Learn to delegate and improve your time management

K. Blanchard, W. Oncken jr., H. Burrows - William Morrow & Co - 2016 - 176 pagg

The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey

2021 August 26 | by Arduino Mancini Staff management - Time Management

Surprise, surprise:

delegation does not only apply to bosses, but also to their staff.

And today I’ll tell you why!

Here is a booklet that helps managers and their staff to clarify two essential and intimately connected points: delegation and time management.


First of all, following a straightforward rule:

never take a problem on yourself if you are not directly responsible for it.

Does this mean that a manager should not help colleagues, bosses or colleagues in difficult situations?

Not at all!

This means that managers must be aware that their primary task is to contribute to the improvement of the organisation’s functioning by ensuring that a sense of responsibility drives everyone to manage their role effectively and efficiently.

On all pages of the book, the authors focus on two key points:

  • optimising time management and effective delegation are crucial tasks for a manager;
  • he must manage delegation and his time by avoiding taking upon himself the workload of others, especially his staff.

The use of the image of the manager being chased by the “monkeys”, which symbolises the countless problems that move from the desk of colleagues to the boss’ desk, is very effective.

The authors also have the remarkable merit of helping the reader to discover the value of discretionary time, which is unknown to most; this is the kind of time that managers should be using to improve the quality of their work but which they are being stolen by “monkeys” who do not belong to them.

A book aimed at managers only?

Actually, reading this book will be very useful for both managers and their staff, because it allows the reader to quickly get in touch with aspects of management that too many people meet for the first time and that can prove vital to organisational functioning.

A small investment in time and money that will pay off quickly!



The Problem

First Management Position

Meeting with Boss

Meeting with the One Minute Manager

Fundamental Management Dilemma

Diagnosis—Self-inflicted Problem

Definition of a Monkey

Who Owns the Monkey?

Vicious Cycle

The Solution

The One Minute Manager’s Awakening

The Depth of the Problem


A Feeling of Optimism

Returning the Monkeys

Having Time for My People

Oncken’s Rules of Monkey Management

Rule 1 Descriptions

Rule 2 Owners

Rule 3 Insurance Policies

Rule 4 Feeding and Checkups

A Summary of Oncken’s Four Rules of Monkey




Balancing Three Kinds of Organizational Time

Boss-Imposed Time


System-Imposed Time

Self-imposed Time

Discretionary—The Most Vital Time

Starting with Subordinate-Imposed Time

Planting Discretionary Time

Managing Rather Than Doing

The Ultimate Conversion


About the Authors

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