“All problems are welcome, but only if you have a solution.”

That was the message I read on a manager’s door while I waited in the foyer in a car rental office in Florida.

That was several years ago, but It left an indelible mark and became my mantra when I was an employee. Whenever I presented a problem to my manager, I was armed with a couple of suggestions, and quite often, we would work out a solution somewhere in the middle.

I acknowledge that some management styles do not allow such freedom of contribution – due to ego or other leadership styles. Still, if you are in an environment that does not encourage suggestions other than their own, maybe it’s time to move on.

As a manager, I believed that if anyone in my team continually walked into my office with problems but no suggestions for solving it, I was hard-pressed to see their value.

This view may be harsh, but my thoughts were if I have to find all of the solutions, what are you being paid for exactly? And what value are you adding if there is an absence of initiative?

Effective management, in my view, is helping your team to think and make decisions in your absence, which is useful when you run your own business or as a manager.

Until we meet.