Category Archives: Leadership

#293 Freedom to explore

Send to Kindle

A problem is easier to solve if you have some idea of how you will solve it. What if you have no idea how to solve a problem? What if your problem is that you don’t know what the problem is?

Problem definition is easier if you can describe reality without embellishment and without fear. If you are afraid for any reason when defining the problem, you will do a poor job of describing it. Defining a problem accurately does not commit you to solving it, nor does it mean you are to blame.

Accepting the above will lift a lot of weight off your shoulders. After you have stated the problem, accurately and clearly, without fear, you now have to solve it.

If you do not know how to solve it, well, treat that like a problem, rinse and repeat. You may choose not to ask questions that are hard to answer because you may be afraid that you will be called upon to answer the question. If you have the tools or capabilities to solve a problem, you may ask more questions, because now you are ready to answer the questions.

This is a problem, because you are concerned about looking good, concerned about loss of face, and not focused on uncovering a creative solution. Setting the right expectation will remove the remaining weight from your shoulders. You need to set about solving the problem to the best of your abilities, and not worry about success or failure or its consequences. Be aware of the anxiety of your co-workers, but it is not necessary to succumb to them.


#291 Battle worth fighting

Send to Kindle

Of all the problems in your workplace, which ones are worth solving?

Of all the conflicts in your workplace, which ones are worth resolving?

Of all the irritants in the workplace, which ones are worth removing?

How will you deal with the problems, conflicts, and irritants that you choose to ignore?

The point here is to define your relationship with pain, discomfort, and frustration. These will inevitably  show up in the workplace and you cannot prevent or avoid them. How you react to the pain, discomfort, and frustration that you choose to ignore is as important as the ones you choose to resolve.

(Thanks to Shanker for this insight)