The Fine Art of Monkey Chucking

The Fine Art of Monkey Chucking

By Joel Lund

When Your Business Is Like A Barrel of Monkeys

In the great leadership book, The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkeythe authors (Kenneth Blanchard, William Oncken, Jr., and Hal Burrows) discuss the business of managing the monkeys of business. Anyone in a leadership position should read this work because the truisms contained within are timeless and applicable far beyond the business world.

Foundational Principles of Monkey Chucking

Because the book lands on the business shelves at the local bookstore and library, lets lay things out as the authors intended. Even in a small business operation, it’s common to have various “players” within the organization. Some are leaders. Some are followers. Each has a role. Each role needs to be executed well for the business to thrive.

And here is the rub: not all players willingly engage in their role. At least, not consistently. Dealing with that familiar conundrum is what “monkey chucking” is all about. There are principles related to the fine art of monkey chucking:

  1. It’s tough to work for a nervous boss, especially if you are the one who’s making your boss nervous.
  2. A “monkey” is the next move.
  3. For every monkey there are two (2) parties involved: one to work it & one to supervise it
  4. Things not worth doing are…not worth doing well.

Monkey Co-Dependency Looks Like This:

Besides the principles of monkey chucking, there are behaviors to deal with. It is at this crux point that things can go awry and “getting things done” takes a dive into a barrel of monkeys. Monkey co-dependent behaviors follow a pattern.

  • You hapesave a problem. You express the problem to your manager, who promises to help you with the problem.
  • The monkey is the next move…
  • When your manager, who promised to help you – rescues you from the problem – your problem is solved!
  • But now there is a new problem:
    • You have given yourself this message: “I’m not capable of handling this problem so I’d better have someone else take care of it.”
    • The rescuer has given you this message: “You’re not capable of handling this problem so I’d better take care of it for you.”

A Paradigm Shift

Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.

So that everyone in an organization doesn’t act like a crazed monkey ever again, new patterns must emerge. A new paradigm needs to be installed.

Next time, the 4 Rules of Monkey Management

Have you ever been the one chucking the monkey? How about the one catching the monkey? Describe your experience.

Engage here.

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