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One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey

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One simple idea can set you free: Don't take on a problem if it isn't yours! One of the most liberating books in the extraordinary One Minute Manager Library teaches managers an unforgettable lesson: how to have time to do what they want and need to do. The authors tell why managers who accept every problem given them by their staffs become hopeless bottlenecks. With a vivid, humorous, and too-familar scenario they show a manager loaded down by all the monkeys that have jumped from their rightful owners onto his ...

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One simple idea can set you free: Don't take on a problem if it isn't yours! One of the most liberating books in the extraordinary One Minute Manager Library teaches managers an unforgettable lesson: how to have time to do what they want and need to do. The authors tell why managers who accept every problem given them by their staffs become hopeless bottlenecks. With a vivid, humorous, and too-familar scenario they show a manager loaded down by all the monkeys that have jumped from their rightful owners onto his back. Then step by step they show how managers can free themselves from doing everyone else's job and ensure that every problem is handled by the proper staff person. By using Oncken's Four Rules of Monkey Management managers will learn to become effective supervisors of time, energy, and talent -- especially their own.

If you have ever wondered why you are in the office on the weekends and your staff is on the golf course, The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey is for youit's priceless!

The author tells managers not to take on problems if the problems don't belong to them. He tells them how to give back these monkeys, thus increasing production and reducing stress.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this latest in the One Minute Manager series, the authors chastise executives who never have time for family or their own job enhancement because they accept too many responsibilities--``monkeys'' clinging to their backs--that properly belong to their staffs. Based on seminars conducted by the late Oncken, the book explains in simple-minded if abstract terms how to achieve a balance between supervision and delegation for reduced tension and improved productivity. ``There is a high correlation between self-reliance and morale,'' stress the authors. With humor and logic they describe the delicate business of assigning monkeys to the right masters and keeping them healthy, i.e., fed and cared for: `` . . . if monkeys are managed properly, you don't have to manage people so much.'' Unequivocal assignments, proper coaching and interim check-ups, according to this program, can lead to effective delegation and, with it, a better life at home and office. BOMC selection. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688103804
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/1989
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 137
  • Sales rank: 41,459
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Blanchard is the Chief Spiritual Officer of the Ken Blanchard Companies. He is the coauthor of The One Minute Manager, Raving Fans and many other international bestsellers. His books have combined sales of more than eighteen million copies in more than twenty-seven languages.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

If you are someone who feels overwhelmedwith problems created by other people, what youare about to read can change your life. It's the storyof a manager, but it applies as well to other roles inlife, especially parents and teachers.

This is the account of how my career went from imminent failure to considerable success after some wise counsel from two able people. My purpose in telling it here is to pass along their wisdom to you in the hope that it will help you as it has helped me.

The story begins some two years ago after a luncheon meeting with my friend, the One Minute Manager. I returned to my office, sat down at my desk, shook my head in amazement, and thought about what had just happened.

During lunch I had poured out my frustrations about my work. My friend listened and then told me the cause of my problems. I was astonished that the solution was so obvious.

What surprised me most was that the problem was self-inflicted. I guess that's why I couldn't see it without some help. But when my eyes were opened I realized that I was not alone; I knew other managers with the same problem.

As I sat there alone in my office I laughed aloud. "Monkeys!" I said to no one in particular. "I never would have suspected my problem is monkeys."

For the first time in a long time I remember smiling as I glanced at the picture on my desk of my wife and children. I began to look forward to enjoying more time with them.

About a year before the "monkey revelation" I had been appointed to my first management position. Things had started off well. I was initially very enthusiastic about my new work, and my attitude seemed to rub off on the people whoreported to me. Productivity and morale gradually increased; both had been reported to be low before I took over as head of the department.

After the initial surge, however, the output of the department began to decline, slowly at first, then rapidly. The drop in performance was followed by a similar slide in morale. Despite long hours and hard work, I was unable to arrest the decline in my department. I was puzzled and very frustrated; it seemed that the harder I worked, the further behind I got and the worse the performance of my department became.

I was working extra hours every workday as well as Saturdays and some Sundays. I just never got caught up. There was pressure every minute, and it was extremely frustrating. I feared I was developing an ulcer and a nervous twitch!

I realized that all this was starting to wear a little thin with my family, too. I was so seldom home that my wife, Sarah, had to manage most of the family problems alone. And when I was home, I was usually tired and preoccupied with work, sometimes even in the middle of the night. Our two kids were also disappointed because I never seemed to have any time to play with them. But I didn't see any alternatives. After all, I had to get the work done.

My boss, Alice Kelley, had not been initially critical of me, but I began to notice a change in her behavior. She started asking for more reports on the performance of my department. She was obviously starting to watch things more closely.

Alice seemed to appreciate the fact that I wasn't knocking on her door all the time asking for help. But at the same time she was more than a little concerned about the performance of my department. I knew I could not let things go on like that much longer. Consequently, I made an appointment to see her.

I told her I knew things had not been going well lately but I hadn't yet figured out how to improve the situation. I remember telling her my workload made me feel as if I were doing the work of two people. I'll never forget her reply: "Tell me who they are and I'll see that one of them is fired because I can't afford the overhead."

Then she asked me if perhaps I shouldn't be turning over more to my staff. My answer was that my staff was not ready to take on the additional responsibility. Again she responded in a way I'll never forget: "Then it's your job to get them ready! This situation is making me very nervous, and as Benjamin Franklin's grandfather once said:"

It's Tough
To Work For
A Nervous Boss,
If You Are The One
Who's Making Your Boss

After my meeting with Alice, I thought a lot about what she had said. Those words "nervous boss" kept coming back to me. I began to realize that Alice was expecting me to handle this situation on my own, probably because she was extremely busy herself on a critical project. That's why I had called the One Minute Manager for help. He was a senior manager in another company and a longtime family friend. Everyone called him the "One Minute Manager" because he got such great results from his people with seemingly little time and effort on his part.

When we met at lunch, my problems must have shown on my face because the first thing he said was "So, being a manager is not as easy as you thought, eh?"

"That's an understatement," I answered. I lamented that back in the good old days before I became a manager things were a lot easier because my performance depended strictly on my own efforts. In those days, the longer and harder I worked the more I got done. "That formula seems to be working in reverse now," I told him.

As I went on to describe my problem in greater detail, the One Minute Manager just listened, only breaking his silence with an occasional question. His questions got more and more specific as the conversation continued. He asked me which aspect of my work was taking the biggest portion of my time. The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey. Copyright © by Kenneth Blanchard. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    Young professionals

    Great book for those entering the work force to build the confidnece that they dont have to be at the office late into the night finishing helping other associates problems

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2007

    A Quickstart Monkey Handling Guide

    I read this book in 3 days and since one day 1, it helped me so much at work and home. I have about 45 associates that work under me, which all come to me as their monkey 'handler.' Now I've handed back all the monkeys that I had and they are taking ownership and leading their own paths to results. I'm much more confident in their ability and they are proud of their confidence as well as I am. This is a great book, the scenarios and verbiage are easy to comprehend and put to use.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2005

    Helped Me Immediately!

    As the Office Manager, I was so stressed out at work due to my feeling like I HAD to take care of, more or less babysit, the other administrative employees. All of their questions and concerns I took upon myself to find the answers to. Because of this wonderful book, I realized that I was in fact holding them back and not doing them any favors by taking on the responsibility of their 'monkeys.' I also realized that the reason why my work was not getting done was because I was busy doing theirs. I put 'The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey' to use that Monday and my work is now getting caught up and I see the silver lining. I've learned that I do not have to have my hand in everything and I can now be more productive, thus making the other adminstrative employees more productive and confident in their duties. What's also extremely helpful is that I am able to use these guidelines in my personal life as well. Thank you so much!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2001

    Opening Up Initiative Throughout the Organization!

    This book does a great job of helping people focus on their own work. Many people in an organization focus on managing the boss rather than doing their own job. What better way to manage the boss than to constantly seek her/his guidance on everything? Then, the boss can be flattered that you want his/her help, and will also take the blame if anything goes wrong. Insecure bosses like to be involved, so that fewer 'errors' occur. This wonderful book points out that no one can learn without making errors. Also, if you and your subordinate are doing the same job, one of you is superfluous. A common source of stalled thinking in this area is focusing on the fact that you, as manager, can do the job better and faster than you can teach the task or job to someone. What managers fail to realize is that someone closer to the source of the problem should be able to come up with a better solution. Also, the time taken to teach someone else to do the task is usually much less over a year or two than the time taken to help someone learn the task. The key problem is that we all like to fall back on doing what we are comfortable with and are good at rather than new challenges where we are not so competent. Banish that feeling! This book gives you lots of practical ideas for how to respond to efforts by your subordinates and colleagues to delegate their work and responsibility to you. You will learn how to see them coming and to keep the monkey where it belongs: with them. If you find that you are pressed for time, this book is an important source of ideas to free up your life to have less stress while you and your organization both accomplish more. Good luck with taking care of your monkey business! It's an important step toward developing an irresistible growth enterprise. Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 1999


    In my role as advisor to CEOs, I find one of their major problems is taking on all of the decision-making in their companies. This is a waste of time for them and their organizations. Many of the CEOs know that they need to change in this area, but do not know what to do . 'The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey ' is just the advice they need. By taking on too much, one person can become a worse stranglehold on an organization's progress than a whole bureaucracy is. For great advice on how to find your other bad habits as a manager or executive, and how to improve them to get more done in less time, and with less strain, you should read 'The 2,000 Percent Solution'. That book shows you how to overcome the 7 most common bad habits that executives and organizations have, and shows you a master process to being much more effective in your most important activities.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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