The One Minute Manager Review : An outdated tale of leadership?

Good advice should be timeless. Look at Aesop's Fables. While he may have just gathered the stories, the advice within them are relevant today as it was the day the stories were first told. The problem today is that the wisdom is still valid but the stories can feel a bit outdated. Especially when others have taken the wisdom and spun their own tales or updated Aesop's.
In today's maze / jungle of contradicting pop/fad notions and self-help books (my site not excluded), it is easy to forget about the classics. Read them and be surprised at how today's authors can be seen as repeating the notions first brought up over a thousand years ago. While their problems may not be the same as hours, they grappled with similar notions and problems. I hope to write on Epictetus and Sun Tzu one day. They are so many lessons and ideas brought up by them that a few posts would do them no justice.
So I've set my sight lower, to a revered if not-so-classic book, The One Minute Manager. This is one of those books that I've read and forgot only to find them again later in life. If you haven't read it, be prepared for surprises. First, for a books so respected, it is quite thin. I first thought it would get the message across faster, focus on the important stuff. Then came surprise no 2, it is actually a fable. Not as eloquent as Aesop's but a fable nonetheless. The lessons are incorporated in a story of a young man in search of the 'effective manager'. We are not privy to the background of his quest, only that he is on it. He finds the manager and begins to learn from the manager and his subordinates the lessons that form the model or paradigm of the one minute manager.

The lessons the books provides are clear, concise and easy to follow. However, it does shows it's age. First published in the 80s, some of the actions examples in the book can now land you in a sexual harassment suit. The story setting also makes the lessons to be more relevant in a manufacturing or factory-like workplace. It is up to the reader to think about the lessons and move them within today's more creative, more mashed-up workplace. Which is a good thing. The story setup as well as the style of telling it makes the book feel more fairy-tale-like, the characters less believable. This blunts the impact and the lessons somewhat. While it's ok to walk away from a Disney movie with the lessons of good conquers all, we were probably much younger then. However, I am going to chalk that up to the fact that it was written for an audience of a different era. 7
The rules of the world of The One Minute Manager tries to be realistic but seems overly simplistic. This contrasted with the real-world advice that its trying to tell. In the end, it became a distraction. It is real or its not. With Aesop at least, the story of his world is so fantastic we know it's limitations. We accept the moral of the story but also understand animals don't talk.
However, this does not mean the book has nothing to offer today's managers.  The lessons are still relevant. You just need to bring them into this century.