Being Negative Creates Positive Value

Image source

The depth of the problem determines the value of the solution.

Your great ideas always face frivolous dismissal if they don’t solve a painful problem or a felt need. Don’t begin with solutions; begin with problems. Explore them. Feel them. Own them. Let their ugliness rise up.

Picking at scabs:

Do you know people or organizations that live with persistent pain and dissatisfaction? I do. It’s amazing to hear someone say, “I’m not ready yet.” Translation, it doesn’t hurt enough for me to change. Don’t help them by soothing their pain. Help them by acknowledging and spotlighting it. Pick at their scab.

You do yourself and others a favor when you stop pretending everything’s okay when in reality it isn’t. “Fake it till you make it” won’t solve real problems and persistent pain.

Real world positive thinking:

Positive thinking isn’t pretending problems naturally evaporate.

Successful leaders see problems and find solutions. Don’t allow, however, enthusiasm for your solution to prevent you from fully seeing, exploring, and explaining failures.

It’s foolish pretending problems will go away on their own; wise leaders grapple with problems, identify solutions, and take action.

Basic principle:

Run toward pain-points not away. Finding what works begins by courageously digging into what isn’t working. When you name the problem and help find solutions you become a person of tangible value. But remember, don’t rush toward solutions.

A great solution without a great problem goes down the drain.


Have you seen great ideas fizzle because they weren’t connected with real problems?

How can leaders explore problems without becoming negative?



Go to yesterday’s post and leave a comment for a change to win “Can you Hear me Now” by the former CEO of Verizon Wireless. “9 Undeniable Reasons Managers Crash and Burn” It’s the best book on how to get things done I’ve read.


Don’t miss a single issue of Leadership Freak, subscribe todayIt’s free.  It’s private.  Go to the main page of Leadership Freak by clicking the banner at the top of this page, look in the right-hand navigation bar, enter your email and click subscribe.  Your email address is always kept private.  Note:  if it doesn’t arrive, check your spam filter for a confirmation email.