One Minute Manager and 6 Apps to build Self-Leadership

11 min readSep 17, 2019

Businesses and organizations work against time nowadays. The faster they get, the successful they become. This statement makes us understand that, in organizational culture, no one is going to spend huge amounts of time on you so that you can succeed in the concrete jungle. This concept is just as important today as it was more than 30 years ago when the organizational culture started booming because of that lead to the advent of an amazing self-help book known as the One Minute Manager by Spencer Johnson and Ken Blanchard.

The book is a beautiful reminder of the harsh reality that time waits for no one and especially in the organizational culture where the stakes are so high that mere seconds can result in a loss of billions.

The Book carries a time-based theme throughout, and the main focus is on the little things that can result in very substantial results. It is just over 100 pages, but the storytelling is so unique that it just makes for an easy read through and through.

The book is a seamless presentation of a young man on an adventure to find and work for the perfect manager that will teach him everything he needs to know about the organizational culture and be a manager himself one day.

He stumbles upon the perfect One Minute Manager that tells him about his three employees that are his students. The employees named Mr. Trenell, Mr. Levy and Ms. Brown are the perfect examples to share their insights about the three most important lessons of self-leadership to the young employee.

Let’s see what those lessons are for one minute manager:

Lesson 1: Set up three objectives for your employees which you can easily review in 60 seconds or less.

The company faces a lot of hurdles on a daily basis and it all comes down to a single factor causing those hurdles: communication. A major chunk of the organization’s problems can be solved if we learn to communicate properly, while being honest, open about stuff and be the earliest to start the dialogue.

When you start a new job, we can bet that the first day went like this.

You arrived and the HR person takes you all over the office to meet all your colleagues, shake lots of hands and let’s face it, only remember two of the dozens of names you were told. Then you get back to your seat and the company gets your account setup and you are good to go.

But the most important thing of all that you were never told was the actual responsibility you were just given.

Imagine yourself sitting with your manager and right from the start, you two sat together and made lists about how you were going to do stuff that will impact the company for the next 6 months to a year. That’s what a One Minute Manager does with the employee.

They sit down and have an effective communication about the goals that the employee has to complete in a certain period of time. There are normally 3 to 6 goals, but the lesser they are, the more they are because the employee can focus on them and not rush the process.

The endgame of this activity is to have specific targets for the employee that the manager can easily review later and for that, these targets should be defined while keeping the 80/20 principle in mind and under 250 words. The purpose of all of these activities is that the manager could review all of the activities in 60 seconds or less.

After all of these activities, inform them that you will be reviewing their work using this set of tools so that they would be more vigilant.

Lesson 2: Upon finishing a task, the manager should take sixty seconds to praise their hard work.

Despite popular belief, Managers are the busiest people in the company. Managing other people and praising or pointing out their work is done on top of their other work, even though managing other people is their primary purpose in the company.

This amount of work often stops the managers to praise their employees when they do something amazing for the company or they have messed up and have to be told what they did wrong.

These blunders happen when the responsibilities are unclear from the beginning and employees tend to keep their attention on new stuff which they haven’t done and then receive a constant spell of negative feedback from their managers.

A good manager will never let this happen and they know what kind of attention their employee wants and when the worker does well, they praise them because it only takes about 60 seconds out of their busy schedule.

If you feel like you have a friendly relation with the employee, you can couple the praise with a physical gesture like a thumbs up or a pat on the back because that can mean that you genuinely mean your praise and they are not meaningless words in the air.

For newer employees, positive feedback on smaller things matters a lot and good managers praise them just as well so that they can settle well in the new office environment and prove to be an effective part of the team in the future.

Lesson 3: If someone messed up, let them know what they did wrong in a sixty-second reprimand.

Just as positive feedback, negative feedback or criticism should not take ages and you should express your dissatisfaction with someone’s work formally and not like you are out to get them for something or lose your temper.

Once the people would be familiar with your unique management style, have their goals set out for them and they would’ve been praised a couple of times for their good work, they will be strong to face what comes next.

Because after that praise comes to some tough sixty-second talk which is hard to listen but amazing to learn from. This is what the authors call the One Minute Reprimand.

Similar to praising the employee, the reprimand should be precise and exactly after the worker has done something that was not okay.

Tell them exactly what they did wrong and to show that you are not after them or you are not thinking of getting rid of them, include a note of appreciation in your criticism so that they will know that you remember what positive things you did for the company and they are not in any immediate danger.

This form of criticism is incredible and works amazingly well because of these three reasons:

  • You remind your employees of their own worth and the valuable part they play in the organization.
  • You both clear the air instantly and avoid dwelling on bad feelings.
  • Your employees feel that their mistakes are being treated fairly and not with injustice.

The book does wonders to help managers become increasingly supportive and sensitive about the well-being of their employees and create a whole set of new principles on which they base their new set of management ideals.

But it’s the 21st century and the era of self-help apps that can help you follow these amazing principles from the book and apply them to the organizational structure of today and become a better leader.

The internet is filled with apps that can help you make more and more advanced In your leadership skills but below we have compiled an expert list of apps that can effectively target every important point in a good leader’s personality checklist to help you be the best leader/role model for your employees in the future.

Let’s take a look at the apps and how they can help you.

1. Dropbox

The most important quality of a good leader is that he/she never stops to learn and improve themselves in every aspect because they can never be perfect. Dropbox just happens to be an amazing app that serves as a centralized hub for all the information e.g. books, journals and the lessons learned.

This app can let you hook it up with any text editor you want and summon your documents with their amazing cloud storage facilities so that you can have all of your information stored in their servers presented to you at a moment’s notice.

You should also a proper system for organizing all of your documents and information and Dropbox can provide you with that facility. The app also has an amazing folder download feature that will let you organize your documents and information on the cloud with the same ease with which you organize them on your local PC.

2. Pocket

The next app that is wonderful in increasing your knowledge on a daily basis is Pocket. This helps you to manage all of the reading material that you saved from all over the internet according to your requirements.

This will help you to keep track of all the articles that you have or haven’t read, and you can also give them coded designations so that you can find them more easily when you look for them later.

3. Evernote

This is a favorite for the employees and managers alike because it’s the best note-keeping app you will find on the internet. This app allows a manager to write his thoughts down and also helps to maintain a proper hierarchy of notebooks which helps amazingly in increasing long-term retention and self-knowledge.

Also, this app has two amazing features that are: keeping your to-do lists made and curated easily and the second is note dictation which comes in handy when you are reading an article and have to save some important things to transfer later into the cloud. You can view these saved notes later in the cloud directory.

4. nTask

The next app to help you with your leadership goals is nTask which is an amazing project management tool that will let you keep track of all of the activities going around in your team. This app allows you to follow Lesson 1 of the book One Minute Manager which requires you to set proper goals for your employees which you can easily review later in sixty seconds or less.

With its task manager, team management capabilities and even daily routine management, you can quickly get your work done and spend more time on developing yourself and your team; great for implementing the one minute manager te.

5. Zoom

Zoom is an amazing connectivity app that helps you to maintain an incredible communications structure with all of your team members and help you become the one minute manager. This allows you to easily apply the second lesson of the book One Minute Manager which was to praise their work and also apply the third lecture where you should tell them what they did wrong quickly and precisely so that they can improve on their work.

The way these app works is that it is effectively a solution for video and web conferencing hurdles if you have a virtual team and you can’t collaborate physically with them face to face.

This app has amazing potential because of all of the features that they boast and helps you to maintain communication with your team. Some of the features are:

  • Dynamic voice detection
  • Mobile screen sharing for iPhone and iPad, making it easy to conduct meetings on the go.
  • HD video and voice
  • Webinar capabilities.
  • Ability to host a meeting with or without video, or with screen share only.

6. HubSpot CRM

A great leader is also the individual who wants to make a deeper positive impression on not only their employees but also in the minds and hearts of the customers and for that HubSpot’s CRM is an amazing solution.

This application will allow you to have deeper communication with the customers and you can see, in real-time, what they actually want and then you can properly respond to their demands and needs.


This article started with the most amazing book that our past and current organizational structure badly needed i.e. One Minute Manager by Spencer Johnson and Ken Blanchard. because with the passing time, human interaction whether physical or over the internet is decreasing. This is because companies are growing beyond comprehension and you can not keep track of thousands and thousands of employees.

Still, companies can develop special structures for their departments where they can vet the managers to be more supportive to your team and managers should be encouraged to be more self-developing because a person that is not willing to change will not benefit the company in these ever-changing times.

The self-help apps described in the article are amazingly helpful to take care of the managers and all their hurdles that are stopping them from being better productive leaders. These will teach them to make themselves better until their teams and customers are happy, and the business booms.

So, all in all, self-development can be improved by books, articles or reading impressive management journals, and also from different apps from the internet, but the most important factor which is helpful in a person’s self-development and increased productivity, is their capacity to change because if they are not willing to put their ego and their principles aside which are not the things to keep treading along in this day and age, they will never grow and they will never get to be great leaders.

Originally published at on September 17, 2019.




nTask is an all-in-one online project management software trusted by smart teams to organize work. Sign up today — it’s free.