Monday, August 15, 2011

Completed Work

I've blogged about the negatives and problems of the Corporate world. Meanwhile, some of my recent writing has called to mind the positive I learned during my time in Corporate Life. So I think I'll do a series of posts on some of these lessons -- I hope someone out there in blogdom finds some value in them.

Completed Work:

This tidbit of thought was contributed by a former boss of mine. He originally referred to it as "Admiral Rickover's Theory of Completed Work", but a can't vouch for the reference to the admiral.

The "theory" goes as follows: A person should never bring only a problem to their organizational superior (boss). Instead they should bring the problem, their analysis, the possible ways of solving the problem, and their proposed solution.

Another way I've seen this stated is to never "delegate upward".

Why is this rule important?
Managers are busy, directors busier, VP's...well, you get the idea. No one appreciates having additional work tossed in their laps. I can remember getting "suggestions" from employees and thinking "okay, you've done three percent of the work, and now expect me to do the other ninety-seven". With hundreds of employees, the task of solving these problems rapidly becomes impossible.
Finding a problem is not a credit to you. Analyzing it makes you appear smart (assuming you don't make a huge mistake). Developing alternatives makes you appear smarter. Offering your recommendation shows courage. In a world where the employee has limited opportunity to "show what they've got", completed work is one of the easiest ways to do so.

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