Leaders have a natural tendency to problem solve, which is a core responsibility. However, not requiring others to think is limiting.
- Limitation of personal growth: If leaders handle all the problem solving and the pursuit of opportunities, it limits the growth of others who are capable.
- Limitation of the leader’s growth: Those in a leadership role have had their fair share of problem solving experience, and have graduated to giving guidance to others and helping solve the largest problems, and capture the largest opportunities. If they let everything fall on their desk, the larger opportunities will not be seized, nor will the largest problems be solved efficiently.
Not only is this method empowering and more efficient – it also leads to better decisions. Two thinkers are better than one, and the real function a leader should play is to challenge each idea and help others decide on the best solution. More often than not, the individual will develop the solution if given the opportunity to think it through, and then the solution can be made even better by working together to vet and finalize the approach.
If this is happening in your organization, it may be that others around you have the perception that they are not allowed to make decisions / come up with solutions. They may have come from a different environment and the concept is foreign to them. If this is the case, make the culture known and advocate for “thinking before problem-dumping”.
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