We don’t need more problem solvers. What we do need are more problem avoiders.
As a leader, what if you were effective enough to solve problems before they even presented themselves?
Like many leaders, in an interview for my current position, I remarked that I was a “problem solver.” I thought this was a good skill. However, I’ve come to find out that my supervisor (Jim Baker @sacredstructure) believes that problem avoiders are more valuable than problem solvers. And I’ve come to that same belief.
Problem-avoidance begins with asking the what, where, when, why, who, and how questions (5 W’s) in advance of initiatives.
Doing the five things below, in a systematic, strategic, and preventive way, will lead to problem-avoidance:
- Get perspective from others.
- Consider possible problems in the planning stage.
- Consider the pitfall possibilities in the initiative’s implementation.
- Ask the “5 W” interrogative questions at each stage of initiative roll-out.
- Always evaluate (post-mortem autopsy) your work and ministries.
Regularly engaging these five simple exercises will lessen the amount of time you spend problem-solving and improve your leadership skills in problem-avoidance.