Book review: The One Minute Manager Meets The Monkey

The other day, I was talking with a tech entrepreneur and asked him “What are the biggest challenges you face in your business?

He replied “Me, I’m the bottleneck. I tend to see something isn’t working, and I jump in and get involved.”

Most dedicated business owners can relate to this.

Letting go of the reins and handing them over your employees can be a real struggle, and if you want to grow your business, you’ve got to do it.

Business owners must carefully define the roles and responsibilities of the company, hand these jobs to the right person and have the confidence not to jump in or micromanage every task.

If you struggle with “bottleneck syndrome”, we recommend Ken Blanchard’s The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey.

The book explains when it’s time to let go and delegate and how to coach and empower your employees.

The monkey in the book’s title refers to this exact phenomenon. The monkey is whatever the “next move” is on a project or problem, it’s not the problem itself.

When an employee comes to a manager with a monkey, the monkey jumps from the employee’s back right onto the manager’s back.

The book tells you how to return the monkey to its rightful owner, so you can get back to your own role, responsibilities and to dos.

The whole ethos is “Don’t take on a problem if it isn’t yours.”  Step by step, the book reveals how managers can free themselves from doing everyone else’s job and ensure every problem is handled by the right person.

It offers four simple rules to help leaders become effective supervisors of time, energy and talent – especially their own.

  1. A boss and staff member shall not part company until appropriate “next moves” have been identified and specified.
  2. The dialogue between boss and staff member must not end until ownership of each monkey is assigned to a person.
  3. The dialogue between boss and staff member shall not end until all monkeys have been insured, giving the staff member the authority and freedom to handle their monkey.
  4. The dialogue between boss and staff member shall not end until the monkey has a check-up appointment. This means setting a time for follow up discussions.

These four rules dovetail perfectly with how you run your business on the Entrepreneurial Operating System.

Ultimately The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey is a time-management tool; so often I find leadership teams are working longer hours and harder than the the rest of the company, because they are taking on everyone else’s work as well as their own.

This book helps leadership teams to save time, and work on the things they should be working on.

For more information on delegation and coaching, contact us today on +44 (0)7795 667480.

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