Screaming Monkeys

I grabbed a few dairy items still left on my list, like yogurt and milk, and headed toward the checkout lanes by slipping through the toy aisle near the edge of the store.  As I worked my way up to the front of the store I was distracted by toys on either side of me and memories of some childhood favorites.  I noticed a small stuffed animal in the middle of the aisle on the floor.  My hardware retail store and customer service training fell into place as I stopped to pick up the fallen toy - everything in its place.  As I searched the toy bins to find its home I looked down at the toy in my hand and thought it looked familiar. 


Jay Leno had a bit on the Tonight Show a few years back where he demonstrated some toys he liked for Christmas.  One of his favorites was a screaming monkey sling shot. You placed your index and middle fingers into the little pockets of the monkey's hands, pulled it back like a sling shot and then let it fly. The little monkey screeched as it flew. And it could really go quite a distance. They looked like so much fun I went on-line that night and bought one for each of the boys.  They were fun but I am not quite sure where they ended up.  And here was the delightful toy in my hand - a sock monkey version - but the same screaming flying monkey sling shot.  I decided that the family needed another one, and also thought it would be a good prop for my risk taking talks, so I placed the monkey into my basket. 


When we take a risk there is always a little bit of anxiety - it can be barely detectable or to the point - almost - of the screaming monkey taking flight across the room.  What can you do to relieve some of that anxiety?  Consider the steps to more successful risk taking - 


Risk taking - a course of action or inaction, taken under conditions of uncertainty, which exposes one to possible loss in order to reach a desired outcome



  • Clarify a goal - what is it that you really want to do and what will it accomplish?
  • Evaluate ways to accomplish the goal - be creative and brainstorm options
  • Consider your risk taking tendencies - stretch yourself beyond your normal tendencies but not too far
  • Increase the reward/risk ratio - develop a prototype and test, share the risk with another person,  ask for more time to collect information
  • Take action - just do it


See you at my next risk talk - and let the screaming monkeys fly!