.

We are not overly influenced by sounds, sensations, or even a pleasant or rousing “Congratulations” at the end.

Now these are not all or nothing beliefs.

We could stop playing if the house were on fire or someone knocked on our door … probably.

We do exert choice in how we spend our time and sometimes the choice to waste time is both deliberate and helpful as we manage our stress.

We are usually aware of the influence of visual and auditory stimulation on our emotions and can cognitively adjust for undue influence.

The real questions for the day are these:

What are you saying “Just one more” to that you should not do or should do less?

What would you gain by saying “Enough” or “Not today” to something that tends to suck up your time, talents, and treasure?

How can you change to a more productive stance, while still keeping the balance?

As is often the case, the questions I pose to you are the one I need most to consider myself.

BTW:  I completed that last game in under 2 minutes:).

Enjoying being able to squeeze some learning from my time-wasting in the Heartland ….


Words Matter – Another Powerful Reason Why

Lucy and Stephen Hawking… when someone with your public profile tells others that it’s okay to mock people with disabilities, you cause enormous damage.”

Lucy Hawking responding to Katie Hopkins


Let’s turn the podium over today for a quick lesson in how to effectively express your view on an issue.

I do not know Katie Hopkins and have no idea what she might have said to provoke this response, but I sense the strength of Lucy Hawking’s reaction to her words.

Lucy’s response is forceful, passionate, humane, and polite.  Click the link below to read her letter:

Dear Katie Hopkins:  Stop Making LIfe Harder for Disabled People

Everyone else, including me, needs to read Lucy’s letter, reflect on how she talks about something very important in measured, yet powerful terms, and consider how we might communicate more like this impressive woman.

Going back to communication school and learning more in the Heartland ….


Up The Hill We Go …


Not sure this needs much additional comment to clarify the point …

If you are one who feels that competitiveness is how you succeed in life, good luck to you, but I choose a different path.  One that includes helping others achieve their goals.  

This probably has something to do with whether you view the world as one of abundance or of limited resources.  

Caveats:  I am NOT talking about the prosperity gospel perspective and I most assuredly understand the importance of considering how we need to use our planetary resources better.  

I AM talking about people in relation to other people.  I would rather share my food with another than be well-fed while they starve.  I would rather share my coat or blanket with them than be warm while they are cold.  I would rather see them as fellow travelers through life who may look, talk, and act differently, but share the same human feelings and needs.

If this resonates with you, I am preaching to the choir.  The only additional questions relate to how you live out these ideas of sharing and connection in your daily lives.  So …

How you doing with that helping thing?

How are you influencing others to share?

What could you do more or better?

Helping out as much as I can in the Heartland ….


Quote Source:  Danged if I can find an original source, but this gets published in a lot of newsletters.

Image Source:

Taking A Long Shower …

Shower StuffI took a shower this morning, which is good news for both me and for others with whom I interact …

As I pondered that experience, it occurs to me that people come in four varieties:


This person uses the shampoo until it is mostly empty, almost empty, or less than half full.  They happily abandon “large” amounts of usable shampoo for the latest and greatest new shampoo.  Showers across the land are littered with large plastic containers which contain amounts of shampoo which might easily last another week … or three.

They are confident that more shampoo will be available as they desire or need such, and have a generally optimistic outlook on life.   God will provide and does so in plentifulness.  Cost is not a primary concern.  Whether the shampoo is completely used up or not is not a consideration.

Users approach life as a continual and reasonably predictable banquet …

mers care about their coin and stretch things as far as they can …

The Grid


The consumer can often be found, if one peeks into showers, tapping the bottle to get the last of the shampoo into a carefully cupped palm, in order to avoid spilling any drop of this valuable commodity.

Scarcity and need has been in their lives, or at least they are fearful of having this enter their lives.  Many early Boomers were raised by parents who knew that life can change abruptly.    Things once blissfully enjoyed can disappear or become rare.

The image of the Consumer is one of a wet person with their finger stuck as far inside an apparently empty shampoo bottle as they can reach, carefully scraping the very last traces of the shampoo into their palm.

Consumers take their pennies seriously …


The Saver was probably a Boy Scout or a Girl Scout.  They use the shampoo and when pretty much done, carefully deposit the rinsed bottle into a recycling bin.  Savers actually save and sort their stuff, including the stuff that many of us just want to flush, toss, or otherwise remove from our immediate presence.

This is sometimes done without regard for whether that particular recycling process allows for plastics.   It’s about saving the world, one smooshed and reused item at a time.  The motives are solid, but the realities sometimes suffer.

Savers care about the larger picture …


 Economists take things a step further than Savers.   Actually, they keep things a step closer by reusing that shampoo bottle for something else.  I guess the current term is “repurposing”, but not like when you shift a group from one project to another without warning, but when you reuse a thing designed for one purpose to another.

These folks are creative thinkers and will see possibilities that many of us just do not think about.  They see a shampoo bottle and visualize a decorative piece.  If the bottle is transparent plastic, they may see small brightly colored beads filling it or, with the top cut off, crayons or markers.

They are Savers on steroids … trying to use and reuse, rather than consume and recycle …

Bonus Questions:

My wife is a User and I have the half-full shampoo bottles to prove it.  What type do you think I am:)? 

What type are you?

What use can you make of this insight?

How far off the mark are my four types?

 Feeling ever so sparkling clean and a bit “better than her” in the Heartland ….