Managers Can Solve Problems but Often Shouldn't
You work really hard and are good at what you do which is why you got promoted. You have a lot of knowledge about your organization and can solve any problem that comes your way. You are a manager, and as the manager, you are ready to provide your insight and knowledge to your team to keep moving. However, maybe you should hold those thoughts.
When my son was a preschooler, he showed extreme aptitude in math. He was able to grasp the concepts of multiplication and division by the time he was in kindergarten. To this day, he loves math and deliberately looks for new math challenges and works on them until he figures it out. A lot of this ability started very early in his life when he first started doing addition. He would ask me simple questions like “what is 3+4?”. Instead of answering “7”, I would challenge him. I would encourage him. Then he would use his fingers and figure out the answer. I knew he had enough information to connect the dots. Over the years, he continued to stretch his ability to problem solve.
As a manager, your job has fundamentally changed from the days when you were a worker. Your job is no longer to supply the answers; your job is to develop and nurture your team to be able to provide the answers. To do this, ask them questions and challenge them to think outside of their natural skillset. Solving problems for your people helps the organization in the short term, but it doesn’t help your people develop their own skills. By developing those skills, your employees will become engaged and more passionate to step up and solve situations for your organization, leaving you a better and more successful manager.
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