The transition from an engineer to manager is full of challenges. To make the cut, it is essential for each manager to take on these challenges head on and succeed in solving them. But, there are some lessons which are learned only via experience and hence advice from experienced managers is always sought after. So when a friend of mine suggested that I should go through the One minute manager meets the monkey
to get some useful tips, I decided to try it.
The book essentially deals with the initial step into management i.e. transition from being managed to managing. The question that the book seeks to answer is primarily, Why is it that some managers are typically running out of time, while their staffs are typically running out of work?
. The book is presented in first person by a manager who is facing problems in his transition to manager and talks about the following concepts:
1) Identifying the problem that leads to managers being overloaded and staff being without work.
2) Definition of what is a monkey. Typically it is the next move to be taken in any problem/situation.
3) Identifying whose monkey it is.
4) Onken's rule of Monkey Management:
a) Describe the Monkey.
b) Assign ownership of the Monkey.
c) Insure the Monkey.
d) Checkup on the Monkey.
5) Transition from Assigning to Delegation and then to coaching.
After going through quite a few managerial books, my conclusion was they are boring and too much in the preaching mode rather than practical. The only management books that I found I could read were Scott Adam's Dilbert books which at best is a sarcastic look at management. Luckily the One minute manager meets the monkey
changes my viewpoint of the managerial books. The book has been written in such a humourous and slick way that once you pick it up, it is unputdownable (if there is such a phrase). It focuses on a very practical problem that we all phase in our first management job i.e. giving up the notion to do all the tasks ourselves and make the staff do the tasks and fixing the ownership for those tasks on them. As a side-effect of the above mentioned problem, most first time managers become overworked and lose the plot and become tyrants in the office. This book provides some practical tips on how to avoid this trap. Also it goes on to explain a nuances between the various styles of handing tasks to staff like assigning, delegation and coaching. The best part of the book is that is only 130 odd pages and not 1000s of pages of wisdom for which no one has time to read.
After reading this book, I felt a greater understanding of the issues faced by first time managers. I only wished that I got this book, as soon as I took my first step into management. It would have been a great help then, but even now the book gave a lot of insights and tips for doing a good job. I recommend this book as a must all aspiring managers and first time managers. I would give this small but handy book a 5 star rating. PS: The one minute manager is a conceptual manager who seems to spend so little time with his staff, still manages to get a lot of work done from them.
About the Authors
is an internationally known author, educator, trainer, and professor of leadership and organization behaviour at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Amongst his other writings are the One Minute Manager Library Series
and Power of Ethical Management
. William Oncken Jr.
was one of the most articulate spokesman in the field of management. He translated his practical experience into his internationally known Managing Management Time
and Managing Managerial Initiative
seminars; his revolutionary article Managing Management Time: Who's got the Monkey?
is a classic of management literature. Hal Burrows
is an speaker par excellence on torelated with management. His two most sought after seminars are Managing Management Time
and Managing Negotiations Under Pressure
. He is also a successful entrepreneur in the field of Real Estate development in Raleigh.