September 2, 2009 Ingenuity
General Patton was quoted to say, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
I am a huge believer in General Patton’s statement. As a matter of fact this is exactly how I like to govern my working relationships and different projects that I undertake or oversee. As a leader it so happens that we get tangled up in how we forsee things getting accomplished when in actuality all we really want is a postive end result.
So who cares the avenue (most of the time).
When we tell people how to accomplish a task we not only cramp the way that person thinks through situations, but we also stifle any creativity they have in them or potential growth or progress they are able to bring to the situation. Perhaps they see something that you didn’t see. When I look at the picture above I think of how that situation could have played out. You have a group of people who wanted to grill some steaks, but they didn’t have a grill. When the majority of the group threw their hands up and resolved that he could not be done… there was one person who thought, “all we need is something grated.” Lo and behold they got their steaks.
When you tell people how to do something you take away from them the “all we need is…” mentality and put them in a box ultimately limiting potential progress.
Ingenuity = the ability to solve difficult problems often in original and creative ways; inventiveness.