From the Ask Tom mailbag –
Working with my team, trying to get them to solve a problem. But, I think my solution is better than anything they might come up with. And, I don’t have time to have a meeting, and besides, I don’t think my team wants to be creative. Sometimes they act like dolts. I can solve problems like this pretty easy. I have been in the business for six years. I have the experience. But when I tell them what to do, they’re like zombies from the Night of the Living Dead. Some of them walk around like they still don’t know what to do, even though I gave them the solution.
What are you training them to do? Are you training them to solve a problem as a team, or are you training them to act like “dolts.”
Whenever you solve a problem that the team should solve, you cripple the team from solving future problems. And, if your solution fails, who carries the burden?
As a manager, you have to figure out your purpose. If your purpose is simply to have a problem solved, then solve the problem. You don’t have to be a manager to solve the problem.
If your purpose is to train the team to solve a problem, then understand, you are now a manager, and everything you do sets a precedent for what comes after. Try this simple method of questions for the team.
- What is the problem?
- What is the cause of the problem?
- What are the alternative solutions?
- What is the best solution?
- How will we test the solution to make sure it solves the problem?