Shifting the Monkey: The Art of Protecting Good from Liars, Criers, and Other Slackers

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Shifting the Monkey: The Art of Protecting Good from Liars, Criers, and Other Slackers

Format:  Hardcover,

117 pages

Publisher: Solution Tree

Publish Date: Jan 2012

ISBN-13: 9780982702970

ISBN-10: 0982702973

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
Poor employees get a disproportionate amount of attention. Why? Because they complain the loudest, create the greatest disruptions, and rely on others to assume the responsibilities that they shirk. Learn how to focus on your good employees first, and help them shift these "monkeys" back to the underperformers. Through a simple but brilliant metaphor, Whitaker helps you reinvigorate your staff and transform your organization.


Publisher: Solution Tree
Publish Date: Jan 2012
ISBN-13: 9780982702970
ISBN-10: 0982702973
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 117
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.6
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 5.0 x 0.7 x 8.1

Chapter outline

It's a Jungle Out Therep. 1
Why Slackers Go Monkey-Freep. 4
How to Put Monkeys in Their Placep. 5
Out-of-Place Monkeysp. 7
When Are Monkeys Acceptable?p. 9
Why Do Monkeys Keep Shifting?p. 10
Why Do Millions of Managers Struggle With Monkeys?p. 12
The Rise of the Monkeyp. 14
ANew Look at Leadershipp. 15
Three Important Questionsp. 17
Where Is the Monkey, and Where Should It Be?p. 21
Constantly Check for Monkeysp. 22
Ask for Helpp. 25
Flush Out Hidden Monkeysp. 27
Treat Everyone Wellp. 31
Rise to the Challengep. 33
Ignore Excusesp. 37
Sidle Upp. 38
Stop Blaming Everyone for the Behavior of a Fewp. 39
Stop Avoiding Irresponsible Employeesp. 41
Treat Lies as Truthp. 43
Issue Big Threat Monkeys Only With Great Cautionp. 43
Harness Peer Pressurep. 45
Control the Desire for Revengep. 46
Sort Out Ignorance From Insubordinationp. 47
Deflect "The People's Representative" Attack Monkeysp. 49
Follow the Golden Rulep. 51
Change the World One Person at a Timep. 52
Make Decisions Based on Your Best Peoplep. 57
Thank the Good Folksp. 58
Give Anonymous Public Praisep. 62
Use Borrowed Praisep. 63
Feed the Desire for Recognition and Autonomyp. 63
Learn to Ignorep. 66
Focus on Actions Rather Than Thoughtsp. 69
Reward Effort, Not Just Resultsp. 72
Get the Most Out of Bad Employeesp. 73
Base Decisions on the Best Customers, Toop. 76
Apply These Techniques to Customers, Toop. 79
Remember Who's in the Majorityp. 81
Protect Your Good People Firstp. 83
Give Good Employees Permission Not to Volunteerp. 84
Let Them Know What's Not Their Jobp. 87
Take Away Burdensome Responsibilitiesp. 89
Ignore Minor Errorsp. 90
Delegate to the Right Person for the Jobp. 92
Treat Everyone Weil, but not Equallyp. 93
Shield Good People From Envy and Resentmentp. 96
Take the "Hit" for Good Peoplep. 98
Give Good People a Breakp. 99
Show Your Strengthp. 100
What Monkeys Do You Shift?p. 103
The Blanket Monkeyp. 104
The Rule Monkeyp. 105
The Avoidance Monkeyp. 105
The Yelling Monkeyp. 106
The Blame Monkeyp. 106
The Crying Monkeyp. 107
The Pouting Monkeyp. 108
The Lying Monkeyp. 109
The Arguing Monkeyp. 109
Monitor Your Monkeysp. 110
Epilogue: Keeping Monkeys on Your Mindp. 113

Awards and Recognitions

  • ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards, 2011 (United States)

Book description

Everyone has responsibilities, obligations, and problems to deal with in the workplace and in life. Some people, however, have mastered the art of shifting those monkeys onto the backs of others. They claim they don't know how to solve a problem or do the task, they say they don't have time, they complain, they perform poorly, they find any and every way to avoid the work and yet somehow, they're never held accountable.

Instead, hardworking, loyal employees who care about results end up shouldering those burdens for their lazy or unmotivated colleagues. The slackers get just what they wantless work while the best employees become alienated and overworked. 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 organizations focus from compensating for, excusing, and working around problem people to cultivating and rewarding the best employees.

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