Reluctance to deal with problems makes you look ineffective, weak, and self-protective.
The problem isn’t the problem. Avoiding it is.
Inaction increases fear; action increase courage.
4 things avoiders say:
- Let it work itself out.
- It’s not that bad.
- I can’t do anything about it.
- 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:
- Silence implies secrecy. Secrecy destroys trust.
- Tolerance in the beginning becomes approval in the end. You get what you tolerate.
- Ignored problems grow.
- 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:
- Be transparent. Everyone knows profits are down. They’re waiting for you to name it.
- Create a “we.”
- 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.
- Begin with problems; remain focused on solutions.
- Commit to quickly making things better. The longer you wait the more difficult solutions become.
- Set expectations. Complete resolution takes time.
- Ask them to solve it, when appropriate. Stay available. Don’t hover.
7 power questions that help solve problems:
- What’s not working?
- How important is this issue?
- What are we learning?
- What happens if we do nothing?
- What does progress look like?
- How can we make this better today? (Forget perfection.)
- 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?