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Shifting the Monkey: The Art of Protecting Good People From Liars, Criers, and Other Slackers Hardcover – December 30, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Shifting the Monkey is one of those rare books that really challenges you to think differently. --Dana Altman, Head Men's Basketball Coach, University of Oregon

A great book...gives good perspective for dealing with the difficult employee. I highly reccomend this book for all people who direct and manage others. --William C. McIlroy, President of the Community State Bank of Missouri, Bowling Green, Missouri

A great book...gives good perspective for dealing with the difficult employee. I highly reccomend this book for all people who direct and manage others. --William C. McIlroy, President of the Community State Bank of Missouri, Bowling Green, Missouri

About the Author

Todd Whitaker is a professor of educational leadership at Indiana State University. One of the nation s leading authorities on employee motivation and leadership effectiveness, his message has resonated with over a million professionals around the world. He has written more than twenty books.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Triple Nickel Press; 1 edition (December 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982702973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982702970
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #717,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a must-read for every leader, in every profession! As a school administrator, I often found myself putting more work on my best people, while letting the slackers avoid challenging tasks. Dr. Todd Whitaker offers simple, logical ways to lessen the burden of your best employees, while raising expectations for those sad dogs of gloom who avoid work by making others miserable.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I work for the U.S. Government, which is a hotbed for management "shifting monkeys." I have worked for the U.S. Government for 47 years. The person who is the slacker or breaks the rules is never dealt with - management calls us all in to a general staff meeting or sends out e:mails reminding us of the rules. This book was written for my management to read. Even if they read it, they wouldn't do anything about it, but I plan to put a route slip on it and route it around to our management the day I retired (at the end of this year).

This book is a terrific book and EVERY person in supervision should read it and heed it. LOVED IT!!!!!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mr. Whitaker continues to share the same management advice in this book that he has shared in his other books: take care of your best people. It is good, sound, common sense advice. It sells books because so few people follow that advice. The employers who create new policies and rules, governments which create new laws because of the actions of a few, store owners who post threatening signs about shoplifting, and other examples like this show that very few people put the best first. There is even an old saying: the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

So, I agree with Mr. Whitaker. This book differs from his others in two ways. The first is that it is written to apply to the business world rather than the education world. That's good because the same message applies. Our policies and behavior should be driven by the best, not the worst.

I found Mr. Whitaker's overuse of the "monkey" device to be really annoying. I know that the monkey is a gimmick to make this book unique and memorable. To me, it got in the way of the message. It didn't help that in my world "a monkey on your back" is an implication of drug use. The book would have been clearer without the monkey. Secondly, I think Mr. Whitaker could have really used an editor. I didn't catch any grammatical or spelling errors. I caught a lot of repetition. Some repetition drives home a point. More is padding. Too much is insulting. Mr. Whitaker was insulting.

The message in the book is good. But, the monkey gimmick and the repetition overshadowed the good.
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Format: Hardcover
This book will change the way you think! "Shifting the Monkey" has become one of my favorite phrases. I used to have "monkeys" throughout all aspects of my life. Now I put those monkeys in their place! It's thrilling to feel the success of monkey shifting! I even keep track of my shifts on a daily basis.

The process is addicting...... the book is phenomenal........ and your life will change!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like Todd Whitaker's work. He is an inspiring speaker and powerful motivator. This book offers a compelling lesson about the importance of knowing how to keep your staff accountable by letting them own their role and associated responsibilities. It helps leaders avoid reverse delegation. The book offers practical examples and is an easy read.

My only criticism is that the concept was fully developed in another author's work, which I learned later when the title appeared in my recommended titles from Amazon. I've since read "The One Minute Manager Meets The Monkey." I am sad to say that Whitaker has not really added to the original concept- hence the two-star rating.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Whittaker's in-your-face labeling of people as all good or all bad and acrid sarcastic remarks about the latter overshadow any positive management techniques discussed.
It seems more a license for managers who don't like teamwork and collaboration to justify their my way or the highway attitudes.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is real talk and a must-read for any school administrator. It contains advice on how to coach the problem player in the school and/or district i.e the faultfinder/criticizer, time wasters, the anti-administration malcontent and the divisive force. Although the book is geared to dealing with difficult teachers, the principles can also be transferred to diffuse the negative influence of the problem school administrator as well.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is generic, anecdotal, and an amateur effort. Credibility could have been added by referencing some research in support of his suggestions. The most useful part is summed up by the three questions he keeps coming back to, but I found that his suggestions for shifting the monkey in each chapter are unrealistic, sometimes inappropriate, and occasionally cringe-worthy (I.e. Ostracizing the woman in his church example).
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