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.