Review of Leadership and the One Minute Manager

Date: Aug 14, 2019
Category: Review Category

The book “Leadership and the One Minute Manager” by Blanchard and Zigarmi helps managers in learning the art of situational leadership. The book explores the necessary skills that an individual needs in order to become an effective self-leader. It reveals thoroughly and clearly how freedom, autonomy, and power come from getting the right skills and the mindset needed so as to take personal responsibility when it comes to success. It is a simple process which is significant in doing away with the attempt of treating all employees equally.

Blanchard and Zigarmi explain the significance of tailoring the styles of management to individual’s employees. Additionally, it also teaches employees when to support, delegate, or direct work. Further, it also assists in identifying leadership styles in relation to a particular person. Using the one minute techniques can produce enhanced motivation and better management on all levels. In simple terms, the authors aim at teaching the managers how to be successful and flexible leaders (Blanchard et al., 2006).

Summary of the Book

Generally, the book explains the first-hand experience of an entrepreneur together with One Minute Manager (OMM) and his people. The said entrepreneur asks for advice from OMM so as to make her new business start running smoothly. The book focuses lengthily on situational leadership. It also explains how to use different leadership styles in every situation. Briefly, the book also describes four common leadership styles, namely delegating, coaching, supporting, and directing (Blanchard et al., 1985).

The first style is applied to individuals who lack competence but show commitment and enthusiastic. In this case, they need feedback and direction to get started. Coaching leadership style is for those individuals who lack responsibility but have some competence. As a result, they need feedback and management since they have not fully developed and acquired the needed experience. Moreover, they need praise and support to build their self-esteem. They also need to be involved in decision-making to restore their commitment (Blanchard et al., 1985).

The supporting style is for individuals who are competent but lack motivation or confidence. These people do not need the direction due to their skills. However, support is essential to boost their motivation and confidence. Delegating style is applied by individuals who appear to be committed and competent (Blanchard et al., 2006). They are in a position to work on a given project with little support and supervision. In all the four styles, the leaders’ support decreases gradually, for example, when a member joins a given company, leaders adopt a new directing style. As a new employee learns little by little, there occurs a shift in the leadership style to coaching, supporting, and finally delegating style since now the individual becomes responsible and experienced (IASET, 2013).

Critique

“Leadership and the One Minute Manager” offers the reader a framework and language to talk to people they manage. The workbook is designed to help participants to be good performers by using the skills of a situational leader, partnering for performance, diagnosis, and flexibility. Thus, the book is a tool for management in all companies. Since the authors are targeting managers, the question is whether it will help in managing their own performance. The training program can only be effective from top-down levels.

The book appears to touch on supportive versus directive behavior; however, both styles are vital to the management. To begin with, directive behavior comprises structure, organizing, and guidance. It clearly tells individuals what to do, when to do it, how to do it as well as motors how they are performing. Alternatively, supportive behavior needs praise (Blanchard et al., 2006). To demonstrate support for the top management, it involves preparing the top executives using the concepts in the book. The manager’s awareness of the factors that help in relating situational leadership theory to real world concerns is relevant when directing.

The positive aspects of the book involve listening to individuals and providing encouragement and support for their efforts as well as facilitating their involvement in decision-making and solving. Secondly, individuals need opportunities to constantly learn new skills. Some individuals even look for new jobs at other organizations to enhance their skills. To be able to take initiative and become more valuable as a problem solver, one needs good skills (Laxmikanth, 2011). Most individuals argue that managers always want to remain in control. They talk of good games but still want to be in charge and as such prefer good subordinates who have to follow their superiors.

Conclusion

To conclude, in reality, if managers want to be effective, they must think and act differently in terms of work. In order for companies to be competitive, they need to be cost effective, flexible, continuously improving, and customer driven. The four leadership styles are important for an effective running of the organization. They should put the styles in practice to achieve better goals. Managers should also learn not to be in control all the time since this will lead to poor performance due to much pressure.

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