One of the mental exercises that people seem to love is to break down the world into different kinds of people.
In any organization, there are three kinds of people. Here is my go at it:
1. Those who can tell me what the problems are: This is nice but it only goes so far. I listen intently. I generally think I know the major problems I’m facing but I often get a new perspective and sometimes learn about a new problem. Still, a lot of repetition and the last thing I need is one more sticky note pasted on my forehead. I’ve got a pretty long to-do list already. So unless it is mission critical or could sink the ship, I tend to quickly delegate and move on.
2. Those who offer a solution to the problem: This is nice, too, and once again I listen because I love to learn. However, there is a large noise-to-signal ratio here because if it were easy, it would have been fixed already.
3. Those willing and skilled enough to implement the solution (and cheerfully handle all the snags and snafus that inevitably arise): These are the people I like the most, the ones I love to find and promote. Someone to take things off my list. Heaven on earth!
Which of these are you?
This is a classic from the NSC Blog archive, originally posted April 17, 2008.