management: 2 min read

leaders do not prescribe solutions

Yes. Actually they don’t like to.

A leader always wants us to think and take decisions. They will just set the broad direction and give a vision. The rest we will have to figure it out.

I have noticed that best leaders respond to questions with a simple yet deeper question. Take any great leader in the history and they never prescribe a solution. Leaders help us think deep with their simple and fundamental questions that we are scared to ask ourselves.

The response would be the same whether it be a career, business or personal decisions we need to make. Let us take a short example. I need to make a career decision and I approach my mentor / leader with this question.

Me: “What do you think I should do?”

Leader: She smiles back at me and asks, “Where is your heart and mind?”

Me: “I don’t really know. I was hoping if you could help me find it”

Leader: “Well. Sure. Why do you want to take up “x” career?”

….

It went on and I come out of the meeting knowing more about myself and what I need to do.

All personal questions leaders make us answer. After all it’s our decision and our life. For all business related decisions, they drive us to an answer based on the vision and principles they laid out for the organization.

Here is the best part, when we see great leaders at work they make us feel that we have taken all the decisions and leaders did not have any roll to play. We feel that the success and credit belong to us. And, leaders gladly say “Absolutely, great job. Pass it on.”

Leaders neither prescribe solutions nor give any quick fix answers. They teach us to live on our own.