Learn to Become a “Solution” Person

On 03/22/2010, in Career, by Jordan Wilson

This Yahoo Finance article lists 7 Things Never to Say to Your Boss.

None involve having your boss performing unnatural acts. That would be an eighth.

If you want to enjoy a successful career, I suggest you become known as a “solution” person.

Most employees are problem generators for their bosses.

They need to be trained and retrained in how to perform their work. They have endless questions about their tasks. They worry about mistakes, so they are always checking in with their manager. Or they make mistakes and are scared to tell their boss. As a result, they compound the problem and make things even worse.

Unfortunately, the article is pretty accurate. Each day at work is filled with tasks that cannot be done, work that should be performed by another, and mistakes made by someone else.

Awful employees all, you must be thinking.

But sadly, the boss also works for someone. And the underlying boss creates an equal number of difficulties for his or her supervisor.

It is the way of the work world.

As  you have guessed, a “solution” person provides the boss with solutions, not problems.

These people happily take on new assignments. They accept responsibility for their work, complete it on time and within budget. If complications arise, these people report to their supervisor quickly and provide well thought-out recommendations for consideration.

These people come into meetings with ideas and logical analysis on dealing with issues. The question is not can we or should we do this. Rather, it is how can we best do it?

These people are rare.

Bosses are just like you. They want the minimal amount of headaches on a daily basis. They want to assign work to staff and have it completed as if they had done it themselves.

In a perfect world, there are no problems and the boss is able to leave the office at 5:00 p.m. each evening. If you can become a solutions person and help your manager move closer to this nirvana,  you will be very highly valued. In fact, other managers will want you on their teams.

If already in a job, look for ways to make your boss’s business life easier. Take on added responsibility, think things through before heading to your manager with more questions. Try to be a positive force in the unit and be proactive in your efforts.

If you are seen as a person with solutions and not just problems, your career will go far.

If you are applying for a job, one of the keys is to show your potential employer that you are a “solution” person. That you will be diligent, error free, and bring a positive influence into the company. That you will bring results and not just create more work for your employer.

In short, you will be the person that allows your boss to go home at 5:00 p.m.

If you can plant that seed in the interviewer’s mind, you have a great shot at the job offer.

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