Monkey in your office vs Taylor Swift’s legs

I am not a pop culture fan, but I am quite surprised that people are concerned about Taylor Swift’s legs. I am sure a few are genuinely interested, others are just the prey of “Monkey see, monkey do” culture. A lot of us are suffering from this – “monkey syndrome” in our social lives too.

In our workplace, we all need to be cautious about leaders suffering from this monkey syndrome. These leaders are dangerous not just to you, but also to your organization’s success. Below are 3 things these monkeys often say and why it needs to be relooked:

  • “If I can do it, why can’t you do it” – There are a lot of reasons why some of the young employees can’t replicate the behaviors of their leaders. It could be their personality, their priorities or just their natural inclination. Just like employees have the responsibility of doing certain things in certain ways, leaders are responsible for uncovering the concerns and capability gaps of their teams and taking necessary actions. So next time you spot a monkey saying this, politely respond by “I can dance in a loud club all night, can you do that?!!”
  • “That’s not the way we do things around here” – Monkey tribes have their own culture. They train all new monkeys to follow that and that’s how they have stopped learning. Similarly, some leaders are worried about losing their organization culture and choose to blatantly push it to their employees. They forget that it is the responsibility of the leaders to explain the rationale. So next time you spot a monkey saying this, politely respond by “We just missed an opportunity of our collective development”
  • “………………………………. – that’s not a typo. Monkeys are scared of pointed things. Similarly, some leaders hide away when they are questioned about specific things. Instead of talking to you, they hide and tell others. This is where the leadership gossip culture starts and it ends with someone’s resignation. So assure your leader that you want to explore the solution together with him/her.


This monkey syndrome is contagious. If you spot too many monkeys around you in your office, run as fast as you can. If you don’t run away, very soon, someone else might be thinking of you while reading this post.

And by the way, don’t forget to check out the insurance policy on Taylor Swift’s legs. I bet you will be learn something new from that too!!!

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