One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey

This is going to be a concise review, because this is a concise book which is useful for one very simple reason: it highlights, and takes apart, one of he most insidious dynamics in all human communication. You don’t have to be a manager to appreciate this (I, for one, have generally been on the receiving end of management in the workplace). It’s a fact of human interaction. Have you ever had one of those conversations that wears you out? You know, those exchanges where your interlocutor arrives burdened down with troubles and leaves practically skipping with relief and joy while you are left feeling like a wet dishrag on its last use?

You might not know what just happened, but the One Minute Manager does. You’ve just been given a monkey, or possibly several. Hell, you might just have invited that monkey onto your shoulders yourself. In the One Minute Manager’s world, monkeys mean problems: practical, material, emotional, spiritual. They clamber, happily and indiscriminately, from shoulder to shoulder, settling on the backs of anyone willing to carry them. We all have our share of monkeys, but the trick is to know which are truly yours. And this excellent (if occasionally rather cheesy) book aims to give you the tools you need.

Unlike my colleague John, who has given us his thoughts on Blanchard and Co. I find the One Minute Manager extremely useful in everyday interactions with friends, colleagues, comrades. The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey is a book about managers who describe some rather simple rules for managing better by not taking on other people’s work. It states by taking on other’s problems it makes it harder for you, and other’s to develop skills. The book addresses questions as to why some manager’s run out of time, while their employees are not working. It states that managers are taking on their employees monkeys.

Monkeys in this case are efined as the “next move” to be taken in any problem or situation. An example would be when the manager says to his employees “let me think about it” or “I’ll get back to you on this”. The books says that many times the employee should be able to solve some of those problems without running to the manager, who in turn accepts it. Four simple rules of a Monkey Management is 1. Describe the Monkey: The Manager and employee must not end until appropriate moves are identified and specified. 2. Assign the Monkey: All Monkeys shall be owned and handled at the lowest organizational level consistent with their welfare. Insure the Monkey: Every monkey leaving the managers presence on the back of one of the people must be covered by one of the two insurance policies. 1 . recommend, then act or 2 act and then advise 4) Check on the monkey: proper follow-up means healthier monkeys. Every monkey needs a checkup appointment. The purpose of these rules is to make SUre the right things get done the right way at the right time by the right people. The books goes on to talk about assigning and delegating work.

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