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The One Minute Mangler

The One Minute Manager spends one minute on goals in the morning, one minute praising people, and one minute on reprimands (or re-directs as changed in The New One Minute Manager).  The One Minute Mangler can throw people under the train in less than a minute. 

Listen to the podcast here: 

“The One Minute Mangler 

Karla Nelson:  And welcome to The People Catalyst Podcast Allen Fahden.  

Allen Fahden:  Hello Karla. I’m excited about today.  

Karla Nelson:  Today is going to be a fun day as always, right? We always have been doing this but this series has been probably the most fun series that we’ve done just because these are all amazing books that we’re discussing that we’ve read. Gosh, the one we’re going to talk about today, The One Minute Manager, I read this book I think when I was about 21 and so it’s really interesting to go back and to look at them and to read them and to discuss then how, because they’re amazing in their own right. But how can we overlay the hoodoo method so that it’s more effective? As we’ve talked about a lot of these books, they’re great books in our concepts you’re going to agree with. But that’s kind of the challenge, right? Their concepts. So we’re going to talk about, The One Minute Manager today. However, the title for this podcast is The One Minute Mangler 

Allen Fahden:  Yes, The One Minute Mangler because no matter how hard you try and how excellent you get, there are always missing pieces that can help you succeed.  

Karla Nelson:  Definitely. And so The One Minute Manager was published in 1982. So funny. It shows my age, part of the age probably. Well, the best of oh yeah, it was the early nineties. So we’re about 10 years off when we first were looking at that. It sold over 13 million copies and has been a translated into 37 languages worldwide so amazing book in its own right.  

Allen Fahden:  And they’ve written it in all 37 languages is preparation for today.  

Karla Nelson:  They, oh yeah. So what the book talks about is primarily the main theme are these three secrets about managing people. And I’m just going to quickly go through the secrets here and talk about why it was successful. It was such a successful book. And I think part of it is because it’s a very simple book. I think sometimes you don’t have to write a 240 page book. And some of these books have been like 300 pages that we’ve been talking about when sometimes it’s the simple thing that can get implemented or at least shift your thinking a bit so that you can change your habits and change the outcome of things. And I think that’s probably one of the reasons why it was successful. So the first secret was about setting goals. And it’s so funny, a secret. I think that’s hilarious, isn’t it Allen, to say that, that’s a secret but-  

Allen Fahden:  In fact I really say that you spilled the beans here because now people are going to know about it. 

Karla Nelson:  And but truly think about everyone knows that they need a business plan, but what percentage of people actually have one? So, you know, and I think it’s absolutely critical and I think everyone will agree with this. You need to know the objective. And many times in businesses, managers, owners, just people leading other individuals, use the sink or swim method.  

Allen Fahden:  Yes. And, it reminds me of a company we work with who was a huge company in the slogan of the CEO was, “You’re either on the train or under it.” 

Karla Nelson:  How does that feel? 

Allen Fahden:  Yeah, really. 

Karla Nelson:  Makes you feel totally devalued, right? Even if you’re on the train, you’re always going to wonder, am I going to be under the train some day?  

Allen Fahden:  Yeah. Any minute now.  

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. And so the second secret that the book talks about is one minute praising. And so the whole point of the one minute praising is find somebody doing something right and point it out.  

Allen Fahden:  Yeah. And they even point this out in the book that performance reviews can be a sort of like the district attorney is there and you’re being indicted and here are the charges that you’re being indicted on. That’s what performance reviews look like. And the man that brought quality to Japan and then to the United States, Edwards Deming said that, “You should never have performance reviews because they’re demeaning.”  

Karla Nelson:  Well, and they make people nervous. 

Allen Fahden:  Oh, yeah. 

Karla Nelson:  It’s like, oh, and I think too many personalities come into performance reviews. So it’s just human nature.  

Allen Fahden:  Under subjective and not objective.  

Karla Nelson:  Exactly. Good point. I Love Deming. I love his work. He’s just been one of our favorite individuals to study and we’ll talk about why at the end of the podcast.  

Allen Fahden:  I get it wasn’t successful until he was 90 years old.  

Karla Nelson:  Isn’t that great too? I love that part about it too.  

Allen Fahden:  So there’s hope. 

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. There is hope for all of us though. The third secret is the one minute reprimand and this is basically that it shifts the criticism from the individual to criticizing the work. Because if you’re not clear on what you want or the outcome to be, with the individual, then they feel like they did the job wrong instead of you giving them all of this specific information so that they could be successful within the tasks that you gave them a job that you gave them.  

Allen Fahden:  So like a lot of business book it only get you a false hope there because these new methods, there’s always an exception there. For example, if you criticize the work and not the person, that sounds great. It is a great idea. However, if you are not specific about what you’re critiquing, for example, I worked for someone who said, “This is garbage.”  

And if you’re thinking about it, you might as well say you are garbage because and the other thing is this is garbage now how can I fix that? Can I take it out and put it in a plastic bag and put it in the back to be picked up? How can you fix garbage? You can’t, there’s nothing specific you can do about it. So what it’s missing and we can get into more detail on that but it’s when you’re not specific about a criticism, you negate everything that you’re trying to do because you put the people right back into a lot of the fear and doubt that they get when they’re being criticized as a person.  

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, I love that. And we’re going to talk a little bit later in the podcast specifically about that third secret where we agree, but how can we overlay the hoodoo method with these three secrets, right? I love these calm secrets. Everybody agrees with them all. Somehow in business books, when you say it’s a secret, it’s like woo. 

Allen Fahden:  Yes. 

Karla Nelson:  But you know, it’s interesting. They call it a secret because a lot of people know it, but they don’t do it. And that’s the key, right? It can’t work unless you actually do it. And there is the I think, dissonance and so many business books that we’ve people feeling disappointed because they really want to do things, but it’s not specific enough. So if I tell you set goals, well okay, right? And none of us are wired the same to set goals in the same way or to do the things that need to be done.  

And so what we’re going to talk about a little bit now is, and we’re going to break down each of these secrets and then we’re going to give you tools from Houdini method that you can overlay each of these three secrets, in order to be successful and get it to the finish line without leaving dead bodies behind you. Because honestly, that’s exactly what this book was about. It’s why I read it, because I had a whole team and I’m like, I want to get something accomplished. And I had a natural tendency to look at people the way I was not who they were. And so that’s the background of the first introduction to this book I had. 

And it’s interesting because you want to do these things, but we can’t deny who we are. And we also look at it from an aspect of ‘I’, like almost every business and self help book is ‘I’. And we really need to look at it from a business aspect, even if you’re a solo coroner from ‘we’. And so the first secret is, and I think this is interesting, Allen, you and I had a discussion about this is, it says that setting goals is the secret, but it really sounds like a task when you read the book and look at it because they’re talking about something specific that you’re handing off to somebody.  

So there really is a difference between goals and tasks. And I think this makes our real gray area in the book. And so let me give you an example. A goal would be like we want to increase our market share by 15% right? But there’s going to be a thousand tasks in order to get to increasing your market share by 15% also when it comes to that a thousand tasks that have to be done in order to get to the 50% market share, if you don’t understand the core nature of work, the thing is that we all respond differently to each task.  

So in order to achieve the goal, each core nature of work, you have to be clear on that and give them the parts of the work that they do well. Otherwise, it just turns into mattnos chaos between the goal and the task. And again, they’re talking about in the task, but I think that’s a big challenge in this book and reading it, they didn’t make it clear on that.  

Allen Fahden:  Yeah. And so for example, if you’re a shaker, that’s the person who comes up with ideas. Shaker is one of two early adopters and they’re going to be after very big goal. Change the world is often too small for a shaker. And usually that’s, you know, when they have the idea, they think they’re pretty much done.  

Karla Nelson:  Oh Yeah, look, I thought of the idea, it won’t be that hard. Just changing the world. Yeah. We’ll have it done by Wednesday.  

Allen Fahden:  We’re optimistic and then a mover who is the early adopter and Dewar, they’re also playing a very big game here. So they’re going to want to change the world too. And that’s very different when they’re talking about in The One Minute Manager, they talk about like, your goal is to clean the room, but it’s hard to know what to do next. But if we make your goals sweeping the floor and straightening out the room, well those are tasks. Even cleaning your room, you might say is your task.  

And so what they deal with is the amount of detail you get it to. Well, half the population of shakers and the movers, don’t really want to be too concerned with the details. So they want the big goal, whereas the provers and the makers, the later adopters, they’re going to want smaller goals and they’re going to be more concerned with the tasks. So number one, you’ve got to know who you’re dealing with and then within their domain of size, then you know how big is it and how far can you break it down. Yes then get specific, but don’t get so specific that you’re going to lose them. Some know you’re going to talk, you get big picture with shakers and movers and a smaller picture with provers and makers. 

Karla Nelson:  Definitely, definitely, I love that. Really make it a determination between the goal and the task and how you’re going to frame the goal differently with early adopters versus late adopters and how you’re going identify the task differently. And what tasks will you expect of them. That is pure gold right there. They are gold. Write this down.  

Allen Fahden:  What makes you or brakes you because if you give them the wrong tasks, they’re going to feel like they’d rather choke or something like that than do the task- 

Karla Nelson:  Absolutely. Yeah. And we’ll roll right into that on the second secret, right? 

Allen Fahden:  Absolutely. 

Karla Nelson:  In one minute praising. And the beauty about what you just said, Allen, is that, we need them all. We need movers, shakers, cruisers and makers. We need you all. We just need you at different times and for different tasks and have to communicate goals differently. As you always say, Allen, people.  

Allen Fahden:  Are.  

Karla Nelson:  Different. I thought you’d pick one up what else putting down. So let’s move into the second secret here, which is one minute praising. I love this one, right? 

Allen Fahden:  Yes. 

Karla Nelson:  Especially when it’s hollow. How many managers walk around and it’s a hollow praise?  

Allen Fahden:  Yeah, really. And they’re all usually done they have 50 seconds left too. But I’ll like an appraising for today. 

Karla Nelson:  Which is and that’s, I think even paying attention to that piece. We’ve all agreed that this is a great secret, one minute praising. Everyone’s not going to say that. Everybody likes to be praised and be thanked for the hard work that they put in, right? But it’s just, you can’t leave it at that. And I think that just leaves a lot to be a stated because now you look at praise and you look at how everybody’s different. Well, hmm, you know, it’s almost like that other book, The Five Love Languages. Not everybody likes to be praised in the same way and based off of their core nature of work, it’s going to be different. Especially because you’re praising the task.  

Allen Fahden:  Well, and actually, when you praise the task, you’re praising them for something that happened in the past. They did a good job on the task, but if you add the whole concept of knowing who they are in their core natures, then you can also before the task says, praise them for their abilities and say something like, and I know you’re going to hit this one out of the park because it’s generating ideas and as a shaper you are so good at that. It really get people motivated on the front end of the thing too, not just on they have to. 

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, that reminds me and our team, our primary leadership team that leads the different teams within our organization, we have a mover, shaker, a prover and we bring in the maker only when necessary because of course makers don’t like to be a part of meetings unless they’re quick and they’re just getting something handed to them. They don’t want to talk about big strategy. But what is cool about that is this, that you can praise, as you said, Allen, not just for the task and what did you do for me lately? 

But you can make comments in meetings. We do it all the time. Or you can shift when you’re talking about something knowing that you’re looking it at what could go wrong on the technology aspect or what is the timing going to be and you look directly to your prover so you don’t own it, everybody owns it. And when you get used to that, you can say, Gosh, I didn’t even think of that. You’ve the best quick prover ever when that’s not typically what we do. 

You can be at lunch with somebody and make a joke about it. But it’s funny because you feel like the light is being focused on what you’re great at and your core nature of work. And it takes the rub away. Everybody wants to talk about, oh, it’s personality. It’s not personality completely. I mean that obviously you can put a little more Umph behind it if you understand that. And we’ve trained that as well in the past, but most people, leaders, team members look at a shaker and say, squirrel, or while you’ve got your head in the clouds, or Gosh, you’re the chief idea ferry.  

They look at a mover and go, gosh, you always have to be in charge. But the mover does have it the easiest because they get things done and they’re more patient with all the different coordinators of work because they don’t have a dog in a fight. However, still most people have, Gosh, you always have to be in charge. Why? Because a mover wants to get things done and they become disengaged if they’re not. Prover, what do we say? Gosh, you’re such naysayer, such eo, such a downer. And a maker, don’t you have any unique ideas in the meeting? Come on, right? 

Allen Fahden:  Say something.  

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, say something. And how sad is that, that we’re trying to praise and I think everybody should be praised, but I agree with you not for the task, not for the past. It should be for right now, who you are in shine a light on their brilliance so that they want to be more than that. And that you can identify then the first secret, what tasks do I give so that that person can walk into their brilliance instead of being criticized for who they aren’t or worst case you don’t get anything done. And that’s why everyone hates their job.  

Allen Fahden:  Yup. And you can use this as a model to have the meeting with customer actually customize this to your own team, just based on knowing the strength of each person. And then also having a sense as when the meeting progresses through time, it’s like just like the phase of a project and each person emerges as a leader. So, oftentimes we’ll have a meeting and you know, Karla will say, Allen you don’t need to be around for the rest of this we’re going to be talking about a bunch of executional details. I say, thank you very much. Goodbye.  

Karla Nelson:  Yup. And then what do I do? When I’m in the meeting and I’ve already let you go, I will in our maker, we’ve got several of them, but we’ve got one primary leader maker Kaya and I will say I’m tapping out Kevin, you can now get engaged with Kaya tomorrow or whenever because there’s no reason to keep everybody in the meeting and you’re just sucking their energy anyway. So having the right people at the right time in the meeting. And I think Allen too is knowing the objective, right?  

So some meetings are for the ideation, what are we going to do? Some meetings are, hey, these are the task we all have this week, so we have to come together and figure it out. Some meetings are for execution. So normally what we do is just go, we’re going to have a meeting and you might put an agenda together but the problem is if you don’t have an agenda that meets the core nature of work of each individual, that’s what we call, Employee engagement as we should call it, employee disengagement and meetings.  

Allen Fahden:  Yeah, or employee and regiment.  

Karla Nelson:  I’m writing that one down. That sounds like a podcast to me.  

Allen Fahden:  I don’t think. I think the other thing is if you’re going back to the negative side of that, is because usually what we do instead of celebrating people for what they’re good at, we judge them by what they’re not good at. And I love Alan Einstein’s quote. And I think you do too. It’s ‘If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will think it’s stupid for its entire life’.  

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. It’s so true. And think about Einstein didn’t speak till when he was seven.  

Allen Fahden:  You’re right there. 

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. And people probably looked at him and go, Gosh, I know that for a fact I don’t know who it was as teachers were not. He’s never going to amount to anything.  

Allen Fahden:  Yeah, that’s right and he probably didn’t have anybody in his mind was worth speaking to probably. I don’t know.  

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. And so again, being aware of these goals versus tasks which we talked about in secret one, and then moving to the team’s core nature of work and how to communicate and assign the task accordingly. That is absolutely critical and being able to put gasoline in a match on the one minute praising.  

Allen Fahden:  Yup.  

Karla Nelson:  So let’s move to the third secret here, which is one minute reprimands. Gosh, I don’t like the word reprimand but you know it was interesting about that is, I don’t really think that you should necessarily have to what the quote unquote reprimand about tasks if your team has been cast correctly and what that I mean is that you identify the core nature of work and expect them just show up and get at least 70% of their tasks within their core nature of work. We all have to do things we don’t like, but when I have to do maker work and I don’t like it, at least I know it’s maker work and I trudge through it. Why? Because it has to be done. But I know it’s maker work and I know that this is only going to last for a short period of time, but the majority of what I do is what I love.  

Now this, I’m not talking about if somebody’s late for work all the time or has an attitude issue or something like that, like that’s not, I mean, you can be reprimanded for that. But I think that if you take into consideration the goal, the tasks that need to be done, and you understand who your team is, like the reprimands should only be for, you know, because even if somebody makes a mistake, why would you reprimand them? And if they’re utilizing the process, the amount of mistakes they’re going to make is very little because … That reminds me of Deming, but we’ll leave that for the end of the project.  

Allen Fahden:  And every mistake is an opportunity to correct it and save time and money on the other end. So mistake is often good news.  

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, that’s good. Great point. Great Point. It actually reminds me of Bill Gates. Somebody made like, it was the craziest like a $400,000 mistake, or maybe it was two, I can’t remember. But I remember reading this article about it and they’re like, you’re going to fire them? Well, like, hell no. I just invested $400,000 into them. Yeah. And so is that a reprimand. Good point, Allen. I love that.  

Allen Fahden:  So instead of being critical, what if you do it from a different context and you move through the tasks based on, you know, it used to be like, I’m the boss, the reason you did it wrong is you didn’t, blah, blah blah. Instead, you were, use the process and the prover can point out what could go wrong. Now that’s interesting too because that’s a future thing rather than a past thing. So don’t be in the past and reprimand people for what did go wrong because that cuts off every bit of opportunity and it starts getting into blame but instead, have the prover going into the future and point out what could go wrong if we did it the way that you’re proposing or reprimanding because there’s a chance to fix it in concept for- 

Karla Nelson:  Yes. 

Allen Fahden:  Reprimanding and the entire team was involved.  

Karla Nelson:  And so if you do that on the front end, the likelihood, it’s like, well no, we all agreed on this, we all had our thumbprint on it. So how can you reprimand anybody when everybody had a say now that doesn’t mean there’s not going to be a mistake, but then you come back to the table and you still allow everybody to have a piece of this process. They come back and go, you know, this actually didn’t turn out the way we think this happened here. That’s not going to work. But then you engage the team on solving it versus expecting somebody to do everything exactly as you wanted them because the likelihood they are going to be good at something from start to finish is what 1% that’s 1% of the population can do that.  

So essentially 99% of the people are made for only a part of the work and we expect them to be able to start it, run with it, poke all the holes in it and execute it. And that’s, it’s not realistic. And, we’ve got it, you know, it reminds me of the electronics company. You probably know who I’m talking about, Allen, that we worked with. And this is typical of because you said because I’m the boss and this is what you want to not do. But when you have a CEO that is a shaker, this is constant where they’re using the top down and as you said, Allen, I’m the boss and managers can do this too. Not just the CEO, but this particular situation, it was the CEO and then they ask for their teams inputs, they all agree on it and then they still go do whatever the heck that they want.  

Allen Fahden:  That’s right. And reprimanding is top down. And we’ve been trying to get away from top down for 30 years instead engage your team and understand their core nature of work. And that is that they’re core nature of work is linear.  

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. Because so on an org chart, you just think of top down, right? CEO, COO, CFO, and everyone’s seen those dumb org charts. I remember building them for years and years and years. And it’s not that, that’s bad, it’s just that understand that, that might be the organization, but that is a function management not role management. So when you engage your team with their core nature, then that’s a linear. So top down or org chart, I’m the boss and there’s power with that top down into some degree of course there’s going to be. 

But then when you line up your team, now it’s linear. Now everybody is seen for their contribution to the process and I’ve just been wanting to quote this quote the entire time, but I wanted to end the podcast with it instead of start. I could have probably said this 50 times as we’ve been talking on this podcast, but Deming, we’ll come back to it again, is you know, in his brilliance and years and years and years and years of work identified that 94% of failure is process failure not people failure.  

And who’s responsible for the process. It’s the management. So the challenge is the process. It’s not the people. And so, the hoodoo method you can use this process and overlay it with any other thing that you’re doing so that you can manage the process and not point the finger. And that’s what typically happens because at the end of the day, management is responsible. They have to find the model and the process that’s going to work and the hoodoo method can be overlaid with any other process in order to come up with the idea, figure out how you’re going to get it implemented and go back and forth between ideation and implementation. So you can have, you know, a happy D.  

Allen Fahden:  Yup. And all the finger pointing that you get when you don’t use this process. Well that’s one big reason why 70% of the people still, still hate their jobs instead of the solution oriented. 

Karla Nelson:  50 years scouts been doing that study have not moved the needle at all. And you can throw leadership, employee engagement and again, that’s why we are so excited to bring this information to you and talk about changing the world. Our whole focus here with The People Catalyst is to revolutionize the way work is done. So thanks so much for joining me today my friend. 

Allen Fahden:  Thank you Karla. 

Karla Nelson:  Until our next book, I feel like we’re part of a book club or something.  

Allen Fahden:  Yeah. The One Minute Mangler is signing off.  

Karla Nelson:  There you go. And if you’d like to learn more, visit us at thepeoplecatalyst.com.