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Tag Archives: showing initiative

How the “road fairy” took ownership of the problem

Every so often I run across a nugget of news that makes me shake my head, partly in amazement and partly in frustration. Take the case of Veronika Bobrus, a 26-year old Russian florist who, exasperated by number of potholes in her home town of Omsk (and seeming lack of action by city crews), decided to take matter into her own hands. Mind you, not by complaining to the city, or going to the media, or god-forbid, staging a sit-in, but by taking action. By going out in the middle of the night with concrete and gravel to fill the potholes herself! In the middle of winter! In Siberia! She became an overnight local celebrity in Omsk (dubbed the “road fairy”) when last month, a local motorist caught her on his dashboard camera and subsequently posted the video online.


So far, so good, you might be saying. Why would this cause you to shake your head Merge? Continue reading

The business case for not solving the problem

Most leaders will tell you that they value independent thinking and initiative. Yet, inadvertently, many supervisors and managers discourage such behaviour. How? By taking over instead of pushing back.

Consider this scenario. An employee comes into your office with an issue regarding some aspect of his job responsibilities, looking for you to resolve his predicament. And like any good manager, you, the person with the experience, the knowledge, and the job title, give him the solution. But is that necessarily the best approach? By taking over, you are discouraging your employee from thinking independently and showing initiative.  Good leadership requires that you push back: that you withhold your response and curb your action; that you push the employee to take ownership of the problem and thus also, ownership of the solution.  For four compelling reasons, and tips to make it happen, read the entire article in the March/April issue of CGA Magazine here.