A common mistake many burgeoning leaders make is that they are problem focused. Noticing problems is a leadership trait for sure! However, continually brining unsolved problems to your boss is not the best demonstration of leadership. Your boss needs you to see problems and solve problems! So, when you notice a problem you want to take one of the following approaches:
- Take Action
If you notice a problem and you know how to solve it, and there are no major implications in solving it, just go for it and let your boss know later that you resolved the issue. You should aim to be solving problems 70% of the time.
- Plan & Check
If you have a solution but you feel you need to run it by your boss then go to your boss and let them know you have a solution to a problem and that you want approval on your solution. Don’t start by saying you have a problem! Start by saying you want to run a solution by them. This show’s you are solution focused, not problem focused. You should aim to only have to check your solutions 20% of the time.
- Boss Brainstorm
If you’ve notice a problem, and you don’t know how to solve it ask your boss for some time to brainstorm a possible solution. This works because being vulnerable and admitting you don’t know is a high level leadership trait. However, you want to limit this to only the few problems you don’t know how to solve. Aim to ask your boss only
Taking these 3 actions will have you noticed as a problem solver, an action taker, an idea generator and ultimately a leader! Furthermore, by taking these 3 actions your boss won’t have to worry about if you’re getting things done and won’t have to worry about if you’re in over your head. Thus, your boss will start to trust you because you’re demonstrating that you know how to manage different levels of issues. AND, you boss will also be able to see that you’re the person to come to when they need solutions.