It hardly seems fair: You got to where you are because you’re smart. You’re good at solving problems. Then, if you get a break and you move up in your career, you find yourself with this plight: Your genius as a professional problem solver will only carry you so far.
Suddenly, fixing things doesn’t differentiate you because there are a lot of people who can do that; at this point building becomes the hallmark of excellence.
There’s a glaring difference between those who make this transition and those who don’t. The problem solver, if he’s not careful, doesn’t recognize his strategy is flawed…and begins to think his lack of upward mobility is due to other people. They’re the problem! This judgment against others is repelling.
The builder, the developer, does things differently. They’ve moved beyond the confines of their wisdom. They build capacity by fostering and activating the wisdom that surrounds them. You can spot them from a distance because they do this: They ask questions.
When problems arise (and they should always), how is your response differentiating you?