Messenger of problems?
March 13, 2009 6 Comments
It is very easy to identify problems. What is difficult is figuring out how to solve them? Ones who do the latter are valued and get ahead. Sounds like cliche? Absolutely. But it still surprises me when I run into “messengers” of problems. Many want to bring a slew of problems to their bosses – this is not working, it is not efficient, we are understaffed etc. I am sure your boss probably knows about these issues as well. Sometimes, he may not. But if all you are doing is taking a problem to him/her, you are slowing becoming another problem for him/her.
Let us consider a different scenario of a person who identifies the problem, prioritizes the problem, thinks of possible solutions and then approaches his boss stating the problem and his/her recommended solutions. Valuable? Of course. Put yourselves in your bosses shoes. What would you do to solve the problem if you had the authority to fix it? Would you prioritize it to get it fixed? Would you spend political capital on it to get it fixed? If the answer is No, don’t be the messenger of the problem.
Those that are valued are the messengers of recommended solutions to identified problems. No one will stop you from making something better, more efficient, less costly, work faster. But no one wants to hear that something is broken, they want to know how to get it fixed and that yo are willing to take charge to get it fixed.