How to Cultivate Engaged Employees – 5th in a series of 6 related Posts

One Team, One Dream
No one, including superheros, has all the answers.

Guideline #5 – Don’t try to have all the answers

HBR author Charalambos Vlachoutsicos writes that “Problem solving is central to the manager’s sense of self, and feelings of inadequacy can surface when a solution is elusive.”

This guideline dovetails with his first guideline, “be modest.” If we can take our egos out of the equation, we are free to get input from others and to encourage them to be their best thinking. Think of the process as team building, particularly if you’re grooming someone to be the “go to” person when you’re not around. Continually ask,  “What do you think?”

If you pay attention, you will find someone (or several people) who consistently come up with ideas that are as good or better than your own. Essentially, you want to identify those people who put the good of the firm ahead of their own personal agenda, as well as those who can control their emotions and make solid decisions. Of course, you’ll never find these people if you spend all your time in your office trying to solve all the problems your self.

If you’ve read my book, Building a Winning Business, you might think I’m contradicting myself. After all, chapter 55 is called “Leaders Solve Problems.” But if you read it carefully, you’ll recall that my advice is to involve others in brainstorming solutions – as well as holding others accountable for making sure solutions are implemented.

As my team frequently says, “One team, One dream!”