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Being part of the solution
by Shea Pope. February 19, 2013

If you are anything like me, in business, it is hard to come up with solutions sometimes instead of just spouting out problems.  Anyone can list a problem right?  I can list 100 complaints right now.  This shipment was late, this shipment was too early, etc...  But who thinks about listing the solution first?

This hit me recently when looking at our parking lot of all things.  It had trash in some of the parking spaces and was unsightly to myself, probably our vendors and employees.  Three options came up in my mind on how to deal with this scattered trash:

  1. Tell a warehouse manager or other manager about the issue so they can handle
  2. Tell someone directly to handle so it gets taken of right then
  3. Clean it up yourself and then tell others we can do better than what we are currently doing, building them up by encouragement and example.

I can tell you #1 or #2 is my default most of the time.  It is the easy way out to delegate.  And what makes it easier is we have great management and leaders.  Stuff gets knocked out daily.  So it becomes easy to list issues or sore spots, even more efficient to put them in an e-mail - solution free.   Often I can resort to spouting off a problem I see and have someone else manage it from start to finish.  I feel like I am getting things done, knocking things out right?  But there is a problem with this:  If you are not part of the solution more often than not you get used to listing problems with no personal responsibility to fix/solve them.

So today I did #3 above and thought:

  • It is hard sometimes to do things that are not "technically" your job, but you can/should do it when you see an issue.  One of the many things I love about where I work is there a new solution to be had daily.
  • It is hard to think solution first instead of problem first but the reward is worth it.  People around you will thrive off it.

I am always grateful to be reminded on days like today, "be part of the solution, participate in the solution".  Picking up trash in a parking lot reminded me even more so that the solution sometimes can even just be the giving a physical example of solving the problem for others. 

My father in law used to tell us here at Logo:  "Two things you never say: We can't do it and it's not my job".

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