“Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions”

The_One_Minute_ManagerI’ve managed a few people in my career… I was a manager at Abercrombie & Fitch and I also coached some American Football players overseas. I’ve never thought managing people was rocket science. Maybe I’m wrong, and that can be your opinion… I’ve had great managers in my career and I’ve had bad managers. There is a big difference and I’m sure you’ve experienced something similar to me…

I never really thought about reading/writing about management style books, but a friend of mine, Illiya, told me that this is a must read! Boy was he right. The nuggets in this book are easy to come by and it can really change how you manage people. The book itself is told from the perspective of a boy wanting to learn about management styles… so it’s a different point of view, but easily readable.

“…helping people to feel good about themselves is a key to getting more done. …However, remember productivity is more than just the quantity of work done. It’s also the quality.”[/note]Page 20[/note]

Whenever I’m feeling good, I’ll always get more done. When management rewards me or pats me on the back… yep, you guessed it; I’m going to work harder. I’ve previously written about productivity and the quality of work. There is a fine line in finding the right equation. Making sure you’re people are happy is a very important part of that equation.

If you don’t know what makes your people feel good… well, you better learn fast. Just because you’re in management, it doesn’t mean you can’t be work ‘friends’ with your employees. You don’t have to hangout with them on the weekends, but make a point of stopping to say hi and asking them how they’re doing… instead of just your weekly one-on-ones.

The first secret of The One Minute Manager is: The One Minute Goal. This is a great segment because I recently wrote about it from GaryVee’s book! Stop complaining.

“If you can’t tell me what you’d like to be happening, he said, you don’t have a problem yet. You’re just complaining. A problem only exists if there is a difference between what is actually happening and what you desire to be happening.”[note]Page 31[/note]

Makes sense… right? Instead of just complaining about something. Have the outcome already figured out. Nobody likes a complainer because it doesn’t solve anything. Complaining just to complain doesn’t do anybody any good. STOP. Its tough to do… I know. I experience this everyday and sometimes I feel the need to do it.

The entire idea of a one minute goal is to come up with something that isn’t working and find a way to fix it. The goal being; fixing the problem.

Once that happens or maybe you catch your people doing things right… verbally reward them; One Minute Praisings.

“Help people reach their full potential. Catch them doing something right.”[note]Page 39[/note]

It’s the little things that make a big difference. Pat someone on the back, pound fists or give a high five. When you notice someone doing something right, it motivates them. When someone is motivated, they will work that much harder. It’s not rocket science… it basic human interaction. Did you ever play sports, have a coach or learn something new?! Once someone gave you that positive reinforcement… how pumped up were you? Hell, if you’re not a manager, do it with your coworkers. They’ll like you even more.

The opposite side of praise is the One Minute Reprimands.

“… the One Minute Manager has taught us the value of being able to laugh at ourselves when we make a mistake. It helps us get on with our work.”[note]Page 56[/note]

People screw up… so when it happens, you need to stop that employee, let them know they screwed up and then reinforce them that you hold them to a higher standard. Tell them what they did wrong and then build them back up. They won’t make that mistake again! Obviously, we feel shitty when our boss tells us we did something wrong…. but it’s also their job to tell us we’re better than that. If you only put your people down, your people will leave you fast.

You’ve got to invest in your people. They are the reason your organization is growing.

“Most companies spend 50% to 70% of their money on people’s salaries. And yet they spend less than 1% of their budget to train their people. Most companies, in fact, spend more time and money on maintaining their buildings and equipment than they do on maintaining and developing people.”[note]Page 64[/note]

That sucks but it’s pretty true. Especially with all of these new fancy startups popping up everyday. “Let’s give people free stuff and hope that they stay here for eternity.” You’ve gotta help your people grow or else they won’t feel satisfied. Don’t get me wrong, free stuff, a nice paycheck and 401k is lovely, but if you feel like you’re spinning your wheels every day, those things can only keep you happy so long before you look elsewhere. I would know…

Another thing to keep you moving forward at an organization:

Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions”[note]Page 67[/note]

When the last time you got or gave feedback?! I love constructive criticism. If helps me evolve as a person. If I lose a deal… I ask the prospect as to why I lost. That reason will never happen again!

“If managers would only intervene early, they could deal with one behaviour at a time and the person receiving the discipline would not be overwhelmed. They could hear the feedback. That’s why I think performance review is an ongoing process, not something you do only once a year.”[note]Page 87[/note]

I know for FACT that the majority of organizations out there do not do reviews more than once a year. They say they do semi-yearly but I know that’s crap. I call a lot of companies and talk with a lot of HR people. This is a HUGE issue in all industries right now. Do yourself a favor and start giving reviews/feedback often. Your people will feel like they’re part of the company when you listen to them. Sometimes… people just want to be heard.

Basically, The One Minute Manager is about setting quick goals, giving positive reinforcement and giving feedback often. I would encourage you to read this book if you’re just getting into management. It’s a quick/fun read. If you want my copy, I’d be happy to send it to you. Just email me and it’s yours!


Buy the book here – I suggest buying a used copy because they’re dirt cheap.