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7 min read

Strategic Ownership of Problems

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Are you a great problem solver?  If you are, you likely find that problems stick to you like static cling.  Like you, for many years, I could not understand how I ended up with all the problems in our organization.  On the one hand, I loved solving problems. I was so good at it that I was solving other people’s problems as well as my own, or so I thought.  Finally, I started to be overwhelmed and could not keep up.  My kryptonite is death by 1000 tasks.  I am stupid enough to try to get them all done, so my threshold for problems was pretty high, but I finally got there; my problems I could take on well overflowed. 


As fate would have it close to that time, I heard a phrase and concept from Dr. Lee Thayer I had never heard before the Strategic Ownership of Problems. 


Dr. Lee Thayer's visionary approach encourages leaders to strategically delegate problem-solving tasks to their teams. Rather than shouldering the burden of every challenge themselves, Strategic Delegation empowers team members to take ownership and proactively address problems. This blog explores the essence of Strategic Delegation and its significance in fostering a collaborative, agile, and successful work environment. 


Understanding Strategic Delegation 


At its core, Strategic Delegation of Problems revolves around entrusting team members with the responsibility and authority to address challenges. Dr. Lee Thayer emphasizes that leaders should see problems as opportunities to nurture talent and build a more robust and skilled team. Instead of micro-managing every issue, Strategic Delegation requires leaders to provide guidance, resources, and support while allowing their team members the freedom to innovate and find solutions. 


Key Principles of Strategic Delegation 

  1. Empowerment: Strategic Delegation empowers team members by recognizing their expertise and potential. Leaders trust their team's abilities and encourage them to take ownership of problems within their areas of responsibility. 

  2. Clear Communication: Effective delegation hinges on clear communication. Leaders must articulate the problem, desired outcomes, and available resources while ensuring their team understands the significance of their role.
  3. Learning and Growth: By delegating problems strategically, leaders create opportunities for continuous learning and growth within their teams. Over time, team members develop valuable problem-solving skills and confidence.
  4. Accountability and Support: While delegating problems, leaders remain accountable for guiding and supporting their team members. Open channels of communication ensure that the team receives the necessary guidance without compromising their autonomy. 


Benefits of Strategic Delegation 

  1. Enhanced Collaboration: Strategic Delegation fosters a collaborative work environment. When team members are entrusted with problem-solving tasks, they are more likely to seek advice and insights from one another, resulting in innovative and well-rounded solutions. 

  2. Increased Efficiency: Empowering teams to handle problems directly reduces bottlenecks and minimizes delays in decision-making. Team members can act swiftly and make real-time adjustments, promoting efficiency and productivity. 

  3. Talent Development: Strategic Delegation promotes talent development within the organization. As team members take on new challenges, they gain valuable experience and skills, positioning them for future leadership roles. 

  4. Scalability and Adaptability: Delegating problems strategically ensures that the organization can adapt and scale effectively. A diverse range of perspectives and capabilities within the team enables the organization to tackle various issues simultaneously.




Dr. Lee Thayer's concept of Strategic Ownership of Problems unveils a profound approach to leadership and team management. By entrusting team members with the responsibility to address challenges, leaders cultivate a culture of empowerment, collaboration, and continuous growth. Strategic Delegation not only eases the burden on leaders but also enhances the collective problem-solving capabilities of the entire team. As organizations embrace this visionary concept, they pave the way for a future of success, adaptability, and fulfillment for both leaders and team members alike. 



Chris Comeaux
President / CEO of Teleios Collaborative Network





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