“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

Albert Einstein

Many of us in business are confronted with problems;  whether it is the business failing, parts of the business not performing or relationships at work deteriorating. I suspect that you have agonised about the reasons for the problem.  These reasons are likely to be complex and there are probably no simple solutions.

However, the first step is to admit there is problem.  I have seen many leaders in business refusing to admit that there they have a problem, even though it is obvious to everybody around them (and often to themselves although they refuse to confront it). This problem can be due to ego, ignorance, incompetence or an unwillingness to face reality. It is highly unlikely to go away and is probably only going to get worse and become more complicated as staff and customers begin questioning your judgement and leadership.

Admitting that you have a problem either to yourself, your family or your staff is essential. The second step is critical.  This is where you either become a success or continue to fail to resolve the problem. The failing business person tries to justify the failure – it’s the market, it’s the internet and so on.

As a manager or business owner it is only a problem or a failure if it continues. Like the Albert Einstein quote above which implies we must change something to get the desired result, the status quo is not an option. Do not identify an external reason for the problem as this is a ‘cop out’. You are disowning the problem – ‘it’s the economy’, ‘it’s the high exchange rate’, ‘it’s poor staff’.

The key to success is to take a few steps that will not allow you to justify the problem. The first step is to take action, even if it is just one small step. Using personal fitness as an example, the hardest step in improving your fitness is putting on your gym gear. By taking the first step you are on the way to solving the problem. Momentum has now commenced and this will help solve other problems, both now and in the future.

There is no shame in recognising a problem or failure, providing you do something about it. Learning from mistakes is only common sense. That’s what good leaders do !

6 thoughts on “Problems

  1. I have a strange mind. I never see “problems”. I see challenges to get smarter, get out of my comfort zone, seek new knowledge or help….; I see opportunities to learn, to reach out, to change, fix, refine, do better….
    This makes life and business a lot more fun. At the end of each day, I can review what I learnt and/or started to change and get energised again.
    Maybe it is a bit like the glass half empty or half full, or like when my mother looks at the sky and sees only the clouds and the rain coming, I see the blue sky and the interesting clever patterns of the clouds as well as the plan for avoiding the storm…. I am not playing the ostrich, I am aware and I move into positive assessment and adjustment mode. I make many mistakes, but every day is a new opportunity to do it better smarter.

    • I cannot comment on you having a ‘strange’ mind – I do not have the qualifications to do so! However, I liked your comments – in reality, problems are only opportunities in disguise. The theme of my blog on problems is whether you see it as a ‘problem’ or an ‘opportunity’ you must act, which is exactly what you advocate. The mere fact of taking action energises you and you move forward.

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