Problem Solvers Need Not Apply

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:

  1. Get perspective from others.
  2. Consider possible problems in the planning stage.
  3. Consider the pitfall possibilities in the initiative’s implementation.
  4. Ask the “5 W” interrogative questions at each stage of initiative roll-out.
  5. 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.


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