I have earned thousands of pounds just from reading in my management career. While I have always been a reader, my business coach has encouraged me to read a vast number of business books over the last 5 years. The very first business book I ever read years ago was the One Minute Manager. An easy read in about 30 minutes. I used some of the key points from it when applying for my very first job in retail. They were so impressed, I was offered the manager’s job. It didn’t take them long to find me out but it was great experience on what not to do.
If I was to pick one piece of advice from any business book I have read, the one that had the biggest impact on my management career, it would be from The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey. When a manager is approached by one of their team who has a problem they want help with, the manager should picture a monkey sitting on the team members back. As the person explains the problem, the monkey stretches a leg across and is now standing on the back of both the manager and the team member. The manager says, let me think about that or let me look into that. The monkey immediately removes it’s leg from the team member and is now firmly camped out on the manager’s back.
Who now owns this monkey? Whose job is it now to look after the monkey? The manager. The team member has delegated their work to the manager who is now responsible for coming up with the solution. To add insult to injury, the team members pops in occasionally to ask the Manager how they are getting on with coming up with a solution. Who is managing who?
I do my best to reply to any request for help with “What would you like to do?” or “What do you think you could do?” It is amazing how often my team know the answer, but they just want to run it past someone. It is also amazing how often they have a better answer than the one I would suggest. It is their issue, not mine so it needs their solution.
This week I am trying to read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It is the 3rd time trying. I can’t decide if it is just too wordy. I can’t concentrate on the message. Or is it that Social media has destroyed my ability to concentrate on more than three paragraphs at a time if there isn’t a gif or a video to go with it. This just might be the case!
I encourage my team to read. We have some very smart, ambitious people in the business. It is a battle to get them to read business books that will help them grow. They can buy anything they want and claim the cost back in expenses. So why would they not? It will help them perform better and earn more. I do blame this on social media but what can I do about it?
If you have been paying attention, you will reply “What do you think you should do about it monkey boy?”