Skip to Content

Summary: The New One Minute Manager by Spencer Johnson

The digital age has introduced new kinds of work that require creativity and independent thinking. The world is changing, meaning that workers must constantly learn and grow in order to keep up. Additionally, people are seeking fulfillment from their work. This type of world means that top-down leadership is no longer the best choice for many organizations. Instead, leadership is more relational and communal, and in this book review, you’ll learn how to apply that to your own business.

The three secrets to managing in a fast-changing world.


  • Want to get better results, faster
  • Want to collaborate with your employees
  • Need more time and less stress at work


Many managers fall into two different camps: the managers who prioritize the company and the managers who prioritize the employees. Under the first type, the success of the organization is the main priority. These managers don’t seem to care about work-life balance or the fulfillment of their subordinates. They tend to give orders without explanation and expect to be obeyed.

The opposite is the “nice” manager — the kind who cares about people but neglects the organization. Employees like this manager as a person but don’t grow very much under their leadership. This manager hesitates to offer correction or guidance to employees.

Neither option works in the long run. One leads to high turnover and interpersonal problems, whereas the other leads to poor profits and stagnant employees. By being solely results-oriented or solely people-oriented, these managers miss out on half of the puzzle.

The best kind of manager is one who cares about both people and the organization. These managers inspire their employees to grow, learn, and self-manage, thus getting great results in less time.

The New One-Minute Manager

The new one-minute manager places equal priority on employees and the business. These managers understand that, because top-down leadership is no longer effective, collaboration is the only way to achieve fast, excellent results.

How can managers lead people to achieve greater things in less time? By utilizing the three secrets of one-minute management:

  1. One-minute goals: Clarify the employee’s main goals with brief descriptions that can be reviewed quickly and frequently.
  2. One-minute praisings: Recognize when an employee gets something right and immediately praise them for it.
  3. One-minute redirects: Recognize when an employee gets something wrong and immediately revisit their goals. Correct the behavior while affirming the person.

Clear expectations, positive reinforcement, and immediate feedback are the keys to being a new one-minute manager.

One-Minute Goals

How can a manager focus on both people and results? Is it possible to find success without sacrificing one for the other?

One-minute goals are the main ingredient for creating independent employees — a must for managers who want to get more done in less time.

Rather than setting goals for the employees, the new one-minute manager collaborates with them to confirm what needs to be done. Once the goals can be described clearly and succinctly, employees should solidify the process by writing them down.

The goal, deadline, and performance expectations should fit on a single page so the employee can review them every day without taking too much time. These refreshers will help the employee stay on track. By comparing their daily activities with their goals, employees can easily eliminate unnecessary tasks and catch mistakes.

The new one-minute manager understands that most results stem from an employee’s key responsibilities, thus each employee will only work on a few goals at a time. That’s all that is necessary to achieve great results.

When goals and expectations are not clear, the manager has to continually correct and guide the employee. This takes valuable time from both parties and often leaves the employee feeling discouraged.

With one-minute goals, the expectations are clear and the employees can independently manage their own work. They simply review their goals and assess whether their current strategies are in line. If they aren’t, they can adjust their actions as needed rather than waiting for the manager to tell them what to do. The manager’s only input is to help develop the goals and to model good performance.

One-minute goals allow people to get better at their work while achieving faster results.

One-minute praisings

Once goals are in place, how can managers be sure that their employee can independently follow through?

The new one-minute manager builds confidence and independence with one-minute praisings.

When an employee does something right, the manager should praise them as soon as possible. It is much more motivating to receive immediate feedback than it is to wait months for a performance review.

The new one-minute manager should first explain what the employee did well. This explanation should be specific so that the employee is clear on what actions or methods they should repeat. Managers should also explain how they personally feel about the success and how it will achieve goals and improve the company.

The manager should end the one-minute praising by reinforcing confidence in the employee and encouraging the employee to keep up the good work.

This type of praise doesn’t waste anyone’s time because it’s fast — it literally takes a minute. Plus, taking the time for one-minute praisings at the beginning of a project saves time overall because it teaches employees how to be successful, allowing the manager to step away sooner. Employees then feel confident that the manager trusts them to do their job independently.

One-minute goals followed by praisings teaches employees how to accomplish their goals with confidence and independence.

One-Minute Redirects

But what happens when mistakes occur?

The most effective managers combine praise with the one-minute redirects.

Just like with praise, a redirect needs to happen right away. Managers should spend the first half of the minute discussing the mistake and the second half reaffirming the employee.

The manager should first confirm the one-minute goals that were developed to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Managers can then clearly outline how the employee’s actions were out of line with the goals they set together. Managers should then express how they personally feel about the mistake and how it could affect the organization as well as the employee’s goals.

Next, the manager reaffirms confidence in the employee and reminds them that they can do better. By ending the redirect on an affirming note, the employee will feel inspired to realign their actions with their goals.

Once the redirect is over, it’s over. There should not be any grudges or snide reminders in the future, because the manager trusts that the employee can be successful.

When companies were largely managed from the top-down, this secret was called the “one-minute reprimand.” It worked well at the time, but things have changed. Now, more and more employees want to find intrinsic satisfaction at work by being great at what they do. Instead of only being told what they did wrong, they want to know how to fix it.

They also have to learn to adapt quickly in an ever-changing market, and redirecting teaches employees how to notice what works and what doesn’t so they can develop the skills of a true learner.

The three secrets all work together to develop confident employees who work independently and achieve fast results. The goals show them where to focus their time, praise builds their confidence, and redirects keep them on track.

Why One-Minute Goals Work

Imagine yourself bowling. You approach the line and toss the heavy ball down the lane, holding your breath as it approaches the pins. As the ball knocks the pins down, how do you feel? Excited? Accomplished? Proud of your achievement?

Now imagine that someone hangs a sheet in front of the pins. You toss the ball once again and hear the clatter of pins, but you have no idea how many went down. Was it a strike, or did you only manage to topple two or three? You’d probably feel frustrated as you took your seat.

One-minute goals work because they are like a game of bowling. You understand what is expected of you and clearly see your accomplishments. Just like knowing how many pins you’ve knocked down, you know when you’ve met your goals because they were clarified with your manager right from the start.

Many managers and organizations fail to clarify goals and expectations. Like a sheet in front of bowling pins, unclear goals lead only to confusion and frustration. How can employees get great results if they have no idea where to aim in the first place?

One-minute goals removes the sheet and allows employees to be productive, efficient, and independent. Plus, keeping the goals brief means employees are forced to cut out all of the unnecessary bits that tend to crush productivity.

By focusing on major goals and key areas of their job, employees are focused on the big picture. They are also able to briefly review their goals each day in order to say on track.

Why One-Minute Praisings Work

“Snack! Snack!” you repeat over and over, as you feed your toddler cereal and bananas. Eventually she starts catching on and may say “nack!” as you feed her. You cheer and hug her, making it clear that she accomplished something great even if she didn’t actually say “snack.” Soon, you teach her to say the word correctly and maybe even add in a “please.” Eventually your toddler knows how to ask for her snacks using full sentences and proper grammar.

Or, you could sit her down and instruct her to say, “Please feed me a snack” right off the bat. You hold the banana out of reach and listen closely for the sentence.

If you are waiting for her to say the sentence correctly before feeding her, the child might just starve.

One-minute praisings are like the first scenario. You praise a new employee, or an employee facing a new project, the moment they get something even partially correct. And then keep watching for more opportunities to praise them again. People learn much faster when they can follow a series of achievable goals, rather than being expected to get everything correct immediately.

Many managers are simply waiting for their employees to get the whole thing right. In the meantime, all they notice is what the employee is doing wrong. Not only is the ineffective, it’s demoralizing. It’s no wonder people often do the bare minimum at their jobs.

Punishment isn’t effective during the learning process. Before someone can recognize what is wrong, they must understand what is right.

Why One-Minute Redirects Work

Withholding feedback is like carrying around a backpack. At first the pack is light and easy to shoulder, but every time your friend, partner, or employee does something you feel is wrong, you add the transgression to the pack. Eventually it gets too heavy and you feel resentful about carrying it alone, so you dump everything onto the other person. Meanwhile, they may not have even known they did anything wrong.

One-minute redirects require you to give feedback right away. The feedback is succinct and clear, and then you can move on. Your backpack is light and the air is clear.

The typical method of yearly or quarterly performance reviews means that a manager saves all the employee’s transgressions in an increasingly heavy backpack. By the time the manager dumps it out, he is angry, frustrated, and tired. The employee, when faced with a sack-load of negative feedback all at once, will probably be defensive and totally miss the opportunity to learn.

The proper one-minute redirect also ends with affirmation and encouragement, which helps the manager separate the behavior from the employee. The big backpack of feedback makes employees feel that their very worth as a person is under attack, but the one-minute redirect addresses the inadequate behavior while encouraging the person. The manager has the opportunity to tell his employee that he believes in their ability to do better.

The end goal is to develop employees into people who can manage their own behavior, but this is only possible if they understand their value and feel confident about their abilities. Mistakes happen to everyone, but failing to learn from mistakes is when the real problems start.

Another New One-Minute Manager

The new business-world is full of people who want to be engaged and contribute to something greater through their work, and this means that they want leaders who encourage creativity, innovation, and independence.

When you become a new one-minute manager and utilize the three secrets described in this summary, you are developing each person you lead into another new one-minute manager.

As your employees learn to set their own goals, recognize their achievements, and redirect themselves back to what is important, they become managers of themselves and those around them.

A Gift to Yourself/A Gift to Others

Becoming a new one-minute manager not only helps your employees, it helps you! When you lead those around you to become independent and self-managing, you have more time to dedicate to higher-level issues.

The gift is more time, more energy, and less stress.

If this type of management is totally new for you, be open and honest with your team. Instead of waiting to implement the three secrets until you feel like you can do them perfectly, let your employees know right off the bat that you are trying something new. You don’t have to manipulate them — tell them the three secrets that you plan to implement.

By telling employees your intentions right from the start, you can begin building the trust required for effective side-by-side leadership.

And if you find the three secrets useful in your personal or business life, share them with others. The more new one-minute managers there are, the more effective the world can be.

Insights from The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard & Spencer Johnson

Don’t be an authoritarian manager. Don’t be a hands‐off manager. Be a One Minute Manager.

Get results and build rapport with the people you are managing by using The Three Secrets of The New One Minute Manager:

One Minute Goals

Conduct weekly One Minute Goal Setting sessions (note: this will take longer than a minute to complete initially, but once your people get familiar with the process, they will do the work upfront so future goal setting sessions will only take a minute of your time):

  1. Start by asking: “What are you hoping to complete this week? Don’t be afraid to stretch yourself.” As they think of different goals they could strive for this week, ask…
  2. “Of those goals, what one could have the largest impact?” Remind them of the 80/20 rule – “If you have five goals, what one goal, if completed, would help the team more than all the other goals combined?” As they think out loud and choose their most important goal, ask…
  3. “Can you clarify exactly what you plan to accomplish?” Get them to explain the goal in as much detail as possible, then say…
  4. “Type out your goal with the steps you plan to take. Keep it less than a page. After you’ve written out your goal, email it to me so I can review and approve it.” This will ensure you and your direct report are on the same page. After receiving and approving their goal, say…
  5. “Print out your goal and keep it in front of you. Then at the end of each day, take a minute and ask yourself, did my actions today get me closer to completing my goal?”

At this point, your direct report has created a game that will keep him or her engaged and focused: they have a clear target, a time limit (hit the goal by the end of the week), and regular feedback.

Having a game makes work more enjoyable, but only if your people can play the game. If a direct report lacks the skills to complete a task, it does not matter how clear the goal is, they are going to be disengaged. This is where the second secret of ‘The New One Minute Manager’ comes in…

One Minute Praisings

At the beginning of a new task, observe a direct report as they learn. If they get nervous, say, “Don’t worry, I’m only watching to catch you doing something right!” When you notice them doing something right, deliver a One Minute Praising:

  1. Specify what they did right and why it is important.
  2. Pause to let them feel good about what they did (as detailed in the book ‘Tiny Habits,’ letting a feeling of pride wash over someone rapidly wires in a new behavior).
  3. Encourage them to keep learning.

One Minute Praisings should be handed out early and often for any approximate success while learning. Think of it like encouraging a child to walk. Initially, you praise them for taking a wobbly first step and falling. You do not hold your praise until the child can sprint across the room like Usain Bolt; you praise anything that looks like progress. Praising early and often accelerates learning and increases confidence.

Once a direct report displays competence, back off the praising (you don’t want them to expect praise from you every time they do something right) and encourage them to praise themselves.

One Minute Redirects

If a direct report has the skill to hit their goal but fails to do so, it’s time for a One Minute Redirect:

  1. Tell the person exactly what he or she did wrong.
  2. Tell the person how you feel about it and let the pain/disappointment sink in.
  3. Remind the person you still believe in them (your performance was bad, but you’re better than that).

A One Minute Redirect sounds simple, but most people fail to do it correctly. Most managers don’t follow up critical feedback with personal reassurance. If you don’t remind someone they are better than their mistake, you risk making them feel worthless and unmotivated. Always find a way to say, “You screwed up, but you’re not a screwup.”

When you consistently set one minute goals, give one minute praisings, and deliver one minute redirects, your people will learn to execute these three habits. Gradually your people will clarify their goals, give themselves praise, and correct mistakes while maintaining high self‐ esteem. Your job as a manager is to get your people to manage themselves. “(No person) ever really works for anyone else. Deep down, people like to work for themselves.” – The New One Minute Manager


Top-down leadership is no longer effective in the modern, fast-paced business world. The one-minute manager has been replaced by the new one-minute manager — the kind who focuses on collaboration and development.

The Three Secrets to New One Minute Management are:

  1. One-minute goals: Clarify the employee’s main goals with brief descriptions that can be reviewed quickly and frequently.
  2. One-minute praisings: Recognize when an employee gets something right and immediately praise them for it.
  3. One-minute redirects: Recognize when an employee gets something wrong and immediately revisit their goals. Correct the behavior while affirming the person.

Implementing these secrets allows you to develop confident, independent employees who can achieve more results in less time.

About the Author

Ken Blanchard is an author, speaker, and business leader. Co-author of bestseller The One Minute Manager, Blanchard has contributed to over 60 published books and has earned several awards, including the Council of Peers Award of Excellence from The National Speakers Association.

Dr. Spencer Johnson was a physician and author with over a dozen New York Times bestsellers, including Who Moved My Cheese? and An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change. He also wrote a series of biographical children’s books called ValueTales, featuring historical figures such as Jackie Robinson and Winston Churchill. He died in 2017.


Management, Business, Leadership, Nonfiction, Self Help, Motivational Business Management, Business Motivation, Self-Improvement, Business Leadership

Table of Contents

A Message from the Authors vii
The Story of The New One Minute Manager The Search 1
The New One Minute Manager 7
The First Secret: One Minute Goals 14
One Minute Goals: Summary 23
The Second Secret: One Minute Praisings 25
One Minute Praisings: Summary 33
The Appraisal 36
The Third Secret: One Minute Re-Directs 38
One Minute Re-Directs: Summary 47
The New One Minute Manager Explains 49
Why One Minute Goals Work 53
Why One Minute Praisings Work 64
Why One Minute Re-Directs Work 71
Another New One Minute Manager 86
The New One Minute Manager’s Game Plan 88
A Gift to Yourself 89
A Gift to Others 92
Acknowledgments 95
About the Authors 96
Take the Next Step 98


The New One Minute Manager is an updated version of the bestselling book, The One Minute Manager, by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. The book is a business parable that tells the story of a young man who is looking for an effective manager to work for and learn from. He meets various managers who are either too results-oriented or too people-oriented, but none of them satisfy him. He finally finds the New One Minute Manager, who is able to balance both aspects and achieve high performance and satisfaction among his team.

The New One Minute Manager reveals his three secrets to the young man, which are:

  • One Minute Goals: These are clear and concise goals that can be written on one page and reviewed in one minute. They help people to focus on what is important and align their actions with the desired outcomes.
  • One Minute Praisings: These are timely and specific feedbacks that recognize and appreciate people when they do something right. They help people to feel motivated and confident, and to repeat their good behaviors.
  • One Minute Re-Directs: These are constructive and respectful feedbacks that correct and guide people when they do something wrong. They help people to learn from their mistakes and improve their performance.

The book also explains how the New One Minute Manager adapts his style to the changing needs and preferences of his team, especially the younger generation. He uses a collaborative approach that involves asking questions, listening, and empowering people to make decisions. He also uses technology to communicate effectively and efficiently with his team.

The book ends with the young man being offered a job by the New One Minute Manager, who invites him to join his team and learn from him.

The New One Minute Manager is a simple and practical book that offers valuable insights and tips for anyone who wants to be a better leader or manager. The book is easy to read and understand, with a engaging story that illustrates the key concepts. The book is also relevant and updated, with references to the current trends and challenges in the business world.

Some of the strengths of the book are:

  • It is concise and focused, with no unnecessary details or jargon.
  • It is actionable and applicable, with clear examples and steps that can be implemented immediately.
  • It is universal and timeless, with principles that can be applied to any situation or industry.

Some of the weaknesses of the book are:

  • It is simplistic and idealistic, with some assumptions and generalizations that may not reflect the reality or complexity of some situations or people.
  • It is repetitive and predictable, with some concepts and phrases that are repeated throughout the book.
  • It is anecdotal and subjective, with no empirical evidence or research to support its claims or recommendations.

Overall, The New One Minute Manager is a useful and inspiring book that can help anyone who wants to improve their leadership or management skills. It can also be seen as a complement or supplement to other books or resources that offer more depth or diversity on the topic.

Alex Lim is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. He has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Alex has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. He is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Alex lives in London, England with his wife and two children. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

    Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

    Your Support Matters...

    We run an independent site that is committed to delivering valuable content, but it comes with its challenges. Many of our readers use ad blockers, causing our advertising revenue to decline. Unlike some websites, we have not implemented paywalls to restrict access. Your support can make a significant difference. If you find this website useful and choose to support us, it would greatly secure our future. We appreciate your help. If you are currently using an ad blocker, please consider disabling it for our site. Thank you for your understanding and support.