Problem Solving

“The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.” – Theodore Rubin

One thing that is a given in life or any activity or business is problems or obstacles. It is not about when you will have one, but how many you will deal with today. In as much as these are a given in life, solving these problems or overcoming these obstacles doesn’t come easily. It becomes important to develop a good strategy to approach these whenever you are faced with one. A leader and a an excellent problem solver are pretty much inextricably intertwined.
Here are 5 ways leaders solve problems and crush it, everyday: (

1. They communicate. Leaders are all about open dialogue. When a problem comes their way, leaders openly express what’s on their mind and encourage their team to do so as well.
2. They break down silos. Did you know that a lot of workplace problems stem from organizational silos? That’s why great leaders encourage collaboration in the workplace! A collaborative environment encourages communication and engages the team.
3. They avoid blaming others. We’re all guilty of playing the blame game. But great leaders avoid this all together. They know that a team’s time shouldn’t be wasted on finding the culprit, but on finding the solution!
4. They collect information. Leaders are passionate about data and metrics.
Solving a problem requires gathering all of the facts and then using them as the groundwork for coming up with a viable solution. You can’t beat your obstacle if you don’t have the data to back up your next move.
5. They develop a plan. Leaders are also passionate about developing a strategy. Once they’ve identified the root cause of the problem, they will develop a game plan to solve that problem and clean up any mess. They avoid guessing by connecting the dots and monitoring their plan’s results!
6. They’re preemptive. Being preemptive is different from being proactive. Being preemptive requires that you actually do something to prevent x from occurring. Or, requires you do something that encourages x to occur. The key here is that it requires you take that first step.

To act preemptively, you must foresee a potential threat and take action to forestall or prevent its occurrence. To be proactive, you perceive the facts clearly and take constructive action. To be preemptive, you assess facts that you either do not have access to or are not yet facts and act in response to those instead
The way leaders solve problems is naturally preemptive and they rarely make the same mistake twice.