Minimizing Problems

Are you having any problems in your family, organization, or on your team? If so, you are in good company. Everybody has problems. Granted, not all problems are equal. Some issues are nothing more than aggravating and others can sink your organization. All leaders have problems, but effective leaders are more skilled at minimizing and solving problems.

While problems cannot be eradicated, they can be:
• Circumvented
• Minimized
• Solved

Not all problems can be circumvented, but some can. The way to circumvent a problem is to anticipate it before it ever happens. I wrote an article a few weeks back about vetting potential implications whenever making important decisions. Every good idea and every decision have consequences. Whenever possible, invest time in previewing possible consequences of your decisions and a game plan for addressing them before they occur. If a problem does not arise….no problem. But if it does then you are better prepared and therefore you can circumvent it at best and minimize it at worst.

Recognizing a problem before it becomes a crisis is the key to minimizing and it is the mark of an effective leader. John Maxwell suggests that great leaders are seldom blind-sided by big problems. Why not?
1. The sense it before they see it (intuition).
2. They begin looking for it and asking questions in advance (curiosity).
3. They gather data (processing).
4. They share their feelings and findings with trusted colleagues (communicating).
5. They define the problem (writing).
6. They identify resources (evaluating).
7. They make decisions (leading) to circumvent, minimize, or resolve.

Effective leaders are not problem free. They are proactive and solve most problems before they ever become a crisis. That is one way to maximize your leadership.

Some portions adapted from chapter five of Developing the Leader Within You by John Maxwell.