Who is to blame for those misplaced monkeys? In Shifting the Monkey, author Todd Whitaker suggests it is the responsibility of leaders and managers to protect their best employees by putting the monkeys right back where they belong on the backs of those people who were supposed to do the task, solve the problem, or manage the project in the first place. Too often when monkeys shift, leaders think it will be "easier" or faster to just reassign the work or worse, do it themselves. Over time, this misguided leadership can damage a workplace, alienate employees and customers, and otherwise make life annoying, even miserable, for lots of people. Shifting the Monkey shows how to shift an organization's focus from compensating for, excusing, and working around problem people to cultivating and rewarding the best employees. Rather than allowing liars, criars, and other slackers to dominate organizational culture and workflow, strong leaders build a culture that supports, defends, and cultivates the hardworking, responsible employees who are the backbone of any business.
Whitaker describes three tiers of leadership:
Tier One The self-focused leader who goes in the back office and closes the door
Tier Two The team-focused leader who goes out front to make sure the mean employees don't abuse the others when he or she is looking
Tier Three The organization-focused leader who deals with the ineffectual people and gives them back the monkey, or at least some of it, so they won't behave badly again
The Tier Three leader constantly asks the following questions:
1. Where is the monkey?
2. Where should the monkey be?
3. How do I shift the monkey to its proper place?
This leader doesn't avoid the troublesome employees or instruct others to pick up their slack, but rather faces the monkey head on. He or she doesn't penalize all employees to control the behavior of a few bad apples, but rather makes decisions based on the best employees and confronts the troublesome ones individually.
Whitaker explains how to spot the top nine "monkey" techniques used to shift responsibilities by both employees and leaders and gives spot-on advice for putting monkeys back in their place. Readers will instantly recognize the "monkey business" Whitaker describes and benefit from his strategies to tackle pesky monkeys and return them to their rightful owners.