Does anyone out there remember The One Minute Manager? A short, easy-to-understand management book written by Kenneth Blanchard, the author’s guidelines included one minute goal setting followed by one minute praisings and one minute reprimands. The ideas were clearly stated and simple. Simple is good. The book was wildly popular, and its proponents still swear by its usefulness. I’m using a story in Blanchard’s book as a shameless (shameful) plug for Crossing the Bridge: Succeeding in a Community College and Beyond.
Right after I read this Blanchard’s book, the college where I was employed purchased a video of him discussing the One Minute Manager. Everyone loved it, and instructors soon learned to reserve it weeks ahead of time if they planned to use it in management, business, or human relations classes. I showed it a few times myself, and I can still remember how entertaining, informative, and convincing Blanchard was.
Lately I can’t seem to get this video out of my mind. Here’s what I remember most vividly. At the end of the video, Dr. Blanchard says something like, “Don’t be like the person who falls off the side of a cliff, catches on to a limb, and holds on for dear life. Scared to death, the person looks up and asks, “Is there anyone up there who can help me?”
“Yes, I can help you,” says a booming voice. “I will save you. All you have to do is let go.”
The man looked at the thousands of feet below him, and then he looked up towards the source of the voice. After a moment, he asks, “Is there anyone else up there?”
Blanchard, a charismatic speaker, chuckled and said, “Don’t go away from this presentation thinking, “Well, that was interesting. I wonder what else is out there. Don’t go looking for other principles or theories. This is it! It will work.” (paraphrase)
I thought of Dr. Blanchard again last week when students asked me what they could do to improve their grades. I suggested reading the material before coming to class, using the SQ3R study method, and taking the pre- and post-tests in the text. Simple ideas, right?
“But I don’t have time to do all of that. I have a job,” someone said. “Is there anything else I can do?”
No, nothing else. There are no magic formulas or shortcuts for succeeding in college. However, if you listen to what I’m telling you, I will help you. You can trust me.