“Sorry to let you know, but it turns out that there is an issue with the figures we’ve reported to the CEO. There was an error in one of the tables. I’ve already spoken to the Finance team and they have started recalculating the figures. They are expecting to finish within the hour, but I’ll chase them up if I don’t hear back in 60 minutes. In the meantime, I propose we speak to the CEO now to let him know that new figures are coming in case he uses them before we get a chance to correct them. I’ve already redrafted the commentary to reflect the new figures (attached to this email). I’ll give you a call now to discuss further.”

The difference is obvious. Too often people bring problems rather than solutions. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to approach your boss about an issue, decide for yourself how you would deal with it and propose that as a solution. They might disagree with you but at least you’ve shown initiative and are taking control. You’ll often be able to influence the path that’s taken as well.

Additionally, you’re training for the decisions you’d need to make after the next promotion and eventually showing you’re ready for it.

Next time you run into a problem, be calm, solve it, then speak to whoever you need to.


“David doesn’t bring me problems, he brings me solutions” – Margaret Thatcher