A Shifting the Monkey Primer for #mdeschat

Key Ideas from Shifting the Monkey

Here are a few takeaways from Shifting the Monkey.  While the book is not written specifically for educators, it has great value for anyone seeking to cultivate and reward organizational excellence.

  • There will always be workers who shirk their responsibilities
  • These shirkers constantly seek to shift their responsibilities, duties, and problems to others
  • The shifting of these “monkeys” creates stress on organizations
  • We give negative, poor performing employees, too much time and attention
  • Leaders can reward good, hardworking employees by shifting monkeys off their backs
  • Tier 3 leaders hold ineffective people accountable so that they behave themselves even when the boss isn’t looking
  • Effective leaders treat everyone well
  • Effective leaders don’t accept excuses from marginal employees, they don’t sympathize, and they don’t argue
  • Ineffective employees need to be handled on a one/one basis
  • Good leaders are constantly reflecting on what they’re doing and how things are going

This should be enough to get you started, buy the book to get the full picture.

Here are some additional resources for Shifting the Monkey:

Book Review by B. Curran:


Blog about Todd Whitaker and Shifting the Monkey:


Jason Fountain blog about Shifting the Monkey


Todd Whitaker’s Website:


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