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Never Trust A Runner

Date - 30 January 2016/ Category - Facts Of Life
Facts of life

Now I don’t know about you, but whenever the proverbial hits the fan it seems that I’m the only one left in the room.

Whenever there’s a problem it seems most people’s first reactions aren’t to solve it but instead to:

a) blow it out of proportion
b) appropriate blame
c) lie to cover ones arse
d) make the situation worse
e) do anything but fix the problem
f) exit stage right

And it seems the above list actually works quite well for some people. Literally if I were writing a book about how to be a politician one of the first lessons I’d teach is that once you’ve gained someone’s trust the above process is a sure fire way to promotion.

Why you say? Because if you’re a clever operator, you’ll blame the people below you, make them to fix it for fear of losing their job and as they do you will engage the opposite of point f) and “enter stage right” just in time to take the credit for saving the day.

In essence you’ve played a good game and can now sit back and wait for the promotion you deserve.

The above of course isn’t a natural reaction for a problem solver. As a problem solver your natural reaction will be very different, something like:

a) Understand the problem
b) Solve the problem
c) Learn from the problem
d) Prevent the problem happening again.

The problem is, if you’re a natural problem solver, around about b) you’ll find a lot of people re-entering the equation and then in an effort to look good, suggesting loads of d)’s without having a clue what went wrong or why; all the while placing the blame on you.

Net result, you’ll end up with a fix that doesn’t work and in about 2 weeks you’ll repeat the process much to your incredulity.

Now if you work for yourself your reaction to this process is great. It’s called learning from experience (remember that bit, experience means nothing after all).

But should you work for someone, or be on a project for someone, then it’s a very bad trait to have. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong, it’s just that you’re going to be a target for others.

If you want to succeed in an organisation when you’re creative, the only way to do it is to keep your mouth shut until you solve it. That way others don’t have the time to enact their stage left/stage right dance.

For some reason the desire of the creative person when they find problems (because let’s face it, you went looking for a problem to fix) is to raise a big flag and shout to the roof tops that you’ve found something.

That’s where your problem beings, because as your mind starts trying to figure out what’s going on, the rest of the room are starting to run to the kitchen. They’re getting out of the frying pan so they can plan a way to benefit from the problem you’re about to solve.

So simply don’t do it. Don’t tell them about the problem. When you’ve solved it, humbly announce your revolution (via email so it’s documented) and sit back.

The lesson to learn from this whether you work for someone or not is that you can generally classify people into many groups, but when it comes to problem solving you’ve got runners (the ones who run away and make things worse) or solvers (you).

If you meet another solver then you can trust them. If you meet a runner then you can’t.

If I were to describe to you the type of people to employ (besides those that can deal with stress) where possible it would always be problem solvers.

They are worth a million runners. It’s also important to note that runners are often managers, and problem solvers are often leaders.

Problem solvers might be expensive but they are the ones that will dig you out of a hole, get back up when you get knocked down and grow your business.

Chapter Summary:

• Choose problems solvers that can deal with stress
• Fix a problem first then tell the world about it

Read our next blog post “You need cash flow not profit”.