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Bad leadership quotes: “Don’t Bring Me Problems—Bring Me Solutions!”

Source | LinkedIn : By Robert Walters

I’ve repeatedly heard the phrase “Don’t Bring Me Problems—Bring Me Solutions!”, or some variation, from leaders during my time in the military.  Every time I hear it I cringe and you should as well.

At first it seems like good advice.  We all want to be viewed by our boss as the person with all the answers.   Unfortunately, we may not always be able to provide that solution due to a lack of experience, resources, limited visibility of the entire problem, etc.   If that is the case then the problem will go unaddressed and continue to be an issue.

As leaders we should try to foster a culture where employees are actually empowered to solve the problem if they already have the solution and encouraged to bring problems beyond their scope or ability to others for help.  An article from the March 2007 issue of Harvard Management Update states the benefits of a culture where employees are encouraged to highlight problems regardless of their ability to solve them far more eloquently than I can:

I can’t find any evidence that Teddy Roosevelt actually said the quote in the picture above.  I am fairly confident it is a case of a meme contributing an anonymous quote to a famous figure in order to give the quotation more credence.  If anyone has proof that this quotation is indeed attributable to T.R.  please let me know.

Read On….

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