Early in my career, one of the muckety-mucks I worked for used to say, “I don’t want you to bring me problems. I want you to bring me solutions!”
Over the years, that saying got a lot of brain reverb. But it really came to life for me when I started working with ISSA four years ago. One of my colleagues, Mary Lynne Doleys (Heeeey, Mary Lynne!), had a gentle way of coaching me, while allowing me to save face, which I really appreciated. But what I liked the most about her style was her ability to have, well, a nice big but (that didn’t come out right did it?).
Anyway, what I mean is, for every problem (I know the politically correct phrase is “challenge,” but who are we kidding?), she would point out some solutions.
For example, she might say, “Lisa, this image was used by another broadcast email, which you probably didn’t see. BUT (see what I did there?), one of these other three images might work. What do you think?”
I loved that about her then. And I love that about her today.
But it has also changed the way I view the world. Now, my internal sorting hat is continually filing everyone I meet into either the problem person or the solutions person category.
And guess who I like to work with better?
So the next time you need to bring up a pro, er, challenge, why not throw in a nice big but yourself?
And if you are in the cleaning industry, why not show off your solutions with the ISSA Excellent Idea Contest?
Afterall, even the Seattle Symphony and Sir Mix a Lot like big buts.