7 Ways to Powerfully Lead Through Problems

Reluctance to deal with problems makes you look ineffective, weak, and self-protective.

The problem isn’t the problem. Avoiding it is.

avoiding problems

Inaction increases fear; action increase courage.

4 things avoiders say:

  1. Let it work itself out.
  2. It’s not that bad.
  3. I can’t do anything about it.
  4. I’ll make it worse if I try to make it better.

The difference between exceptional and average leadership is the resolve to quickly deal with problems that matter.

4 dangers of avoiding problems:

  1. Silence implies secrecy. Secrecy destroys trust.
  2. Tolerance in the beginning becomes approval in the end. You get what you tolerate.
  3. Ignored problems grow.
  4. Reluctance invites drama.

Bonus: Delay amplifies difficulty. The longer you wait the harder it is to act.

If you’ve seen this sore before, you already missed the easiest time to heal it.

7 Ways to Powerfully Lead Through Problems:

  1. Be transparent. Everyone knows profits are down. They’re waiting for you to name it.
  2. Create a “we.”
  3. Talk with people at the center of the storm. Ask them to:
    • Explain the situation.
    • Define success.
    • Identify and describe behaviors that create forward movement.
    • Describe how committed they are to finding and implementing solutions.
  4. Begin with problems; remain focused on solutions.
  5. Commit to quickly making things better. The longer you wait the more difficult solutions become.
  6. Set expectations. Complete resolution takes time.
  7. Ask them to solve it, when appropriate. Stay available. Don’t hover.

7 power questions that help solve problems:

  1. What’s not working?
  2. How important is this issue?
  3. What are we learning?
  4. What happens if we do nothing?
  5. What does progress look like?
  6. How can we make this better today? (Forget perfection.)
  7. What’s the next step?

Weak leaders listen to problems and do nothing. Powerful leaders listen to resolve, solve, and move forward.

What problem solving suggestions can you add?