Give the Work Back

You gain credibility and authority in your career by demonstrating your capacity to take other people’s problems off their shoulders and give them back solutions. The pattern begins early in school as children receive positive reinforcement for finding the answers, and continues throughout life as you become an increasingly responsible adult. All of this is a virtue, until you find yourself facing adaptive pressures for which you cannot deliver solutions. At these times, all of your habits, pride, and sense of competence get thrown out of kilter because the situation calls for mobilizing the work of others rather than knowing the way yourself. By trying to solve adaptive challenges for people, at best you ...

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