I think there’s a monkey coming in our direction.
If nothing else, this book led to some amusing conversations amongst me and my office colleagues.
The basic premise of the book is that tasks are like monkeys. Everyone has tasks, so therefore, everyone has monkeys on their backs. The issue comes when someone tries to put their monkey on your back – i.e. when someone tries to makes something which is their problem, your problem. We’ve all been there. A Sales Rep on the road calls you up and asks you for some information, you’re not really the right person for the request but you want to help them out, so you start looking into it for them, it will only take a minute. It doesn’t. It’s a much bigger issue, and suddenly you’re saddled with something else on your never-ending to do list. The book details the four rules you should use to keep unnecessary monkeys at bay and free-up your time to get onto those tasks that you enjoy and which really make a difference to the company (things like strategy).
I should probably point out that I’m not a massive fan of, what I term as, business self-help books. OK, so they can offer a timely reminder of what you should be doing, but more often than not so-called business guru’s have a tendency to ‘state the bleeding obvious’ and use up a lot of words in doing so. That said, The One Minute Manager series of books makes a quick and easy read and brings home some key messages in a fun way. Although it’s already a fairly short tome, I feel it could be shorter still. I get that repetition is key in making us learn new things, but there does come a point where you want to scream OK I’ve got that already, can we move onto something else now please.
Repetition aside, the book did open my eyes to the amount of ‘monkeys’ I adopt, which aren’t really mine to take care of. I’ve even taken to using some of the monkey avoidance tactics on a daily basis. You want me to send you an image, you say? Here let me empower you and show you where the image library is so you can find it yourself – a.k.a keep your monkey I don’t want it.
Whilst I do think that life (and business) is something you need to live/do, rather than read about, if you’re the type of person who finds it difficult to say no, this could be a good read for you.
Fabulous rating 3/5.
Fancy a read? Buy The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey here.