Nine Minutes on Monday | Book Review

James Robbins has written a story-filled, engaging book for immediate use when transitioning from manager to leader. Buy it.

“In Osvaldo’s mind, he is ultimately paid to do one thing – to get people to the top of the mountain -- What are you being paid to do?”

Borrowed and assembled from pages seven and eight (and a reminder from our High-Payoff Activities exercise), Robbins challenges us: Who or what are we? Just tech support, an individual contributor, a cog in the wheel, or- perhaps - a growing leader?

The Nine Needs

Robbins describes Nine Needs that drive us:

Addressing these nine needs, one minute at a time, once a week, form the book’s outline.

Credit Robbins for going deep, repeatedly citing Herzberg (pages 62, 89, 111, 118), then perhaps hinting Viktor Frankl (control page 115), and highlighting Csíkszentmihályi (pages 63-68). Motivation is indeed a big deal. Recommending small doses, as in helping one person (via each minute summary) each week lowers the engagement bar allowing anyone to start with minimal routine changes.

Nine Minutes

Chapters 5 – 13 address the primary (chapters 5-8) and secondary (chapters 9-13) needs. 

Minute          Chapter          Summary (pages)
One                      5                           58-59
Two                      6                           78-79
Three                   7                           95-96
Four                     8                         106-107
Five                      9                         120-121
Six                       10                        135-136
Seven                  11                         155-156
Eight                   12                        168-169
Nine                    13                         183-184

Chapter 10, Foam Pits and Trampolines: The Need to Grow, is a gem, indirectly obliterating phony exercises such as annual performance reviews by challenging a daily commitment to coaching and mentoring by each individual supervisor. Idea: A social contract based on this chapter required for new supervisors.

A Final Thought

“Yet, according to a poll by Maritz Research, only 11 percent of employees strongly agree that their managers show consistency between their words and actions.” - page 45.

How do you measure up? Buy this book for yourself today, and tomorrow for those you are coaching to lead.

JE | October 2014