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"Nine minutes on Monday is designed to help you transform your leadership slowly, implementing small steps."
- James Robbins, Consultant












The idea is to make those nine questions routine. For the first month, you start with only the first four questions – the primary needs – until you become comfortable with them. Then you add one new minute a week, building these new habits slowly and not feeling overwhelmed.


Being a Better Manager



The primary four needs of an employee are:

  1. Care - defined as the need to be more than a number
  2. Mastery - the need for challenge and achievement
  3. Recognition - the need to be appreciated
  4. Purpose - the need to contribute and be significant

Each of the nine questions focuses you on one of the needs, and how you can spend time in the week ahead making progress with one or more of your staff:

Minute 1: How will I take a genuine interest in my employees this week? This might involve a 15-minute walkabout, to chat with staff, or remembering to check in with a staff member returning today from two weeks tending a sick mother.

Minute 2: Whom will I give feedback to this week? Mr. Robbins calls feedback the Midas touch, because people crave it and it can turn them into gold.

Minute 3: Whom will I reward or recognize this week? He notes that opportunities for reward and recognition are like birthdays; they have to be recognized immediately or within a week, or the belated wishes are stale.

Minute 4: Whom will I give the “second paycheck” to this week, helping them to understand the purpose behind their work? He considers purpose like a second paycheck, motivating people even more than their real paycheck.

Minute 5: How can I promote a feeling of autonomy in one employee this week?

Minute 6: How can I help someone grow this week?

Minute 7: How do I make my team cohere better this week, creating greater social bonding between members and with their roles?

Minute 8: Where can I inject some fun this week?

Minute 9: What model do my employees need from me this week? Managers routinely model certain attitudes or behaviors, but sometimes the situation calls for something different or for special attention to some behavior. This question prods you to ponder the possibilities.

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