The Deeper Value of Problems that Shallow Leaders Neglect

A problem-free life would destroy us all.

A world without problems has no solutions.

In a rush to solve problems, don’t neglect their deeper value and ultimate purpose.

Wide eyed animal.

A world without problems has no solutions.


The ultimate purpose of problems is they change us – if we let them. Resistance to change multiplies the pain of problems.

Problems change us by changing the way we think about ourselves, others, and the world.

It’s necessary to change how you think if you hope to give your best self to the world.

Deeper value of problems:

#1. Center.

Problems remind us that we’re not the center of the universe. People who think they are the center of the universe are easily offended and entitled.

Entitlement gives birth to ‘why me’ thinking.

#2. Reminder:

Problems remind us of things we might like to forget.

  1. Dependence. We depend on others.
  2. Perceived knowledge. We know less than we think. Failure bursts the bubble of perceived knowledge.
  3. Responsibility. That pit in our stomach when something goes wrong is responsibility.
  4. Blame. The temptation to blame is an easy escape that prevents growth.

#3. Drive:

Problems make us hungry.

Hunger is dissatisfaction and dissatisfaction often becomes drive.

#4. Insight:

Problems wipe steam from the mirror so we see ourselves more clearly.

Insight that comes from struggling through problems is more about character than competence.

Problems show us we weren’t as competent as we thought, but we’re more resilient than we realize.

Maximize the value of problems by engaging in self-reflection.

  1. How are we changing?
  2. What are we learning?
  3. What’s different about us as a result of facing problems?
  4. How might facing problems make us better leaders? Persons? (Be specific.)

What deeper value in problems do you see?