Positioning Systems - Small Business Coaching



Positioning Systems Blog

The Problem with being the Chief Problem Solver


As a manager, leader or owner of your company do you find yourself asking these questions?

  • How do I get my people to become more self-motivated and self-driven?
  • How do I get them to be more accountable?
This weekend I listened to a podcast from The Sales Buzz that author Keith Rosen [Coaching Salespeople Into Sales Champions] was the guest speaker. His remarks on this subject reminded me of Michael Gerber’s emphasis on this same subject. As Rosen pointed out that managers are continually creating the problem they want to avoid most. They are continually putting out the fires and solving all of the challenges for their staff which further contributes to two of the problems every manager is looking to solve. You guessed what those questions are right? The two I listed above.
So what do you need to do? Stop giving the answers to your staff. It simply creates more dependency on you the leader or manger.
Michael Gerber is adamant about this. You are not to be the chief problem solver; you’re role as leader is to be the person who asks all the questions. 
Many times leaders and managers believe their value is in being the subject matter expert. This is not the case. The most valuable leader and manager’s are those that honor the primary directive: make your people more valuable. To do this manager’s must learn to ask more questions.  Get their employees to develop their own problem solving skills and come up with solutions on their own. If they create their solution, they’re going to own it. And if they own it they’re more apt to act on it rather than being told what to do.
If you do otherwise you’re sending a message every time they have a problem, you solve it.   When the solution is wrong whose fault is it? It goes right back to the manager, which robs your people of the very accountability you’re looking to instill in them. 
What are some good questions to ask the next time your people come to you with a problem to solve? That’s next blog.

Need help implementing these ideas?

Positioning Systems helps business owners and entrepreneurs transform their business.   We provide the tools and coaching to help you take control of your business -- rather then having your business control you.