The one minute manager

Since you are reading this post, you might be wondering: how can I take my people management skills to the next level?

Or you might be interested in knowing more about  The One Minute Manager, a people management book from Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson.

I got to know about The One Minute Manager book when I had no clue about what to expect from this book.

In 2007, I started working with a mid-sized Software Development and Internet Marketing Company led by an American CEO.  He was a great coach and very good with training people.

Since I was hired to head their Product Development Division, soon after my joining, I was “given” the One Minute Manager Book to learn people management from and take my people management skill to the next level.

I received The One Minute Manager Book with the following handwritten remarks from the CEO:


It is great to have you on the team!

I look forward to many productive years of working together.

Enjoy the book and even more important, be the best manager your team can ever have!

Ok, we did not work together for many years, just one – but that’s another story. For now, here is what I did with the book:

I read it. I understood it a little and started acting according to the guidelines and principles offered in the book. It helped. In the last 5 years, almost everyone with whom I worked conveyed that working with me was an enjoyable ride for them.

So, here’s to the ones who want to take their people management skills to the next level.

(If you are seeing this post in RSS or a mobile device that does not support embedded slide views, please click on this link.)

Years changed and my thinking got transformed from managing people to leading people. However, this book still is relevant and offers a good foundation when you need to get things done by putting in management principles in action.

In a purely results-oriented work environment, this books helps to produce relevant results in less time. Here is a quick perspective:

  1. Set goals: praise and reprimand behaviors; encourage people.
  2. Speak the truth: laugh; work; enjoy…
  3. and encourage the people you work with to do the same as you do!

Have you read this book? How did you find it? Were you able to leverage the principles outlined in the book? Share it in the comments.

Or you think you should read this book? Here’s the link from where you can buy the One Minute Manager book.

Note: This post was originally published on 9th Oct 2008. This is refined to provide better context and to include the One Minute Manager presentation that I use to make the managers working in my team better people managers.

On imitated love

Do you know what is love?

Have you ever felt that you want your beloved to do the things only what you ask him or her?

Have you ever expected that there should not be any secret that your beloved should be keeping from you?

You constantly feel the need to know anything and everything that he or she is going through?

Do you often feel that your beloved is doing the wrong things if your beloved is doing something that you don’t think he or she should be doing?

Then let me tell you what you are practicing – maybe unknowingly – is imitated love, not true love.

The reason is simple – True love gives freedom. True love flourishes. Love becomes true only when it gives (freedom, care, support, acceptance and more) to the beloved.

“If there is attachment in love, then love will be a prison. If love is without attachment then love itself is the divine.” ~ Osho

True love respects the another person’s independence and privacy.

However, it is not seen common in society as the most societies are created based on fears and fear is a restrictive force.

The efforts lovers put are that everything should be shared, known and there should be no such thing as individual privacy. They are afraid of another person’s individuality.

They treat their love as an avenue to extinguish the other person’s independence.

They expect that other person to share his or her bank account details, mobile address book, email passwords, participant content of 3-days resident training program that he or she attended or the price of the wristwatch they gifted to their childhood friend…everything.

They are scared of another person’s individuality.

And still, they hope that by extinguishing each other their life will become serene and worth living like.

But it becomes more and more woeful.

I would ask you to get clear on this – Real love is not a permanent thing…similar to real life. You have been given inappropriate concepts that true love is eternal and will stay forever.

True love is like a garden. It does not remain forever. It has to die one day. Anything true is a constant change, so is true love.

Love happens to you. It is not because of any efforts on your part but it comes as a gift. You cannot request, persuade or compel someone to love you…it is very similar to the fact that you cannot request, persuade or compel the Sun to rise. Same is the case with gardens.

It is also certain that anything that is born will die. Sun will set. Gardens will be whitened. Love will be gone. That’s the law of nature.

One garden whitens; another garden comes your way. 😇

Different gardens will come to you continuously but if you stick to one garden, soon you may find yourself with a dead garden.

Unfortunately, that’s the reality – people stick on a dead garden that once was alive, now it is the only history.

So, if you want to love truly then deliberately detach from the person. Give freedom. Respect other person’s privacy. Remember, every living being has their own life which is outside of you. That’s how it is. Another person is not your slave. The other person is an independent life.

This will not overrule the possibility that love might fade one day…if it is real then it will be…one day…but certainly, when you choose to give freedom to your love, it will enrich your life.

Power of your words

“Some people have a way with words, and other people…oh, uh, not have way.”~ Steve Martin

The words you choose to establish a framework through which you find meaning in your life.

And our lives are enriched by the meanings we find out of our lives, isn’t it?

We understand the world through words. The words you use determine your perception of reality. Power of your words is unimaginable.

Our perception is specific to us; it is our world, it is our reality. Refer to what Einstein said,

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

Label a situation as a “problem” and you are in one emotional state. Call the same situation an “opportunity” and you’re in a totally different state!

The first would cause stress whereas the second would fill your life with hope. The same situation, just change the used words and you will have a totally different perception.

Life has given me good opportunities to connect and learn from many successful individuals, families, and organizations.

One thing I have found common in all of them is the choice of their words. They use the words that radiate hope, passion, and possibility.

They believe in possibility thinking and through their belief, they create a framework that enables them to feel that they are in control of their lives.

Your words have tremendous power. Read and reflect on some of the thought-provoking quotes on the power of words:

See what Patrick Rothfuss said:

“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.” ~  Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

See what Ludwig Wittgenstein said:

“The limits of my language means the limits of my world.”  ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

Socrates thinks below:

“False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.” ~ Socrates

And here is Confucius’s take on the words:

“Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more.”  ~ Confucius

Your words shape your world. Choose them wisely.

On should-less living

So exactly what is it?

Should-less living.


Means, without standards?

Nope, without rest of the world’s ideas of how our life should look like.

Consider the below:

  1. I should wake up at 5 am in the morning
  2. I should work hard
  3. I should help people

Versus below:

  1. I wake up at 5 am in the morning
  2. I work hard
  3. I help people

“Should thinking” conveys ideology while “Should-less thinking” conveys actions.

If you fill your world with shoulds then you’ll feel a lot and accomplish a lot less. But if you fill your world with should-less-ness then you have an opportunity to accomplish a lot with tons of actions.


“It is easy to sit up and take notice, What is difficult is getting up and taking action.” ~ Honore de Balzac

More often than not, ideology translates into mere feelings and ideologist people find themselves on the passive side of effects.

Being that is okay if that’s what you stand for but presuming that you don’t, only actions will facilitate you to be on the side of the cause.

Be a cause in the matter, not the effect.

The feeling is not enough, we have to do something about it. Willing is not enough, we must act.

Why Giving Up to Challenges is Not a Good Idea

Got a challenging situation?

Thinking of giving up?


Well, if you are really sure you should give up then also think once more.

Giving up to challenges is not a good idea.

It is easy to give up to the challenges of life, not so easy to find out a way to combat those challenges, learn from those challenges and create your own destiny.

But you told me the other day that you wanted to create your own destiny, didn’t you?

Refer to the history of most successful people. The ones who have made a difference have always practiced perseverance.

Yes, perseverance.

I don’t say that the path is not painful. Certainly, it is. But know that the pain is not your enemy. It is your friend, in fact.  It expands your capacity. It forces you to get the best out of you. It makes you more competent than who you presently are.

Yes, pain is your friend if you learn how to befriend him.

In the process, you might lose battles, might get deeply hurt, or you might see things that you once thought you would never see in your life, but pause and don’t feel down because feeling down is everyone’s fixed way of being when they encounter painful situations.

At the end of the day, it is just one way…not the ONLY way.

You always have abilities to do what you want…if you know how to deal with your own limiting thoughts.

So, make a choice to feel the pain but do it anyway.

Did I tell you that regardless of your pain, you could choose not to suffer?

Pain and suffering are not into the relationship of what we call “cause and effect…”

Pain is not the cause and suffering is not the effect although they appear to be.

They are not.

They are totally unrelated words but our fixed way of being has influenced us so much in believing that they are into the cause and effect sort of relationship.


Here is one way to deal with your pain:

  • Be with it;
  • Take a sip of it;
  • Savor it;
  • Enjoy it;
  • And let pain be surprised by your act!

Pains don’t like surprises and would want to run away from you.

As soon as they can.

Imagine who will remain with you then? Only you, your choices and their consequences. Where is the pain or suffering?

“Giving up is also a choice,” you may say.

Sure, it is.

However, an inferior one.

Your goal was to run a marathon and emerge as a winner. If you choose to give up in the middle of the game, you still have made a choice but an easier one, and certainly not a wise one.

Challenging situations bring the BEST out of you and lead your path toward making you more powerful.  Don’t forget that.

Think Good to Feel Good: 20 Simulations

“There is nothing good or bad, only thinking makes it so.” ~ Hamlet

Quality of our world is directly proportionate to the images we see when we encounter the words – spoken or heard.

Here’s what we do subconsciously when we encounter the words:

  1. We hear the word.
  2. Our subconscious mind seeks the associated images that are stored along with the meaning of that word.
  3. We see the images of the meanings.
  4. We experience the meaning of the word.
  5. We feel good or bad about that particular experience.

The monster is the image. The image we see makes us feel good or bad.

If we want to feel good, we need to associate good images with the words we encounter.

So why not associate words (that contribute to creating and storing positive, feel-good kind of images associated with the meanings of those words) and create the framework to think good to feel good.

  1. I’m just good enough to get what I want.
  2. All the time, I feel superior.
  3. People around me care about me.
  4. Everyone has different thoughts so I’m never concerned about what other people might think of me.
  5. Everything is going to be right with me.
  6. When I really want something, I become like a magnet and people join the mission I take on.
  7. Thoughts that travel frequently in my mind – I’m powerful. Strong. Safe and thriving.
  8. I’m worthy.
  9. People like what I do.
  10. I love others without expecting anything in lieu of it. I feel happy when I do that.
  11. I always take good care of myself.
  12. I’m a man (or woman) of character. Full of integrity. Every single time.
  13. I create my own world and the experiences within that.
  14. I may not have all that I want but I have enough of what I need.
  15. I wear the clothes I like. I drive the car I enjoy. I spend time with people I love.
  16. I play music, don’t let the music play with me.
  17. I choose to stay positive even when situations don’t let me.
  18. I’m an action-man. Not a thinking drone.
  19. My physique is in its best time. I have created it.
  20. I’m handsome. I’m beautiful. I’m rocking. Yes, I’m.

Five Bonus Think Good to Feel Good Stimulations so it is 25 now.

  1. I may not know how many days I would live this life but I know that I’ll add life to each day I live.
  2. I’m genuinely interested in other people. Not because I have to but because I want to.
  3. My life is full of abundance. I choose what I want to do.
  4. I’m the most interesting person I know.
  5. I’m the Sun who shines so that others can get the light.

What about you? Do you have any such thoughts that you leverage to feel good about?

Update 05 Feb 2013: Based on the above post, I gave a presentation – 25 Think Good to Feel Good Tips – (Posted on SlideShare) in my last week’s personal development session.