Leaders do face difficulties, challenges or problems. These are situations that poses concern, blockade or enigma requiring resolution. A problem usually evolves or occurs as a bang but the concern and impact it comes with can affect the leader’s mood, creativity, concentration, focus and productivity. There is no leader who has no problem and has not faced one in their career. What separates one leader from another are the steps they apply in solving the problems they encounter on their way to the top. The following steps will help a leader find solutions to solving any difficult and persisting problem.
- Problems are everyday occurrences that should be part of the leader’s routine. Problems are not enemies, though an enemy could invent some. A leader must walk in the consciousness that problems can occur at any time. Problems do not occur because the leader created them. In many instances, the problems a leader solves are not those created by them. Leadership is a solution phenomenon. It thrives based on the problem it envisages and solves to give warmth and comfort to the sufferers. The awareness that the world is full of problems begging for solutions keeps the mind of a leader at work, always looking for opportunities to resolve problems
- Problems are intricate, and they require understanding. Every problem is a web of puzzles, requiring deep analytical understanding. Leaders must take a cursory look at the challenges facing them and their teams, analyze and break down their components, thereby identifying the causative factors. To understand a problem, the leader needs to probe into its occurrence, listen to the perspectives of individuals and identify the main issues and persons involved.
- The solution for most problems is hidden in the problem itself, so find the solution in the problem. The leader must lay out the problem statement through rigorous thinking of what went amiss, when, why, and how it happened. By doing this, the leader identifies the various gaps that gave room to its occurrence. By simply closing these gaps, the leader will come up with a set of solutions that could resolve the immediate cause (s) of the problem. To ensure the problem doesn’t happen in the future, the leader creates preventive alternative steps to deal with symptoms that will lead to its occurrence.
- Implement the solutions. There is no problem with one straight solution. When a leader is rigorous in thinking and practice, several solutions to a challenge will emerge. The leader examines the suitability of each solution, ease of application, benefits and cost of implementation and makes a decision. The chosen option to address the problem is thereafter implemented, with the aim of curing the problem.
- Evaluate actions and results. Usually, solution implementation may call for modifications but at the end, there is always a result. If the result is in line with what was planned, the solution is deemed to have succeeded while the converse means it failed to address the issues raised. The entire process of finding solution to a problem must be evaluated at the end of the exercise to ensure nothing of importance was skipped.