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Monkey Management***

When Hartman and I started together, he’d often ask me what he should do. To save time and energy, I’d tell him. Eventually, we decided on a different process. When he’d ask me what he should do, I’d say: You know I have an answer. What’s yours?

He developed his abilities through experience. I developed my managerial skills. Both of us became stronger, more competent. We had to take ownership and connect the dots. We learned our jobs. We gained experience; grew our knowledge; added more value as coaches and partners.

Try it with your people. Don’t take their monkeys…toss them back. Let them learn, and perform, their job. If they need help, guidance or correction, you’re there to provide it. The sooner they grow their abilities; the sooner they do their jobs themselves; the sooner you develop a contributing asset—a confident, experienced, valuable co-worker.

If you still think you have to do everything, that no one can do it but you, you haven’t developed the team you need! Quit letting them toss you their monkeys. Teach them to do it themselves. Guarantee that your people grow—with you leading the way!

***Thanks, and a tip-o-the-cap to: The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey by Blanchard and Oncken

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