Saturday, August 27, 2011

Book Review: Leadership and the One Minute Manager

Last week's book review included the concept that effective managers treat different people differently. This week, we look at a resource that suggests effective leaders and managers also treat the same person differently. The book is Leadership and the One Minute Manager: Increasing Effectiveness Through Situational Leadership by Ken Blanchard, Patricia Zigarmi, and Drea Zigarmi.

Anyone familiar with the One Minute Manager will be familiar with the format of this book. It is short - easily readable in one sitting if you are so inclined. As with the other books in the One Minute... series, the principles are communicated through a story where a struggling business person visits with a mentor and various people in the mentor's organization. The format is always a little contrived - yet it works. It is readable, easy to understand, and communicates a significant amount of information in a very short amount of time.

In Leadership and the One Minute Manager, Blanchard shares a basic premise about leadership and management: an individual requires different things from their leader or manager in different situations. Effective leaders and managers help team members grow by using varied strategies depending on the team member's demonstrated abilities, recent performance, and goals.

This may seem like an intuitively simple concept, yet in practice I have observed many emerging leaders and managers struggle because they have not yet learned that different situations require different strategies. It seems that most have learned how to successfully use only one or two of these concepts to help their team. If you've heard the old saying "When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" - then Leadership and the One Minute Manager is access to a full tool belt and a concise explanation of when and how to use each tool.

One final thought about this book: I appreciate how the authors demonstrate that effective managers are also effective leaders in their development of people. I recommend this one for new managers as well as managers frustrated in their leadership and people development.

Happy reading!

David M. Dye

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Twitter: @davidmdye
David shares twenty years experience teaching, coaching, leading, and managing in youth service, education advocacy, city governance, and faith-based nonprofits. He currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Colorado UpLift and enjoys helping others discover and realize their own potential.

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