Have you ever had a conversation with someone when they start complaining about something?

They say something like, “I wish they had more ______ around here” or “They should really start doing ______ or stop doing ______” or “I don’t like when ______”

Maybe you are a part of a work team or volunteer in an organization. These types of people don’t like what they see and aren’t willing to do anything to fix it.

Image courtesy of Tina Phillips/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Tina Phillips/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is called laziness. For these people the change they are look for is someone else’s responsibility. They are just dealing out complaints.

They treat you like the complaints department.

Here is a good complaints department policy: You are not allowed to complain about anything unless you are willing to be a part of the solution.

If you want change (and we all want it somewhere) you need to be willing to be a part of the process of change towards the solution.

If you aren’t willing to be a part of the solution your complaints will only get in the way of real progress.

A leader sees the same problems as the person above. They see the areas of improvement and new opportunities.

The difference is that they are willing to be a part of the solution. When something needs to be done and they can do it, they do it. No mystery there!

Here are few questions to ask when you aren’t satisfied and see a problem:

1. Is it all about me, my opinion and what is best for me?

If yes, the problem is you! Stop being the problem! If no, move to Q2.

2. Can I do a quick fix and solve the issue?

If yes, just do it and move on. If no, move to Q3.

3. Is this within my area of giftedness and authority?

If yes, start a plan to bring lasting change. If no, move to Q4.

4. Who can I speak with that has the giftedness and authority?

If you know that person, speak with them and be willing to help in implementing a solution. If you don’t know of that person, speak with your mentor.

One of the most frustrating elements about being in leadership is when you have people come to you and complain about something and aren’t willing to be a part of the solution.

Dave Ramsey shares a story that explains it like this: When a person comes into your office with a problem, they have a monkey on their shoulders. When they share the problem, the monkey jumps onto your desk. Your job as a leader is to help them take their monkey with them. Great stuff Dave!

Don’t be a monkey deliverer. It’s ok to identify concerns and problems. If you want to grow in leadership and gain greater responsibilities, you also need to be the person that has thought through a solution.

Do you search to find solutions to problems in your organization? How so?