Book Discussion

Leadership and the One Minute Manager: Increasing Effectiveness through Situational Leadership

By Ken Blanchard and Patricia Zigarmi [William Morrow and Company, Inc., Oct 6, 1999],

ASIN: 0-688-03969-3

 


‘Teaching Situational Leadership’

By Victor E. Dike

 

The authors of ‘Leadership and the One Minute Manager,’ Ken Blanchard and Patricia Zigarmi, adopted the same approach used by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson in The One Minute Manager to teach managers the art and science of ‘situational leadership.’ Adopting different methods to motivate different individuals, Leadership and The One Minute Manager teaches the art and science of management, as it describes the effective and adaptive ‘styles of Situational Leadership.’ I find this book and its teaching techniques interesting as it emphasizes the need for managers to understand the basic and practical management style of treating employees’ right, and at the time not following the traditional method and belief of treating everyone in the same manner.

The teaching techniques adopted in the book are suitable for teachers and students in the adult learning environment. Adult learners should be treated differently from one another because they have different baggage of problems. In concise, simple, and clear terms the book teaches how to be a flexible and good leader, adjusting your management or leadership style to the needs of the individuals and the situation on the ground. It also uses the One-Minute Manager techniques to motivate others and enhance their productivity.

This book deals with the basic leadership styles: directing, coaching, supporting, and delegating as it discusses choosing a leadership style appropriate for various aspects or levels of development. This book is not teaching anything new; in fact, it is a synthesis of major leadership styles already proposed and discussed by many management gurus. However, the emphasis on using the right leadership styles with different people – ‘different strokes to different people (so to say as long as it is not discriminatory) - is what makes this book unique. This approach – a departure from the old school of treating everyone the same way - is in my humble opinion, revolutionary. My experience in adult classroom (as a college instructor) shows that adult learners prefer to be treated differently as opposed to the traditional teacher-dominated class instruction. To facilitate their rate of learning and understanding and their academic progress the teacher has to provide room for students to exchange ideas and learn from one another. This provides an opportunity for them to learn from the experiences of others what they can apply on their jobs the next day. One objectives of Leadership and the One Minute Manager is to enhance employee productivity through proper motivation; thus a better management approach gets the desired results from employees. To begin a task with 'Goal Setting' brings in a commitment for success and helps the individual to understand their duties and to reach the target goals. This book is easy to read and comprehend. This book is an excellent guide for business manager and leaders! The authors demonstrated insight and understanding in describing employee/employer relationship, and clearly show more effective ways for them to get along. If you don’t treat your employees’ right they will not like you – and, if they don’t like you, you would not get along with them. Thus, employees, like students, are at their BEST when they are respected and treated right. Everyone feels good and happy when they accomplish their set goals.

This book is simple, creative, and easy-to-read and is sprinkled with lots of easy-to-use and real life anecdotes and metaphors. It is, therefore, a must read for students, teachers, school administrators, business managers, and other individuals interested in learning the practical leadership style of treating others right.