Saturday, November 24, 2007
When you face conflict, do you view it as an opportunity or a problem? Though that question may sound like a gross oversimplification, it contains a kernel of leadership truth. Leaders are solution-focused rather than problem-focused.
Please don't misunderstand. Leaders are not oblivious to problems. Jim Collins's both praised and maligned Good to Great explains that on the path to greatness, organizations must "confront the brutal facts." Yes, there really are some issues that finite human beings cannot solve directly, but there may be some creative ways around these problems, or even ways to utilize these problems for other successes.
This leadership truth is an empowering truth. Being problem-focused is draining, while being solution-focused is energizing. Yes, leaders have problems like everybody else, but how they view those problems is very different.
IDEA LEADER: Are you problem-focused or solution-focused?