Few things grow as effortlessly as a problem ignored. Yet many times that’s just what less experienced leaders do, they ignore problems. Truth be told, very experienced leaders have been known to make this mistake as well.
It’s an easy trap to fall into.They tell themselves “It’s not so bad” and delude themselves with the hope that their circumstances will somehow just get better over time and things will “work themselves out.” They come up with poor excuses for why staying with the status quo is a good option; why playing it safe and not putting themselves at risk of failing or looking foolish is “plausible.”
In reality, things that aren’t working out well now only tend to get worse over time, not better, and issues that remain unaddressed tend to grow larger, not smaller.
Some people won’t even admit the problem exists in the first place. Others “decide” the problem isn’t their fault or was caused by someone else thereby relieving themselves of any responsibility to deal with it.
Doing nothing is easier, faster and cheaper….at least until the bill comes due.
And it always comes due.
Authentic Leaders and successful people in general deal with problems as quickly as possible. Yes, sometimes they will live with it a bit but that’s only because they need to know a problem in order to solve it.
If you want a greater level of success in your life and a lower amount of stress then deal with the problem the moment you have identified it. By “identify” I mean really identify, the number one reason most people fail at problem solving is that they deal with symptoms of the problem and never actually the root cause.
One of my favorite stories is the one about the CEO of a dog food company who while speaking to his entire sales organization began his presentation by asking, “Who is the best dog food company in the world?” “WE ARE” shouted his charged up sales team. The CEO then asked, “Who makes the best dog food in the world?” “WE DO” his team answered in unison. Next he asked, “What dog food company has the best, most committed sales force in the industry?” With their loudest answer of all his team shouted, “IT’S US!”
Finally the CEO asks, “Well, then, why aren’t we selling more dog food?” Upon asking that question a silence fell over the room, it lasted for what seemed like an eternity until one brave salesperson responded with a hushed reply. He simply said, “The dogs don’t like it.”
Now, how many companies do you think would have doubled their marketing efforts, maybe replaced their sales force or perhaps even lowered their price, all in the attempt to deal with the “problem” of low sales?
That’s an example of dealing with symptoms of a problem rather than the actual problem. I would however give those companies some credit, they at least tried to deal with the problem.
Problems seldom if ever go away by ignoring them. It almost always costs more in the long run to dismiss problems than it does to deal with them quickly. Low action problem solving is the shortest path to high cost problems.
Authentic Leaders don’t dodge problems, they deal with them….are you ready to Lead Today?