Whose Monkey is it?

by | Mar 9, 2020

“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me” ~Carol Burnett

It sits with us to take responsibility for our own actions, our own destiny and future.  This isn’t something you can palm off to someone else to take care of.  This monkey well and truly sits on your own back.

[“get the monkey off the (or my) back”, which has its origins from consultant and coach Ken Blanchard’s classic “The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey”.  It means to take personal responsibility or accountability of your own problem, and don’t push it to me.”]

Reflecting upon my own journey and coaching conversations over recent weeks, this theme has come up a few times.  We can all be guilty at times of languishing around, expecting things to happen, or awaiting for others to do things for us, expecting that opportunity to land at our feet.  The harsh reality is it rarely does.

If we want things to happen in our lives, we need to get off our backsides, take action and drive the outcomes that we are looking for. Ask yourself how badly do you want or need things to change.

And this cuts both ways; be kind to ourselves and do not take on monkeys from others.  They will love us for it, but it’s a downward spiral for us.  Getting dragged into everyone else’s issues is not conducive to keeping on track with the important stuff in our roles and lives.  As Leaders, we will never develop a high performing team around us, if we take on our team’s monkeys. Building a culture of accountability is critical to our own success, the success of our team and our business.

Written By Debbie Millard

Master your business through strong leadership, knowing your numbers and empowering your people

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