I am trying to reconcile the events leading up to Moshe's decision to appoint leaders for the people (heads of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.) It seems that we get two different stories.
In Shemot 18:13 - 17, Yitro sees that the people are standing waiting for Moshe to resolve cases for them. He says to Moshe, this is a huge task for you and a burden to the people, you can't do this alone. Then, in verses 19-23, he advises Moshe to appoint heads of different divisions. Moshe listens to Yitro's advise (verse 24), and does this.
In Devarim 1:12, Moshe complains that the people's burdens are too large for him, and he advises the people to find smart and renown people. This seems different from Shemot, where it seems that Moshe found these people.
Next, in Devarim 1:14, the people tell Moshe, "This is a good idea". In Shemot, it doesn't seem that Moshe asked for the people's approval of the idea. It seems that he realized on his own that Yitro offered the right advice.
Lastly, Rash"i's comment on Devarim 1:14 seems negative. He says that the people should have said, "No, we'd rather learn directly from you." It seems that this was the people's fault that they agreed to having separate heads. I don't see how Rash"i arrives at faulting the people. In Devarim, it seems clear that Moshe himself decided that he needed help. In Shemot, he was listening to Yitro's advice.
How do we reconcile these seemingly conflicting stories?