Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

A One Minute Review: The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey, by Kenneth Blanchard, William Oncken, Jr., and Hal Burrows

minkyThe One Minute Manager said that I was by no means alone in what I was doing.  In fact, he implied it was almost becoming a disease in our country.  He even had contemplated starting an organisation called “Rescuers Anonymous” for people who were compulsive monkey-picker-uppers.  It would be a gathering of “do-gooders” – very loving people who were running around trying to help others but who were crippling those they were trying to help by making them dependent.

This is going to be a concise review, because this is a concise book which is useful for one very simple reason: it highlights, and takes apart, one of the most insidious dynamics in all human communication.  You don’t have to be a manager to appreciate this (I, for one, have generally been on the receiving end of management in the workplace).  It’s a fact of human interaction.

Have you ever had one of those conversations that wears you out?  You know, those exchanges where your interlocutor arrives burdened down with troubles and leaves practically skipping with relief and joy while you are left feeling like a wet dishrag on its last use?

You might not know what just happened, but the One Minute Manager does.  You’ve just been given a monkey, or possibly several.  Hell, you might just have invited that monkey onto your shoulders yourself.

In the One Minute Manager’s world, monkeys mean problems: practical, material, emotional, spiritual.  They clamber, happily and indiscriminately, from shoulder to shoulder, settling on the backs of anyone willing to carry them.  We all have our share of monkeys, but the trick is to know which are truly yours.  And this excellent (if occasionally rather cheesy) book aims to give you the tools you need.

Unlike my colleague John, who has given us his thoughts on Blanchard and Co. here, I am not a manager and I do not play one on TV.  However, I find the One Minute Manager series in general – and this volume in particular – extremely useful in everyday interactions with friends, colleagues, comrades, and weirdos on the internet.  The only problem for me is having the willpower to resist those monkeys!

William Morrow, 137 pp. ISBN: 0-688-10380-4

2 comments on “A One Minute Review: The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey, by Kenneth Blanchard, William Oncken, Jr., and Hal Burrows

  1. Lisa
    May 26, 2009

    “Have you ever had one of those conversations that wears you out? You know, those exchanges where your interlocutor arrives burdened down with troubles and leaves practically skipping with relief and joy while you are left feeling like a wet dishrag on its last use?”

    Yes… Not so much these days, but this definitely brings back memories of school. I think I remember you saying before that these books were particularly helpful to you when you were younger, Kirsty. I can totally see why. Interesting review.

  2. Moira
    May 27, 2009

    Monkeys. Is THAT what they’re called? I swear I have a whole collection of the bloody things – none of them mine.

    Off to check out abebooks immédiatement …

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This entry was posted on May 26, 2009 by in Entries by Kirsty, Non-fiction, Non-fiction: psychology, Uncategorized.

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Acknowledgment

  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)
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