Completed Work

This tidbit of thought was contributed by a former boss of mine.  He originally referred to it as "Admiral Rickover's Theory of Completed Work", but a can't vouch for the reference to the admiral.

The "theory" goes as follows:  A person should never bring only a problem to their organizational superior (boss).  Instead they should bring the problem, their analysis, the possible ways of solving the problem, and their proposed solution.

Another way I've seen this stated is to never "delegate upward".

Why is this rule important? 
Managers are busy, directors busier, VP's...well, you get the idea.  No one appreciates having additional work tossed in their laps -- especially difficult, time-consuming work.  I can remember getting "suggestions" from employees and thinking "okay, you've done one percent of the work, and now expect me to do the other ninety-nine".  If you have hundreds of employees, the task of "solving" all of these problems becomes impossible.

Finding a problem is not a credit to you.  Analyzing it at least makes you appear smart (assuming you don't make a huge mistake).  Developing alternatives makes you appear smarter.  Offering your recommendation shows courage.  In a world where the employee has limited opportunity to "show what they've got", completed work is one of the easiest ways to do so.