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The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey

(One Minute Manager)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  2,796 ratings  ·  205 reviews
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 viv
Paperback, 137 pages
Published 1989 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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When business books are given out at work, I dread the task ahead of me. Obviously the senior leadership of every company wants everyone on the same page and that's fine. But I still hate having to read something that takes me away from my own collection of books. I always explain to the other books that a business book is allowed to jump the queue because reading such a book allows me to keep a job which allows me to provide shelter for the books. I hope they understand.

This short volume was gi
Daniel Taylor
Managers who use David Allen's "Getting Things Done" approach to managing their workflow will find this book instructive on how to use the same approach in managing employees.

The "monkey" in the title is defined as the "next move" and is separate from the project. Allen built on this with his "next action", the next step you can take toward completing a project that has no other steps before it. In "The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey", Blanchard offers a system for getting those next moves
Oct 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
TL;DR: identify delegation opportunities and delegate. Help your team members grow by giving them responsibility and use your time on problems that are yours.

But then again, why write two sentences when you could write an insufferably long book instead?
Sara Phelps
Oct 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a management book I can recommend whole-heartedly. It was super quick and easy to read, and I got some real-world, applicable tidbits out of it. The monkey metaphor sticks in your memory. Seriously, I applied it the next day at work and offloaded some stress-producing monkeys. It was awesome.
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Years ago, I had read The One Minute Manager and thought it was good but hadn't thought about it in years. Then, one day, I was in a meeting when one of my peers mentions this book about monkeys and I was like what? Whatever. Honestly, I didn't really think much about it since I had read the first one, thought it must have been the same book and kind of dismissed it.

Then, a few weeks later something happens and I've got this issue and I need one of the execs to help me with it. At the end, the
John Funderburg
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is excellent. It'll get you to consider the amount of work you do vs. how much you should be doing, especially as a leader. It's very easy, quick reading and the author provides great examples along the way.
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Good points, over-explained.
Jun 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the concepts discussed in the book. I think oftentimes I find myself picking up other people's monkeys and completing them. I think the most crucial part of this book for me in my personal life will be letting my child(ren) deal with their monkeys as far as possible before I intervene (if ever).

Monkey = the next move

Oncken’s Rules of Monkey Management

The dialogue between a boss and one of his or her people must not end until all monkeys have:

1. Descriptions – The “next moves” are identif
Mar 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
I'll be honest and say I didn't actually finish this book. I think there is only one other book on my list that holds that distinction. I found it terribly elementary, embarrassingly so. It's the easiest book to summarize. Ready? Here it is: Delegate.

That's it. I just spared you 144 pages of reiteration laced with simplistic anecdotal examples that no one could possibly find enlightening. I'm concerned that anyone already in the workplace or anyone over 22 could.

Obvious "strategies" aside, I re
Mar 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
I bought this book for somebody in my company, and like all good books, read it before I passed it on.

This book is humorous and 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
Renate Eveline
Apr 05, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is aimed at managers, but I think it is useful for parents, team members, people in counseling; really anyone, because you just might pick up other people’s chores or projects because you think it will move things along better or easier or faster. Even if that’s a right assumption, you might create your own pitfall this way.

The examples in this book mostly cover the role of the manager, but give this book a try if you think you sometimes are too helpful for your own good. The message i
Chinara Ahmadova
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One book cannot be that much straightforward and easy-read! Great, useful and practical advice for everyone - from business to family on being more effecient in life and galvanizing people around you.
Otsu yee
Oct 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is definately a must read for anyone who "can't say no" when asked to take on a task that isn't theirs.
Kevin Anderson
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a very quick read. It's to the point and has good advice on prioritization and making sure the work you're doing isn't work someone else could be doing better.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics
Blanchard ( situational leadership) meets Ocken ( monkey management) and the result is a funny small book that tells the story of a unhappy manager who thanks to insights gathered from the Blanchard methodology ( the one minute manager) realizes that he has to manage his tasks ( monkeys) differently. Excellent to read during a medium long flight and ponder on your own situation: how many monkeys do I have that I really have to bring back to their owners? Thanks to the read of some 150 pages one ...more
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
The heart of this book is to empower people by not doing their work, e.g. delegate. During meetings there are "monkeys" (e.g. tasks) which will end up on someones back. A fatal mistake made by managers is that they hold onto the "monkeys" when they have their team members wait for the manager to review a plan, provide feedback on a proposal, "clean up" the document, etc. This is fundamentally dis-empowering. I read this book during a time when I felt overwhelmed by work. I was trying to mentor a ...more
Feb 06, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was recommended to me by a coworker when we were discussing the difficulties of delegation. It's told in a parable form, which is kind of strange, but it's a quick read and it gave me some good ideas about the hows, whys, and whens behind delegation. It is charmingly dated (there's one piece of advice to have people read memos to you in person, rather then sending the memos, which made me laugh), but the overall principles are pretty sound. I'll be trying to incorporate more of these i ...more
Paul Smith
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This quick read was a book given to me many years ago by a mentor as I moved into a new leadership role. Today, as I again take a new position, I still found the tips, techniques, and procedures spelled out in this book incredibly valuable. It’s far too easy to look back on previous successes in past jobs and use those experiences to rob leaders in those positions of the chance to execute missions (monkeys) on their own. I am glad I reread the book and will remember not to pick up stray monkeys ...more
Kasi McPheson
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is great for anyone struggling with the concept of what good management should be. As a postdoctoral fellow in medical research, I don't necessarily manage people but I do act as a project manager. This book helped me understand both sides of management - being a manager and being managed. Im really glad I read this book now so I can try to implement the points made in this book and instill positive, healthy habits before becoming an actual lab manager in the future upon successful completi ...more
Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting way of describing delegation and work tasks (as monkeys).

It leaves you with some interesting insights. You should actually aim to make yourself obsolete and remove yourself from operational tasks, although it also points out the weakness in not being in touch with the frontline anymore. So, in essence, it lays a good foundation for how organisations become detached from the reality.
Max Tachis
Feb 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Though this installment in the "One Minute Manager" series builds upon the prior two I've read, I found it to be simpler than the last ("Leadership and the New One Minute Manager"). In ditching the strict narrative structure of the other two, there was a simpler frame on which to express these particular management techniques. None of which were particularly complicated, either. No less valuable, just easier for me to grasp.

An enjoyable and useful entry into this educational series.
Kristen Spencer
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
It had some very good points and revelations. However, it did not assist with describing how to have the hard conversations of transferring the monkeys back to their rightful owners. It also seemed somewhat harsh and did not seem to foster empathy. The ideas are something to think about, but I am not sure how well this would be truly put in action.
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
The basic premise of this book is good. The frame of calling problems monkeys is useful. The book itself thinks mostly in terms of individuals rather than teams though. It also repeats itself and despite how short it is, if you took out the seminar ads and redundancy, it would’ve been even shorter. I’m glad I read it but found if unidimensional on its own.
Chuck Cova
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pers-prof-dev
Funny how sometimes you are reminded of how timeless principles are. This quick little read is packed with golden nuggets of truth regarding time and people management. As it's now 30 years old (which is probably about the time I read the first in this series), some references are outdated, but the true truths remain. An excellent investment of time to be sure...
Ahmed Al sanhani
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am amazed by the simplicity of the management techniques explained in this book. They are simple to comprehend yet hard to implement in the real life. However, repetition is the key of perfecting these techniques.
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a read ! Definitely an eye opener. Highly recommended for All the budding managers , parents , team mates and those who have all the time in the world to pick up and complete other people's work.
Jingyun Li
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such an easy read but has so many useful information and tips. Don't take on a monkey if it is not your problem. Delegating doesn't mean that you are lazy; on the contrary, you can inspire and encourage others to innovate and bring out their best if you are delegating in the right way.
D.J. Hamon
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With focus on delegation, this leadership parable is a good addition to the genre and series of short leadership books. Good for reinforcement of principles, but for some, a more in-depth study of personal boundaries may be necessary to achieve change and proficiency.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Monkey = next move

Four key "rules" to Monkey Management:
1. Describe the monkey
2. Assign the monkey at lowest appropriate level
3. Insure the monkey with Level 1 authority (Recommend, then act) or Level 2 authority (Act, Then Advise)
4. Check on the monkey at a scheduled appointment
Amanda Ivie-Reichardt
Read this for a college class. The book did make me cognizant of things I was helping to enable and ways to break it. I wish I has given myself more time to actually read it than rushing through the night my assignment was due but alas college life.
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Ken Blanchard, one of the most influential leadership experts in the world, is the coauthor of the iconic bestseller, The One Minute Manager, and 60 other books whose combined sales total more than 21 million copies. His groundbreaking works have been translated into more than 27 languages and in 2005 he was inducted into Amazon’s Hall of Fame as one of the top 25 bestselling authors of all time.

Other books in the series

One Minute Manager (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The One Minute Manager
  • Leadership and the One Minute Manager: Increasing Effectiveness Through Situational Leadership
  • The One Minute Manager Builds High Performing Teams
  • The New One Minute Manager
  • Talking with the One Minute Manager
  • The One Minute Manager Balances Work and Life
  • The One Minute Manager Gets Fit
  • One Minute Manager Salesperson
  • Putting the One Minute Manager to Work: How to Turn the 3 Secrets into Skills
  • One Minute Manager/Putting the One Minute Manager to Work/Boxed Set

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