Problem solving and Leadership

Broadly perceived “western” trap says: “Problem solving is the essence of why leaders exist to do.”
falling dominoesWhy is that false?

Like falling dominoes also the problems tend to accumulate fast? Most managers take short-cuts just to temporarily alleviate the most important tension points - just to be able to move onto the next problem. So, being unable to solve the core of each problem, the managers continuously get caught in the trap of a never-ending cycle thusly making it even more difficult to find any real resolutions. And these actions are draining all their energy and time resources.

Basically, we are trapped in the mentality that with all those problems we are facing  in our work and a private life it seems as if there is never enough time to solve them. On top of it along the way we face also some adversity by different people or activities. People at the workplace, sometimes the same is in a private life, complicate matters with their corporate policy administration, or self-promotion, or power-plays and plots, and even because of envy and deeply rooted believes.

Frequently the root of this happening is because most people “misunderstand” Cause and consequence / Urgent and important issues! It is obvious that when dealing with urgent issues there is simply no time to think about important ones! Leaders who lack this kind of vision and wisdom approach problems with linear projection: by (superficially) solving problems that lie directly in front of them and overlooking the roots that lie within the problem or the totality of what the problem represents.

Problem solvingOn the opposite side to above problem solving approach lays the greatest enabler for change, growth which represents the opportunities of different kinds. It is of outmost importance to be able to see that one needs to take enough time to step back (or out) and evaluate the current situation and to foresee where are the opportunities in each problem. It is necessary to define and recognize which are the nuances, roots, issues and causes each potential problem (will have) has. Only then one can make a distinct strategy towards a viable resolution of a “problem” that has yet to become a problem.

connect the dotsExceptional leaders connect the dots and map-out possible outcomes well in advance. They also deal with “important” issues today and not try to resolve only the “urgent” ones! They foresee “problems” well in advance – when they are yet not present so they normally do not need to “fight” them when they occur. For that one needs a vision and a wisdom and has to have a “feeling” to listen to and to hear the flow of what consequences the current events may bring in the future.


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