Early in my career, I had a manager tell me, “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions.”

This could be the most dangerous statement a leader can make to a team member.


Maybe I really was stuck; I didn’t have an answer, a solution, or know how to get to one.

I might not have had the right experience to solve the problem at hand.

I may have spent too much time devising a plan when there was a simple solution.

Here’s what I prefer instead:

“Bring me problems, AND tell me what your next steps are to begin resolving them.”

This lets the leader help shape the plan without having to take ownership of it.

And we align together on *how* to identify and execute the solution we need.

Leaders: Do you agree? How do you strike the right balance with your team members when it comes to problem solving?
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