Book Short: Just One Minute
What The One Minute Manager does for basic principles of management and goal setting, The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey does for delegation. Both are blessedly quick reads (the classic "airport" book), and Ken Blanchard really nails some of management’s most critical components with simplicity and grace.
I’m a fan of the One Minute Manager school, and it does work well for some of the basics, but it has its limitations in terms of how broadly it can be applied. My colleague Whitney McNamara‘s words in an email to me a few months back say it all:
OMM has actually been useful. I have to agree that it’s got a bit of a "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" mystical simplicity thing going, but as you say, simple is sometimes what works best.
It’s really strong in that the basic lessons are at root so simple that they’re easy to forget about day to day…having them articulated in a similarly simple way, so that they stick at the top of mind easily, is nice.
The other side of that is that it presents such a simplified, best-of-all-possible-worlds sort of scenario that I did sometimes find myself wanting to set fire to the OMM’s office building and scream "let’s see you deal with *this* in 60 seconds, buddy"…but on balance a pretty good experience. 🙂
In the end, it’s not that good management is easy — but it can be quick and relatively painless if done well and regularly.