3 Reasons to stop solving other people's problems for them
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Roy Osherove

If you re an expert in some field in your team (the DB guy, the UI gal, the search Guru.. you know), it also means you're a bottleneck, and people have to constantly wait for you to make decisions on important things.

Here are three reasons why you should stop solving other people's problems, and start pairing with them when they come to you with questions:

  1. You will be reducing the risk factor in the project. The risk is that you won't be there when you're needed and people will be stuck without you (also called the bus factor). Can the team handle you being a way for a couple weeks? if not, that is a huge risk.
  2. You will teach other people to solve their own problems, thus making them better at decision making. This will improve your status from "expert at X" to "Expert factory on X". You will have  force multiplier of sorts. Think world of warcraft and you getting one level up. You can start influencing more people and more decisions, by teaching them how to think like you. Now you're the person who you can bring into a team to make them better at doing X, instead of just solving X for the team. That might also mean a salary raise for you.
  3. You will have more free time to do the things you really want to do. Instead of solving the same boring problems for everyone, you now have time to focus on more interesting problems, research or dive into new areas. Delegation is free time. Now you get to become better too!

So what should you do?


Usually that breaks the ice enough. If not, keep at it for next time, but be PRO ACTIVE. No one will do it for you.

Article originally appeared on Elastic Leadership (http://5whys.com/).
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