by Ron Richardson
The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard, Ph.D. and Spencer Johnson, M.D.
Susan J. Bramlette, LMFT
This book is an easily-read story which quickly demonstrates three very practical management techniques. It also includes information on several studies in medicine and in the behavioral sciences, which help you understand why these apparently simple methods work so well with so many people. The book is brief and the language is simple.
The One Minute Manager is a concise, easily read story that reveals three very practical secrets: One Minute Goals, One Minute Praisings, and One Minute Reprimands. Going beyond the premise of managing in one-minute chunks, the broader lessons are the values that get expressed in those minutes--such as respecting people, providing emotional security for them, setting reasonable but challenging goals, and expecting them to develop excellent work habits.
There's also the value of being concise in all communication, which confining one's input to one-minute chunks certainly facilitates. The lessons are both simple and profound, and are crafted and expressed with as much elegance as any management advice I've heard. I think this communication tool can help people manage their interpersonal communications more concisely, clearly, and proactively.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change was a groundbreaker when it was first published in 1990, and it continues to be a business bestseller. Stephen Covey, an internationally respected leadership authority, realizes that true success encompasses a balance of personal and professional effectiveness, so this book is a manual for performing better in both arenas. His anecdotes are as frequently from family situations as from business challenges.
Before you can adopt the seven habits, you'll need to accomplish what Covey calls a "paradigm shift"--a change in perception and interpretation of how the world works. Covey takes you through this change, which affects how you perceive and act regarding productivity, time management, positive thinking, developing your "proactive muscles" (acting with initiative rather than reacting), and much more.
This isn't a quick-tips-start-tomorrow kind of book. The concepts are sometimes intricate, and I wanted to study this book, not skim it. Throughout the lessons, Covey's presence is both learned and thoroughly appealing. He drops references to the likes of Socrates, T.S. Eliot, and Robert Frost with the aplomb of an English professor. And his knack for mixing everyday stories with abstract concepts manages to clarify difficult issues while respecting your intelligence. In the end, we're moved to learn more about integrating all seven habits in our struggle to become better and, yes, more highly effective people.