Monkeys don’t have solutions: Life Lesson #29

Monkeys don’t have any solutions.

showman who trains performing monkeys


My friend John Fernandez is one of the best businessmen I know. In addition to running daystar Desserts, maker of “the World’s Best Cheesecake,” John is a gourmet chef, father, devoted man of faith but perhaps most importantly, John shares what he has learned freely. This is my edited, warped version of his “monkeys” concept.

Basically, at DayStar Desserts, John doesn’t allow anyone to bring him a problem without also at least a suggestion for a solution. He talks about people trying to “put monkey’s on my back.” Amazing how few “monkeys” land on his desk.

To take the monkey one step further though, apply this to complaining. Complaining is generally a recognition of an existing problem. Here’s the danger. We actually think we are smarter than most people. No one thinks they are average, right? But if everyone is a 4.0 grade point average at Harvard, 4.0 is average. Nothing special.

If you are complaining, you are recognizing a problem but not offering a solution. That’s average. Any average person can do that. But thank goodness, we’re not average, right? Did you know in recorded history, monkeys have not made much progress? They are still out there in the forest, swinging from vines and eating each other’s bugs.

Now, I assume my bosses see most of the problems I see. My friends know their issues. Sure, we all have blind spots, but most people aren’t blind.

Don’t diagnose without a solution. Because if they had a solution, I’ll bet those average people out there would have already solved it.




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