Monkeying Around Like a Leader

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to be sensitive to points of view of others. Reading time: 2:43

      Think of your organization and its various employees and departments as so many monkeys in a tree. As the CEO, you happen to be the monkey in the highest seat in the tree.

      Black-capped Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri boliviensis)From your perch, you can look down and see other smiling monkeys. Now think of the lowest monkeys in that tree. When they look up they see anything “butt” smiling faces and they can only assume the organization stinks – at least from that perspective.

      That’s how a low ranking sailor described his view of the organization aboard ship. No wonder that “the key to being a successful skipper is to see the ship through the eyes of the crew,” writes Captain D. Michael Abrashoff in his book It’s Your Ship.

      Yes, you are the Monkey in the Middle. All eyes on are you, looking at you. Your role is to look down more often and imagine what they see looking up. That’s what the most effective leaders do: they look around and monkey around with meaning and perception.

       “Being a boss is much like being a higher status primate in any group, the creatures beneath you in the pecking order watch every move you make and so they know a lot more about you than you know about them,” observes Robert Sutton writing in his book Good Boss, Bad Boss. Continue reading “Monkeying Around Like a Leader”