The article “Who’s Got the Monkey” is an important manager’s article.

The article was written by William Oncken, Jr. and Donald L. Wass, with commentary by Stephen R. Covey.

When you assign an employee a project or job to do, you do not expect to get the project back uncompleted. Business life shows that 30% of the time, a project will show back up on your desk. Sometimes our subordinates find they took a project eagerly, but find themselves at a loss to complete it. Sometimes they do not get enough information to complete the project. Sometimes they fear failure. Sometimes they lack the confidence or skill set to complete it. Sometimes they fear the boss. Sometimes it is an excuse to not do the project.

Many managers react by taking the project or task on themselves. This is known as receiving the monkey, increasing the manager’s time and workload. We rationalize it takes more time to explain the project than doing the project yourself.

Read the article and see how to handle the situation properly.