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You have two problems.  Solving problem A will earn you $100K.  Solving problem B will earn you $10K. 

You can only solve one with your current team.  

So, choose problem A.  You’re ahead $90K.   

If only it were so easy. 

Here’s the rub:   Many individual contributors, whether they be accountants or developers are bothered by all problems.  Whatever the value.  So, the idea that we’re going to let a problem fester just makes them uncomfortable.  And they’ll keep bringing it up.  Over. And over. And over. 

Worse, many managers and “leaders” really, really, really want both problems to be solved at the same time.  Because while they certainly want the $100K, they don’t really want to lose the $10K. 

Even though that’s not possible. 

When I help lead projects, I help my clients focus on the big problems. At the same time, it’s crucial that everyone knows that we aren’t ignoring the smaller ones, we just can’t solve them right now.  And that leadership will take responsibility if that small issue turns out to be a bigger problem. 

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