“I’m not trying to show off,” defended Alex. “I have the answer, it’s quicker, it solves the problem. I know it looks like I am a just being a glory hog, but I call it a touchdown!”
I waited. Alex was in no mood to listen, not even to himself. So, I waited some more. Finally, I spoke.
“Alex, three months ago, as our best technician, did we expect you to have the answers to the biggest decisions on your projects?”
“Absolutely, that’s why I got the promotion.”
“Yes, three months ago, we expected you to be the best, the smartest person in the room. That’s why we promoted you to manager. Do you think this is a different game now?”
“I suppose it is or I wouldn’t be sitting here in front of you.”
“Alex, the game is different. Before, we expected you to have all the answers. Now you are a manager. We expect you to have all the questions. Instead of being the smartest person, you may have to be the dumbest person. I want you to ask,
What if? By when? Why did that happen? When do we expect to finish? What could we do differently? How come that happened? What is stopping us?
“Just a few simple, dumb questions. It’s a different role you are playing, now.”