“Nobody likes someone who complains all the time.” These wise words from my Aunt Myrna, fell upon
my ears at the tender age of thirteen. She was right, it had been a tough summer, and practically all
that I did that summer was complain. I listened to my aunt, and resolved to change my attitude, and life
got better. I also discovered that if I did have a real problem (besides teenage angst), it would be better
received if I came with a solution as well.
“Nobody likes someone who complains all the time” is the corollary to my business rule, “Always Bring
the Solution.” If you have a problem, going to your boss, your coworkers or worse, your clients, and
venting is not going to solve the problem – in fact it may create bigger ones.
If you are the person graced with the ability to see the gaps, and not everyone has those gifts, become
the person who tries to solve them. Spending the time to think of one or two practical solutions before
you go to your higher ups – EVEN IF THEY ARE NEVER ADOPTED – is proactive, and can result in
Throughout my career, I have become known as the problem solver. As a problem solver, many people
will come to you – looking for direction, leadership, and advice. As a mentor I believe solutions should
be collaborative, part of the brainstorming process, and your personal ownership of a solution should be
negligible, because there are many ways to solve the same problem.
Bringing the solution is about bringing the mindset for change, collaboration and positive steps forward
– not about who solved the problem. This builds community and a healthy work environment. Since
most of us spend 30% of our time in some type of work environment, it makes sense to be in a healthy
one. And if you can’t change your environment by your attitude – CHANGE your environment through