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No Problems, Only Solutions

Updated: Mar 16, 2022

"There are no problems around here, only solutions."

That's a very optimistic position to take, and probably not a bad thing to embed in your organizational culture. It implies that your organization has a creative approach to problem solving and that you, the leader, have faith in your people.

Sometimes, though, problems will occur that your people just can't fix on their own. These are the situations in which you'll probably be called on to make a tough decision. Your people will bring you such problems because they trust you to listen to what they tell you, to weigh up the options, and then to make the best possible decision about the action to be taken.

As a leader, it's very important that your people feel that they can bring you their problems. As Colin Powell put it, "the day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership."

Too many senior leaders put barriers in the way of upward communication, so that not only would it be unthinkable for someone lower in the heirarchy to look up to the leader for help, but also the corporate culture probably sees asking for help as weakness or failure. In these situations people cover up their problems and so they go partially or completely unsolved, and the organization suffers accordingly.

True leaders make themselves accessible, approachable and available. They show genuine interest and concern for the efforts and challenges faced by their subordinates, whilst at the same time demanding high standards. In that environment, analysis and creative problem solving replace blaming and finger-pointing.

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