Category Archives: Business


The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey

I finished reading The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey book yesterday.  It was one of the management books Brian Westgate has been recommending me to read.  Below are some highlights from the book:

  • Experience is not what happens to you; It’s what you do with what happens to you.
  • The only way to develop responsibility in people is to give them responsibility.
  • Practice hands-off management as much as possible and hands-on management as much as necessary.
  • Assigning involves a single monkey; Delegation involves a family of monkeys.
  • If you always agree with your boss, one of you is not necessary.
  • A summary of Oncken’s four rules of monkey management:
    • Rule 1: Describe the Monkey: The dialogue must not end until appropriate “next moves” have been identified and specified.
    • Rule 2: Assign the Monkey: All monkeys shall be owned and handled at the lowest organizational level consistent with their welfare.
    • Rule 3: Insure the Monkey: Every monkey leaving your presence on the back of one of your people must be covered by one of two insurance policies: 1) Recommend, then act, 2) Act, then advise.
    • Rule 4: Check on the Monkey: Proper follow-up means healthier monkeys.  Every monkey should have a checkup appointment.

Seven action logics of leadership

“Most developmental psychologists agree that what differentiates leaders is not so much their philosophy of leadership, their personality, or their style of management. Rather, it’s their internal ‘action logic’ — how they interpret [and react to] their surroundings.”

According to David Rooke and William Torbert, there are seven developmental action logics that influence a leader’s dominant way of thinking.  Rooke and Torbert demonstrated that leaders could move through these logic categories as their abilities grow.  The seven leadership action logics are:

  1. Opportunist
  2. Diplomat
  3. Expert
  4. Achiever
  5. Individualist
  6. Strategist
  7. Alchemist

Results of Rooke’s and Torbert’s studies showed different leaders exhibited different kinds of action logic.  The least effective for organizational leadership are the Opportunist and Diplomat.  The most effective ones are Strategist and Alchemist.  As well, Opportunists, Diplomats and Experts produced below-average coporate performance.  This group was significantly less effective at implementing organizational strategies than Achievers.  Individualists, Strategists and Alchemists showed the consistent capacity to innovate and to successfully transform their organizations.

Click Here to access their article: Seven Transformations of Leadership

Systemic vs. Systematic

Systemic means system-wide or deeply engrained in the system.  The term “systemic” is often used in medicine and biology.  A systemic disease affects many parts of the body.  A systemic problem in a business affects many parts of the business such as operations, finance, human resource, products, or services.

Systematic means carrying out using step-by-step procedures or organized methods.  The term “systematic” typically describes carefully planned processes that unfold gradually.  It implies that something is done so consistently that it almost seems there must be a system behind it.

If you’re talking about how something is done according to a system, the word you want is “systematic.”

If you’re talking about something happening to or inside of a system, the word you want is “systemic.”



Service vs. Product

Services produce products.  Products can contain services.  The two terms are different, but also closely aligned.  When we buy a software package, we get the program (product) to install on our computers and receive a bundle of services such as online backup, data management, or file sharing.  While services and products do share some common grounds, the two terms are in fact different.


  • Are things you will do on behalf of your clients
  • When clients need a service, they ask “what can you do for me?”
  • Clients like services to be customized to their needs
  • Are actions performed by an organization
  • Examples: consulting, web design, haircut, car washing, software development, electronics repairing, house painting, etc.


  • Are things your clients will use themselves
  • When clients need a product, they ask “what can you make for me?”
  • Clients like their products to be standardized
  • Are tangible and discernible items that an organization produces
  • Examples: computers, shoes, bread, courses, ebooks, apps, CD/DVDs, USB keys, digital files, etc.



Mission. Vision. Strategy.

A recent discovery of a well-put distinction of the three terms:

Mission – what is our purpose?

Vision – where should we be headed?

Strategy – how do we get there?

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