The Leader Learner Podcast

S01E05 The Keep Your Monkeys Episode

March 21, 2022 Theresa Destrebecq & Vincent Musolino Season 1 Episode 5
The Leader Learner Podcast
S01E05 The Keep Your Monkeys Episode
Show Notes

Vincent starts off with a story….

Big Ideas:

  • Don’t take employees monkeys, or it turns into a zoo
  • Employees need to keep their own monkeys
  • Leaders and managers are not necessarily the same
  • It’s exhausting and unsustainable for a manager to take everyone’s monkeys
  • It’s natural for managers to take things off people’s plates. They think it’s their job. 
  • How are we supporting people’s transition from individual contributor to management? 
  • What is the role of a manager? 
  • The shift from owning your work, to overseeing the work of the individual contributors work, without taking it on
  • Role of the manager is to make obstacles go away (organization, finances, resources, team dynamics, psychological safety, recruiting, etc)
  • Manager to focus on the conditions - preparing the space by removing obstacles, and putting things in
  • Creating the conditions for competencies to be built
  • Should we let employees fail?
  • The relationship between failure and trust.
  • Creating the culture and context for failure is important
  • Not taking on the failures of individual contributors as our own failures - accountability infection
  • Fail fast, fail early, fail often
  • People are already failing. Are they doing something with it? 
  • As leaders, help them through the failure.
  • The emotional response to the words we use, including fail
  • How are leaders talking about failure?
  • Naming emotions and experiences so that we can have power over it
  • Looking at our fail points ahead of time, so we can pivot sooner
  • How we keep persisting on to avoid failure even when it’s the wrong path
  • Looking at our fail points allows us to know whether the risk is worth it
  • Doing more of the same strategy doesn’t work if it’s the wrong strategy
  • Test, Assess, Act
  • Agile working, sprints, and retrospectives
  • Using the scientific method and testing hypotheses
  • What have I done? What will I do? What are my obstacles?
  • Agile working - product management and scrum master


More yummy content on