Be The Solution To The Problem- A Story On Leadership Qualities

Jane and Abigail were two extremely skilled engineers who worked for a firm in Cincinnati. The firm had over 100 engineers, each of whom were efficient and had graduated from some of the best universities in America.

One day while taking a coffee break in the common cafeteria, someone discovered that the coffee machine had broken and was not working properly. The employees got irritated due to this, but after plenty of ranting, they went about their day.

The next morning, the employees came back to the same situation of a broken coffee machine, which had stopped serving its purpose. The same routine of ranting and complaining continued, but the employees would eventually go back to their cubicles and continue working in their disgruntled state.

Jane and Abigail were not just colleagues, but were also good friends, who were witnessing this dissatisfaction every single day. Jane then turned to Abigail and said, ‘if no one is going to come fix the machine, then can’t we? I mean, we are engineers after all, and know how such machines work’. Abigail agreed and said ‘Sometimes we spend so much time complaining, but don’t realize that the solution is always in our hands’. Jane and Abigail came the next day, on their day off and got together on fixing the broken coffee machine. It took a few strenuous hours, but they got the job done, and were proud of themselves for having fixed a problem for the other employees.

The next day, the employees came in as usual and expected to find a broken coffee machine, but were instead shocked to see that it had been fixed, and was working normally. They found out that Jane and Abigail has spent their day off in working on the broken machine, and this impressed everyone thoroughly, but also left them feeling embarrassed, as they could have also contributed and become a part of the solution instead of complaining.

So what’s the moral here? If you can fix a problem, then do it, instead of complaining and waiting for someone to fix it for you. Be the solution, not the problem!

How You Perceive Things Is What Makes All The Difference

Kathy and Vanessa were 2 extremely intelligent individuals who worked for a leading fashion brand in the U.S, which was known for its high quality leather jackets. They were efficient, smart, and had experienced a lot of success in their respective roles at the workplace.
One day, their boss Carla called them and told them that they had to fly to a remote part in China to conduct some research, which could help with the business. Kathy and Vanessa were thrilled to know that they had been selected for such a great task, and were soon off to China to explore some unchartered terrains. When they reached China, Kathy and Vanessa decided to conduct their own personal research.
2 weeks went by and the research went well. Kathy and Vanessa came back to their swanky office in the U.S, and were eager to meet their boss before making the final presentation.
When Carla, their boss walked in she asked both of them to sit down and share their research details and key takeaways from their long trip to China.
Kathy started off first, and went on to say that there was no potential in that remote part of China, as people did not wear clothes that were similar to what they sold. On the other hand, Vanessa pointed out that there was tremendous potential in that remote part of China, since nobody wore the kind of clothes that they sold!
Carla looked amused, and said “I am amazed. You both went and explored the same region. While you both understood that the people in that region did not wear our kind of clothes, you both drew different conclusions, based on the SAME fact. Kathy looked astonished, as she realized that even though she and Vanessa went to the same place, conducted the same research, and found the same facts, they both had such extreme opinions on what could or could not work.
So what is the moral of this story? Your outlook towards things determines your success. We always have ONE situation; however the way we look at it is what defines us. At the end of it all, how you perceive things is what shapes your reality. Good, bad, positive, negative, all these are different outlooks, but they create a huge impact in how we think and choose to conduct ourselves at work.