How to Help People Solve Their Problems


Every time you impose your solution on their problem you devalue and degrade others.

Experienced leaders see the world
through their own strengths.

The question isn’t what would you do. The question is what action best suits them. They have their own strengths, not yours.

Accidental arrogance – intentional humility:

Ego makes your way – the one aligned with your strengths – the right way. You wrongly believe everyone is, or should be, like you.

Experienced leaders know too much
and explore too little.

Humility sees the world through their strengths. How can they bring themselves to the challenge? Not! how can they pretend to be you?

New starting place:

Begin with, “Who do you want to be,” not, “What do you want to do.”

Explore problems fully. Let them rise up like sea monsters from the deep. Then ask, “Who do you want to be while facing this monster?”

Who do you aspire to be when:

  1. Conflicts arise.
  2. Results surpass expectation.
  3. Bosses suck.
  4. Pivotal decisions need made.
  5. People disappoint.
  6. New opportunities emerge.
  7. Projects languish.

New second question:

After asking, “Who do you aspire to be,” ask, “What would that person do?”

Experienced leaders put the inexperienced in the uncomfortable middle by telling them what they would do.

After defining problems,
focus on them not you.

Surprising benefit:

Pressing for their solution makes you inspirational. On the other hand, pressuring people to do what you would do stress you.

People create their own motivation while pursuing their solutions.


What if they can’t find their own solution? Rather than explaining what you would do, explore options.

Bonus tip: Stop owning other peoples problems.

How can leaders navigate the tension between hands on and hands off leadership?

How can leaders bring out the best in others while pursuing great results at the same time?

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