The One Minute Manager Builds High Performing Teams

Ken Blanchard, The One Minute Manager Builds High Performing Teams (New York, New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 2000)


  • Presuppositions
  • Summary of P.E.R.F.O.R.M. Group Dynamics
  • 7 Characteristics of High Performing Groups
  • The Leader’s Role
  • Understanding Group Dynamics
  • Stage 1: Orientation (“sniffing-each-other-out”)
  • Stage 2: Dissatisfaction
  • Stage 3: Integration
  • Stage 4: Transformational
  • Summary

These Headings are modified from Blanchard’s book and are provided with a view to building transformational home group leadership teams.


  • None of us is as smart as all of us.
  • The only thing which will ultimately hold any organization together will be a shared conviction in its PURPOSE and in its METHODS (HABITS).
  • When groups get larger than 15 or 20 people, they become less effective and should divide into smaller units to accomplish tasks or solve problems.

Summary of P.E.R.F.O.R.M. Group Dynamics

Starts With Then Requires To Achieve
Clear (P)urpose & Set of Values (E)mpowerment (O)ptimal Productivity
  (R)elationships & Communication (M)orale High
  (R)ecognition & Appreciation  
  • (P)urpose & Set of Values
    • The team has a clear commitment to a common purpose.  Team members know what the team’s work is and why it is important.
    • Common values and norms promote integrity, quality and collaboration.
    • Specific team goals are clear, challenging, agreed on and relevant to the purpose.
    • Strategies for achieving goals are clear and agreed on.
    • Individual roles are clear, and their relationship to the team purpose & goals is understood
  • (E)mpowerment
    • Values, norms and policies encourage initiative, involvement and creativity.
    • All relevant organization and ministry information is readily available to the team.
    • The team has the authority, within understood boundaries, to take action and make decisions.
    • Direction, structure and training are available to support individual and team development.
    • The team is committed to the continuing growth and development of all team members.
  • (R)elationships and Communication
    • Different ideas, opinions, feelings & perspectives from all team members are encouraged and considered.
    • Team members listen actively to each other for understanding, not judgment.
    • Methods of managing conflict and finding common ground are understood.
    • Cultural differences including race, gender, nationality, age, etc. are valued and respected.
    • Honest and caring feedback helps team members to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
  • (F)lexibility
    • Team members share responsibility for team development and leadership.
    • The team is able to meet challenges using the unique talents and strengths of all team members.
    • Team members shift from behaviors that provide direction or support as needed.
    • The team is open to exploring different ways of doing things and adapts to change.
    • Calculated risks are supported.  Mistakes are seen as opportunities for learning.
  • (O)ptimal Performance
    • The team consistently produces significant results;  the job gets done.
    • The team is committed to high standards and measures for productivity, quality and service.
    • The team is committed to learning from mistakes and to continuous improvement.
    • Effective problem-solving and decision-making skills overcome obstacles and promote creativity.
    • The team coordinates efforts with other teams as appropriate.
  • (R)ecognition and Appreciation
    • Individual and team accomplishments are often acknowledged by team leaders and team members.
    • Team members have a sense of personal accomplishment in relation to task contribution.
    • Team contributions are valued and recognized by the larger organization.
    • Team members feel highly regarded within the team.
    • The team celebrates successes and milestones
  • (M)orale
    • Team members are confident and enthusiastic about the team’s efforts and are committed to success.
    • The team encourages hard work, as well as having fun.
    • There is a strong sense of pride in and satisfaction with the team’s work.
    • There is a strong sense of trust and team spirit among team members.
    • Team members have developed supportive and caring relationships and help each other.

7 Characteristics of High Performing Groups

  • Each person knows what they have to do and the team’s goals are clear.
  • Everyone takes some responsibility for leadership.
  • There is active participation by everyone.
  • People feel appreciated and supported by others.
  • Team members listen to each other speak.
  • Different opinions are respected.
  • The group enjoys working together and has fun.

The Leader’s Role

  • Effective leaders adjust their style to provide what the group can’t provide for itself.
  • The most important function of a leader is to help coach the group through the stages of development from orientation through dissatisfaction to integration to delegation – no developmental stage is ‘bad’; rather each stage is an important step in the process.
  • You will never, never, never have an empowered self-directed team unless the leader is willing to share control!
  • The words leader and educator are synonymous.
  • Empowerment is all about letting go so that others can get going.
  • You have to trust the process.

Understanding Group Dynamics

  • Understand dynamics and behavioral patters by OBSERVING THE TEAM IN ACTION.
  • You must observe CONTENT and PROCESS in group interactions.
    • Content: What the group does
    • Process: How the group functions
  • The leaders should be a participating observer and teach their group members to be participant observers.
    • COMMUNICATION & PARTICIPATION: Who talks to whom? Who’s left out? Who talks most often?
    • DECISION MAKING: How do they make decisions? Dictated by leader?  Majority rules? Group involvement/ consensus? Lack of response?
    • CONFLICT: Necessary, but how is it handled? Avoidance? Compromise? Competition? Collaboration?
    • LEADERSHIP: Who influences whom?
    • GOALS & ROLES: What are we trying to accomplish? Who does what?
    • GROUP’S NORMS: What are assumptions or expectations held by groups members that govern the kinds of behaviors that are appropriate or inappropriate in the group?  These become the ground rules which regulate the group’s behavior! Which norms are most obvious in this group?
    • PROBLEM-SOLVING: How does the group solve problems?  How do they identify and formulate the problem?  Generate alternative solutions? Analyze consequences?  Do action planning and evaluation? 
    • GROUP CLIMATE: What is the overall feeling or tone of the group?  How pleasant does it seem?
    • INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOR: What are group members doing to help accomplish the task(s) or help the group function?  Who is self-oriented instead of group-oriented?

Stage 1: Orientation (“sniffing-each-other-out”)

“This is the stage when the team needs to develop a team charter that creates a solid foundation for the future work of the team and makes sure that all the needs will be satisfied.”


  • Moderate eagerness
  • High often unrealistic expectations
  • Anxiety about roles, acceptance, trust in others, demands on them
  • Tentative, polite conforming behavior
  • Lack of clarity about purpose, norms, roles, goals, structure (how they will work together)
  • Dependent on authority for direction & support
  • Some testing of boundaries


  • A common understanding of the team’s purpose
  • Agreement on values & norms for working together
  • Agreement on roles, goals & standards
  • Agreement on decision-making authority & accountability
  • Agreement on structure & boundaries – how work will get done and by whom, timelines, tasks & required skills
  • Information about available resources
  • Knowledge about each other to utilize diverse talents and build personal connections


  • Personal well-being
  • Acceptance
  • Trust

Role of the Transformational Leader in Stage 1

  • Lay out the groundwork necessary to provide overall clarity about the structure, direction & expectations for the group.
  • Checkpoint to monitor how people are feeling and to verify understanding of the big picture and of the most important next steps & priorities for the group at this time.
  • Communicate assurance that uncertainties regarding individual roles, responsibilities & relationships within the group are normal and will work themselves out over time.

Stage 2: Dissatisfaction

“It’s a stage that all teams go through on their way to being productive where morale often takes a dip..  It is a stage that is rarely, if ever, avoided.  Although this stage is characterized by power struggles and conflict, it also is the seedbed of creativity and valuing differences.  Groups need to work through the issues inherent in the Dissatisfaction stage.  They need to be encouraged to express their feelings of frustration and confusion so that those feelings can be dealt with and resolved.”


  • Discrepancy between expectations and reality
  • Confusion and frustration around roles & goals
  • Dissatisfaction with dependence upon authority
  • Expression of dissatisfaction (sometimes indirect, and often not shared directly with the leader)
  • Formulation of coalitions
  • Feelings of incompetence, confusion, low confidence
  • Competition for power, authority and attention
  • Low trust
  • Negative relating, grumbling & interrupting
  • Some task accomplishment, but not yet what the group is capable of


  • Clarification of big picture
  • Redefinition of purpose, roles, goals, and structure
  • Recommitment to values and norms (‘one another imperatives’ of unity, forgiveness; forbearance; serving; acceptance, etc)
  • Development of team and task skills
  • Development of communication processes including active listening, the exchange of nonjudgmental feedback, conflict management, and problem solving
  • Valuing of differences
  • Access to information and resources
  • Encouragement & reassurance
  • Recognition of accomplishments
  • Open and honest discussion of issues including emotional blocks, coalitions, and personality conflicts
  • Mutual accountability and responsibility


  • Power
  • Control
  • Conflict

Role of the Transformational Leader in Stage 2

  • Remain assertive in terms of providing direction on tasks & getting people to work together
  • Listen patiently, get people to express their thoughts & opinions, and provide high encouragement .

Stage 3: Integration

“It’s the bridge between the dissatisfaction of Stage 2 & the excitement & efficiency of Stage 4.  This stage is often fairly brief.”


  • Members chat and joke amicably when together – genuinely enjoy each other
  • Tend to be cordial with newcomers & outsiders; also a bit of reserve and discomfort evident
  • Able to laugh about prior disagreements along with the team leader
  • Willing to engage immediately
  • Increased clarity & commitment on roles, goals, tasks & structure
  • Increase commitment to norms and values
  • Increased task accomplishment – moderate to high
  • Growing trust, cohesion, harmony & mutual respect
  • Willingness to share in responsibility, leadership & control
  • Understanding and valuing of differences
  • Use of team language – “we” rather than “me”
  • Tendency to avoid conflict (i.e. group-think)


  • Integration of team and individual roles & goals, norms & structure
  • Continued skill development
  • Encouragement to share different perspectives and to disagree in order to further develop problem-solving skills
  • Continued building of trust & positive relationships
  • Shared responsibility for leadership & team functioning
  • A focus on increasing productivity
  • Evaluation of and learning from each experience
  • Recognition and celebration of success


  • Sharing of control
  • Avoidance of conflict

Role of the Transformational Leader in Stage 3

Teach them how to laugh, share control to let them manage it (if you remain directing, they never will!), model effective team membership, jump in to help them out if necessary, draw silent members out to ward off ‘group-think’ social pressures which prevent members from disagreeing, working through conflict & reaching full genuine consensus. Help team get confidence & cohesiveness to manage disagreement and value differences.

Stage 4: Transformational

“It’s a where teams seem to have it all together, where they enjoy each other and the work and the group seems to manage itself.  The climate is very positive, attractive and inviting to outsiders.  They work quickly, sharing information, proposing ideas and assimilating new members smoothly in an atmosphere of high energy and high productivity.  They may differ with one another, even argue, but are always able to resolve their differences,  joking & teasing and operating together as one unit.”


  • Clear purpose, values, roles & goals
  • Empowering team practices that free team energy and lead to continuous improvement
  • Relationships and communication built on trust, mutual respect and openness
  • Flexibility and shared leadership that allow the team to respond to new challenges
  • Optimal productivity and high standards
  • Recognition and appreciation for individual and team accomplishments
  • High morale


  • Continued focus on productivity
  • New challenges
  • Recognition & celebration of team accomplishments
  • Individual acknowledgement
  • Decision-making autonomy within boundaries


  • New challenges
  • Continued growth and learning

Role of the Transformational Leader in Stage 4 

  • Occasional reinforcement & validation as needed, but mostly hands-off in ongoing group affairs
  • Main work is behind the scenes to complete plans for replicating a new group and raising up of new group leaders


There are four different stages of group development that a team can be in at any one moment in time.   The two extremes are:

  • Stage 1:  Orientation
    • Productivity is low because team members are not clear on goals and tasks and have minimal knowledge and skills about how to function as a team.
    • Morale is high, though, as everyone is excited about being a part of the team and has high expectations
  • Stage 4:  Transformational
    • Productivity is high as team members have the knowledge, skills and morale to be a high-performing group.

In between the two extremes are:

  • Stage 2:  Dissatisfaction
    • When the honeymoon is over and the initial high expectations of the team are seen as being more difficult to achieve
  • Stage 3:  Integration
    • When the the team is learning to work together resolving differences and developing confidence and cohesion.

The relationship between productivity and morale

  • Productivity  increases slowly through the four stages, starting low in Orientation and continuing to improve through Dissatisfaction and Integration until it is high in Transformation.
  • Morale or enthusiasm started high in Orientation, and then takes a dip in Dissatisfaction, but then it begins to increase again in Integration & Transformation.

The relationship between Direction and Support provided by the leader

  • Direction needed decreases steadily through the four stages, starting at its peak in Orientation (when productivity is at its lowest), remaining high through Dissatisfaction, after which it ban be throttled back during Integration until it is low in Transformation (when productivity is at its highest).
  • Support needed increases from a low level in Orientation (when morale is high) to a peak level during Dissatisfaction and the transition into Integration (when morale is at its lowest), after which it can be throttled back as morale rises again entering Transformation.