Top positive review
If you're rushed off your feet, this book might be the answer
13 December 2016
When I first read read this book in the early 1990s, it was a huge wake-up call.
No wonder there weren't enough working hours in the day as I allowed my staff's monkeys to jump onto my shoulders.
A monkey is the next move in a problem or project. All too easily, when a staff member comes to you with a problem, you can fall into the trap of accepting responsibility the next action eg thinking about it to try to find a solution, contacting someone else etc. The less time you have to work through it with your staff member, the greater the tendency for the monkey to jump.
To rub salt into the wound, your staff can then start chasing you to see if you've done your step. They are holding you accountable for doing their work.
The book explains the entire process which is illuminating. More importantly, it teaches you how to deal with these monkeys, which normally means making sure that they stay with the staff members but you remain in control by scheduling the next review meeting.
This monkey transfer happens with good intentions. As the manager, you know your job is to support your staff and you're responsible for what they do or don't do. Unfortunately allowing a monkey to jump is harmful to you, your organisation and your staff. You get busier, the business doesn't get the things done it needs done. Your staff can't learn and develop if, every time things get hard, you take responsibility for the job off them.
Just like The New One Minute Manager (The One Minute Manager), this is a great book that will change the way you work. These books are told in a management fable style to make them easy to read and understand. This one doesn't have much of a story but hopefully you can see yourself first in the before scenario and then in the after when you've learnt monkey management.
About my book reviews - My goal is to help you to find the best business advice. I aim to be a tough reviewer because the main cost of a book is not the money to buy it but the time needed to read it and absorb the key messages. 5 stars means that I think that overall it has some vital messages in it.
Paul Simister, a business coach who helps business owners who feel stuck, get unstuck.