One of the basic skills of the leader is his ability to solve problems. The problems are part of the dynamics and everyday life of organizations and leaders need to know how to approach and what decisions to make to solve them. Problem solving is thus related to making timely and correct decisions. That is a very practical aspect of leadership, the problems are part of the situations that the leader has to manage.
Now, the leader needs to know when facing a problem. How does the leader who is facing a problem? A problem arises when the actual state of affairs does not conform to the desired state, as when sales fall below the minimum expected, or is a competitor with more advanced technology, or there are financial constraints.
There are several signs that tell us when we face a problem:
- He has broken an existing pattern in the performance of the organization. For example low productivity below the minimum acceptable.
- It happened a deviation from plan. The costs are well above the approved budget.
- The leader is approached and bombarded by people with concerns and worries which fail to resolve, as complaints from customers, suppliers or employees.
How should one act against the problems?
- You can decide to ignore, hide or even deny them, waiting to be solved or just someone to solve for you, which is to wish away: sink the head, but the responsibility remains the leader, and this only exacerbates the problem.
- You can indefinitely postpone the solution, hoping to have all the details to resolve, but the delay would seriously affect the effectiveness of the response. At about Theodore Roosevelt used to say: "The best decision we can take is correct, the second best is the wrong, and worst of all is none." The important thing is not to suffer from paralysis by analysis. If you do not have all the variables, use your experience, your intuition, lean on the discretion of your team, but do not end hemming. Solve.
The indecision is not only a waste of time, but also involves concern and wear. Where they differ is increasing concern, and this is destructive, because you fatigue before starting your work day. Really, what more overwhelmed and stressed to the leaders is not the volume or intensity of what to do, but what remains pending to be resolved, which often depends on decisions that need to take, and differ.
- You can also minimize or disguise the problems, but when there are problems, the most effective is to handle the truth, acknowledge there are problems and addressing them, to seek alternative solutions, because as a leader can not afford the luxury of ignoring or disguising the problems . It is assumed that you exist fulfill that role as a leader in the organization. Leaders can not avoid its responsibility in resolving the problems.
- You can deal decisively with the problems and resolve them.
Leaders need to take responsibility and address the challenges and exploit the situation to position themselves as problem solvers and gain authority and respect. Rehusarte to fulfill your role as troubleshooter makes you lose credibility as a leader. By contrast, when problems are faced become food that strengthen your image. And after solving, leader, sales strengthened.
The problems represent obstacles to overcome on the path to organizational maturity, are the resistances in the path to business excellence. In this regard need to welcome when they appear, because they are signs that something needs to change, that you are facing an opportunity.
For the Chinese crisis also represents opportunity. The key to handle problems when they occur is to have the right perspective. Watch them as a threat or an opportunity. So when you see problems not only think about problems, also sees opportunities. Difficulties may bring opportunities hidden beneath the sleeve.
Now, it is important to distinguish when one is faced with a problem or address an opportunity. It is not always clear whether the leader is facing a problem or an opportunity. And this is very important for the management of the leader
How do I know that you are facing a problem or address an opportunity? Peter Drucker has the answer, he says, "Solving a problem simply restores the normal, but progress necessarily comes from exploiting opportunities." He adds the author said: "A problem is something that threatens the ability casino online of the organization to achieve its objectives, and when they appear must be solved, but the opportunity is something that offers the possibility of exceeding the goals." The opportunity is what is important in terms of growth and superior results, the problem is what needs to be corrected.
Moreover, the way he responds to a problem, as an alternative resolution, will be oriented to what you want: do you want to achieve the goals or want to overcome?
There is a difference in how they solve the leaders and managers on how to solve. The manager, the man of the management tends to focus on problems, their need is to solve this affects the management, but the leader tends to focus more on opportunities because their need is to raise the level of the organization. In this sense, the answer of the leader is longer range, because not only is thinking to solve the everyday: the immediate, but is also looking at the long term.
Another important aspect in solving problems is the support and participation which seeks team work; that if the goal is organizational maturity. In some work contexts is the leader and arranges everything. The slogan is "the leader exists to solve everything that has to be solved." But not all decisions in response to problems it must correspond to the leader.
The leader needs to prioritize which issues require greater focus their attention. This will help their decision to focus on the core of the real problems and needs, focusing their energy, attention and time to solve the problems of life, rather than diluted with many problems at once, which only partially addressed and resolved . Moreover, there is a leader with ability to effectively handle any problems that occur in your organization. The leader needs to identify the real crises, potential crises or major opportunities. The leader must choose which war is going to fight. You can not walk around like Don Quixote, chasing as mill appears before your eyes.
The leader gets to make the tough decisions that nobody wants to take, those involving high risk, that affect the survival of the organization, and that's leader in the organization. But there are many decisions can be delegated to his staff, more if you previously have been trained and empowered.
The leader who pays equal attention to each problem will not get many results, as you will be stuck in the detail of many problems, reduced time to the attention of its people, and the time for analysis and reflection, time to think and plan. Other decisions can be made by those who implement them. In general, people who are closest to the problem, the better off, in terms of experience, expertise and information management, to solve that problem. As a leader you need to delegate the resolution of less essential problems in people who are closest to the problem.
Moreover, by allowing others to take decision making to solve a problem, it strengthens the commitment of those accompanying the leader and they learn to take responsibility for results, whether successes or failures. In need to keep in mind that leaders have a responsibility to empower others to develop their potential and to consolidate the skills to solve problems.
Some bosses think "is not going to do well." Some leaders act as the saying ¨ if you want something done right do it yourself ¨; not fall into that trap. The easiest thing is to do things for yourself "to make sure that they do good" and surrender to the process of education, training and empowerment that you owe to other people working with you at your own risk. Leaders have a responsibility to enable and empower others to making decisions and solving problems. Assuming the responsibilities of other people, undermine the chances for growth, and this creates dependence on leaders, followers and handicap. Naturally this takes time and implies that the leader was involved in the process, and invest time and attention in people to teach, but in the long term results are satisfactory.
Another aspect that requires emphasis in relation to problem solving is that problem solving requires a strategic approach. This is an essential aspect in the effectiveness of leadership: strategic sense in solving problems. The idea is to anticipate problems and not overtake the leader they cornered him like a frightened animal, a fact which limits capacity to respond effectively. Leaders need to be proactive and learn to identify potential problems and anticipate its resolution even before problems arise. Otherwise, be tethered to a management crisis, acting reactively firefighters attending fires which they appear, with a style of leading firefighters, putting out fires where they arise, but without resolving the root causes of problems, but fighting against symptoms.