Challenge Me!!

How often do we find that that the most senior person in the room comes up with the solution. Does that mean it is the right solution? Does that mean that you can’t challenge them?

I expect my team members to challenge me on a daily basis. I don’t have all of the answers and I don’t l know everything. Just because I have been in the workforce longer than them, or that have been put in a leadership role doesn’t mean they can’t question my actions. What I find is that people blindly accept what is given to them just because it was given by someone more senior. In a lot of cases there is no right or wrong answer, it is more about justification of the solution and ensure that all elements have been considered. Take a simple solution design as an example, a senior architect constructs a design for a client problem and then hands it to the developers to build. The developer notices that there is some customisation being built when some standard functionality could be used. Dilemma, does the developer question the design or accept it blindly and build? If done in the right way questioning the architect is absolutely the correct path here. Asking the architect to explain why they have customised over using standard functionality, putting forward the alternative solution. Provided everyone involved in this scenario has the appropriate attitude, this is a constructive conversation that allows both parties to learn from the experience. The architect has to rethink and justify their design, and the developer would learn about solution architecture. I would prefer to have a team of people that are prepared to question my actions, in the right way, than a team of blind followers. We should be encouraging our teams to think for themselves and outside the box. Nobody is irreplaceable and our job is not only to do the right thing by our customers, but also by our employer. Part of that is to help develop the talent we have in the organisation so eventually everyone can take another step up.