Problems arise especially when working with others. Have you ever worked for a company or been a member of a group or even a family where the bad problem seems to be solved? It begins to emerge when no progress is made. Frustration levels are increasing. The fingers begin to point. Leaders are the ones we look forward to going beyond our own personal agendas to see the big picture. They are the ones who identify what is important from the information available and put everyone back on track.
We have an alarm on our freezer that rings to tell us that we have had a door open for too long. The other day, I realized that the freezer was never completely closed. It had been open for a while and frost was starting to form on the drawers. Someone in our family had turned off the alarm because it was annoying. Hmmm. So instead of tackling the real problem: the door has opened too long because the person has to look at the freezer for countless times, the symptom has been removed. The real question remains.
What happens when you address the wrong issue?
The problem is never solved and gets worse. Have you ever attended a meeting where someone spoke and raised an unrelated topic? Suddenly, in a twist of fate, the unrelated subject seems to be completely linked and everyone runs on a rabbit track. When this happens, the real problem is never solved, much less solved, and it gets worse. What attracts attention and focus is what get fixed. Anything that is ignored will be allowed to continue and will be bigger. This is where the leader must intervene and put everyone on the same page.
New problems arise. – As the real issue festers and grows, it causes a whole new set of problems. It’s a domino effect. Now everyone is following another rabbit trail that is treating a different set of symptoms and is getting bigger. I had a knee injury while running. For a very long time, I dealt with the issue of the knee. The knee got worse (growing problem) until I couldn’t run at all (new set of problems). When I finally consulted a professional, I found that the problem was not at all in the knee. The problem was a terribly tight IT band. When I dealt with the actual problem, the original problem and all subsequent problems were eliminated.
Energy and resources are wasted. Leaders are responsible for ensuring that energy and resources are channeled to progress. Failure to master a problem from the start can cost businesses millions of dollars and thousands of hours lost. Nobody got time for that! Leaders ensure that every ounce of energy, every nickel and every penny are invested to move forward and get results.
Managers do not resolve symptoms while real issues remain. They, Alberta college of pharmacy,distinguish the important from the unrelated and keep their people focused on real progress.
Sometimes an outside perspective is needed to see the real problem.