Stop problem solving and start managing

22 March


Do you recognize the following situation?

It´s Monday morning and you are at the office. On your desk is a pile of papers waiting to be checked and signed. Your mailbox is exploding and a team member comes in to talk about a client who was yelling at the desk downstairs. At that same moment the phone rings and there is a bunch of information on the intranet you need to go through before you can go to your next meeting. A new computer system has been implemented and, as expected, that didn´t go smoothly.

This is the way you started the day and you haven´t even got a decent cup of coffee yet. Sure you want to help everybody and to just push a colleague out of your office or to just not answer the phone is not the solution.


  • Are you the only one who always needs to check a pile of papers? Really? Always?
  • How come you have got so much emails? And how many of them require action or are just for your information?
  • Surely you can talk with your colleague at lunch?
  • And this new computer system, whose responsibility is that anyway?

Your team members don´t want you to be nice, they want a decision. If someone comes in your office to discuss something, it´s quite alright to tell him or her that you are very busy and you will talk later. A new system implementation is not your responsibility (unless you work at ICT of course). So don´t try to fix it. There are (I hope) ICT people who now better than you and it takes too much of your valuable time. Why not appoint one of your team members to make list of all the things that aren´t working right now. And he or she can inform ICT of these problems, not you

I believe that managing a team consists out of 3 elements

  1. Manage your team. Determine the range within they can operate
  2. Manage the actions. With other words, prioritize. What is more important right now: a discontented client of a computer system. Its´s up to you to decide.
  3. Manage the process (and not the problem). Appoint someone who will now deal with this client or the ICT implementation. And let this person only report to you when there is a problem he/she cannot solve or a solution.

And remember this. By being clear in what you want and expect, you are showing your team members how they can treat you. You will be able to work more effectively, you´ll have a good grip of the situation and you can be On Top‼

Deel je ervaringen en lees die van anderen!