Leadership Series| Solutions
As a leader, everyone expects you to have a solution to every problem. And as a new leader you may have a lot of ideas as to how to fix all the problems that you encountered as a staff but I ask you to WAIT. Wait at least one month before changing anything! But really wait, much longer than a month because what may have made sense as a staff (or easy fix) may have had other reason for not being changed. Aside from that, too much change can really rock a team. Which may or may not be a good thing.
As a seasoned leader you may feel burnt out. And if you are in a field that is looking to survive in this ever-changing world, new problems are always arising and change is the only constant. So, I ask you to rejuvenate your love to lead. You wanted to be a leader and more money was not the reason. If it was just for the money you would not be sticking around. So, find ways to reaquinate yourself as to why you wanted to lead.
Now on to the topic at hand, every problem has a solution.
To be an effective and ever-changing leader, it is important to remember that every problem has a solution and you just need to find it (or believe you can).
Here’s some things to consider when working on solutions:
- Ask for solutions
- Keep trying till you find a solution
- Revisit old problems
- Ask for solutions. As a leader it easy to just want to jump in and solve the problem, after all that is one of the key roles of a leader. But here is where another sneaky problem lies, there becomes a point when a leader becomes disconnected to the actual work. What I mean by that is that, there is a point where the leader is no longer providing the direct service to the client, thus the solutions that make sense to the leader may not be the solutions that will be successful for a variety a reasons. It is important to ask your team for solutions. Take the time to get to know the problem and review each of the solutions to the problem. You may be thinking but that will take too long, so to that I ask do you want the right solution now or later? Yes, it may take a little longer to find the right solution to the problem but it is better to do it right the first time than to have do it again.
Excerpt from Harvard Business Review: To that end, successful CEOs also know when not to decide. Stephen Kaufman, former CEO of Arrow Electronics, suggests that it is all too easy to get caught up in a volley of decision making. He advises pausing briefly to consider whether a decision should actually be made lower down in the organization and if delaying it a week or a month would allow important information to emerge without causing irreparable harm.
- Keep trying till you find a solution. Yes, this same message again is worth repeating twice. When you rush to find the quickest solution to a problem, chances are that you will find something that works for now. And that is ok, as long as you keep trying to find the right solution to the problem. This may take longer but in the end the right solution sticks and does not have to be re-visited again and again. There are so many classics that have been revisited but when the solution is right there’s no getting better.
- Revisit old problems. So what happens with quick fixes, is that they oftentimes do not get revisited and problems are left as is. Sometimes this might be OK to do, because maybe the solution does not exist yet. Though oftentimes a problem that has been forgotten with a patchwork solution, becomes an even bigger problem later down the road. Ask anyone that has used a patch, what happens when you do not fix that properly? What was once a small problem (a small whole in the foundation) has now become a giant hole that needs to be repaired constantly. This reminds me of those pot holes that always come back after a few days of rain. How then, as a leader, do you keep these problems from resurfacing and transforming to even bigger problems? Easy, check in with your team, review changes quarter, and ask what is and what is not working. If you do not take the time to ask your team what is and isn’t working you will find yourself with a lot of problems at once that may leave feeling like you are in a sinking ship with no solutions. The good news is that a sinking ship may actually be salvageable, all you have to do is believe that it is. After Martha Stewart was indicted and sent to prison no one expected her to be successful again. Well look her up, she is doing just fine.
To every problem there is multiple solutions, we all know that, but finding the right solution takes time. What are some ways that you work with your team to find solutions? Do you find yourself finding quick fixes? Is your company focused on quick fixes or right solutions? Leave your thoughts below, I would love to hear your feedback and thoughts.
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