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No Problem Without a Solution

No Problem Without a Solution

by Frank Roche on September 3, 2007

in Management

My first significant boss had a saying when we were solving some particularly difficult polymer physics challenge: No problem without a solution.

What he meant was, “Don’t bring me a problem and think I’ll be the one to solve it. Bring me possible reasons why and alternative approaches to the issue.” That helped me hone my critical thinking, and was a great benefit in my maturing as a professional. It’s a mantra I repeat still.

So, I was struck by a BBC article about a Russian mayor “who has issued a list of excuses that he will not tolerate from civil servants.”

Alexander Kuzmin, mayor of Megion in western Siberia, said that officials must stop using phrases such as “I don’t know” and “it’s lunch time”.

Mr Kuzmin said city officials should help improve people’s lives and solve their problems, not make excuses.

I’m not big on excuses. In my business, things need to get done. If I ever get to meet Mayor Kuzmin, I’m going to tell him “spasiba.” That’s “thank you” in Russian.

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