March 11, 2011
It's on you

I've always been a specialist first, but I've managed a few people anyway and the hardest trick - and the most essential - has always been to teach people what I will now name Locked Room Thinking.

Locked Room Thinking is the realization that you're in a bind, and there's nobody else, but that you'll make it out anyway. You're faced with some problem, and instead of assuming that there's a workaround, or that somebody else will come along and fix it for you, or maybe they already know what to do, or maybe it can't be done at all you simply need to learn the mindset that you're the guy on post, and nobody knows better and you're just going to have to work it out. I'm sure that sounds completely toxic to a lot of coaches and workplace happiness experts, but in my experience it's the essential difference you need to make in your work.
I don't know if this is a danish thing - I don't really think so - but it's been rare for junior employees to come in the door with this mindset where I've worked. It can take a lot of coaxing to build this spirit in people. The good news is that I know from experience that it can be built; it's not a basic character trait that you either have or you don't.

The Internet is great, thinking out of the box is great, collaboration is great and shortcuts are awesome but compared to your complete and total belief that the problem is there in front of you, and that it's not going away, and that no one else already has the answer, and that it's on you to fix it, and that you have the ability to do that. That is the essential step in getting things done.

Posted by Claus at March 11, 2011 01:06 PM | TrackBack (0)
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