Today’s leaders are problem-solvers. Issues can take a toll when the quandaries pile up or have serious implications. What’s an overwhelmed leader to do?
- Rethink problems as issues to resolve, not obstacles or unnecessary headaches. It seems like a minor change in thinking, but it transforms the issue from a pain to a puzzle.
- Have a structured problem-solving procedure, starting with a definition of the problem and the goal/objective.
- Schedule time to think about each important issue separately, in order of greatest strategic impact. Actually block time on your calendar to think and create a plan of action.
- Bring others in to help. Yes, you may be ultimately accountable, and it still is a good idea to involve the right people. NASA Flight Controller Jerry Bostick recommends a group of relevant, committed, and highly energized team members. He says these should be people who possess useful and complementary skills, expertise, and information, as well as a darn good reason to care and an unwavering commitment to seeing things through to success.
- Don’t be taken in by the first obvious solution you come up with. Dig a little deeper and explore root causes, not just symptoms. As H.L. Mencken said, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”
What’s your tried and true problem-solving method? Comment below or message us.
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