Well, I have only heard this story - not read the book! But, immediately, I was in a position like that.. I have literally found myself working with others 'monkeys'.. when the 'monkey owners' were having good time. Read!
The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey
by Kenneth Blanchard, William, Jr. Oncken, Hal Burrows
To be effective in management of your employees, of your time, or anything else in life, you need to develop the skill of monkey management!
What is monkey management?
Consider this true to life experience:
A manager is walking down the corridor in his office building when an employee approaches and says: "Do you have a minute? We have a problem."
The manager listens intently as the employee explains the problem in detail. After twenty minutes the manager looks aghast at his watch and realizes he is late for an appointment.
He responds to the employee: "I don't have time to discuss this any more right now but let me think about it and I will get right back to you."
An analysis of this experience is a real eye-opener to the pitfalls associated with management.
Point 1: Before the employee spoke to the manager a problem or issue (metaphorically referred as a monkey) was on the employee's back.
Point 2: As the discussion started, the monkey had one leg on the employee's back and one leg on the manager's back.
Point 3: As soon as the manager said, "let me think about it and I will get right back to you", the monkey had both legs on the manager's back.
Point 4: The employee walked away feeling 30 pounds lighter.
Point 5: The manager now carries a load 30 pounds heavier because 1) he accepted responsibility for the problem, and 2) he promised the employee a progress report.
This scene actually describes management role reversal.
The manager acquired the worker's role and the employee assumed a supervisory role.
This becomes evident the next day when the employee approaches the manager and asks: "Any answers yet?" thus pressuring the manager to consider something that essentially was the employee's job.
So, effective management means 'monkey management'!
But just how can a manager be helpful to others while at the same time keeping the monkeys where they belong, fairly and squarely on the backs of the persons responsible for them?
The whole scenario just described and the way to manage monkeys is explained in "The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey".
This paperback is brilliant!
By using the Four Rules of Monkey Management, managers learn to become effective supervisors of time, energy, and talent - especially their own.
Achieve a balance between supervision and delegation.
Make sure your personal library has a copy of "The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey".