Thursday, 13 December 2018 05:59

Do You Own the Problem or the Solution?

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Walt was clear: He felt that missing his targets someone else’ fault. As his boss, Ellen didn’t care. She wanted him to set aside blame and accept that he owned the problem.

Ellen’s question for me was: “Is that the right position to take with Walt?” I’m thinking: “We can do better.” Let’s look at this.

There are three positions I can take when there is a problem:

1 - I can blame someone else,

2 - I can own the problem, or

3 - I can own the solution.

For me, I don’t want to blame someone else. Sustainable success starts with owning the solution.


Who Should Own the Solution?

Clearly someone has to own the solution. In many organizations, that would be Ellen covering for Walt. That works but it impedes growth for your business. It also impedes growth for Walt.

Ellen wants strong people on her team, so she wants Walt to work from a place of strength. That means internally driven. That in turn means Walt owning the solution.

The difference between owning the problem and owning the solution? It is the difference between treading water and growing. The good news is that we can make the choice to own the problem every day. We can share that with our team. Bypassing blame is obvious. And moving past owning the problem to owning the solution is a way to help grow your team and your business.


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Peter Meyer

Owner/Founder of TMG

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