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Friday, October 21, 2016


An oft made mistake of leaders is to saddle ourselves with the "monkeys" of others.  This is the process of taking on the problems (and the commensurate solution crafting) that truly and best belong to those in the organization closest to the problem source.  

The negative effects of engaging in Monkey Busyness (not "business") are threefold:

  • It distracts us from the real focus of our work - the vision - and gets us mired in details that rightly belong to those on the front lines of the work.
  • It sends the wrongful message to others that we either have not empowered them to tackle the problems, or that we don't feel them capable of tackling the problems.
  • It sends the wrongful message that accountability can be offloaded.
Monkey Busyness is both a time and energy drain.  In meaningful work, we all have plenty of monkeys of our own.

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