SA Leadership Podcast Episode #121

Qualities of A Leader


Problem Solving You Cannot Allow Your Problems To Become The Problem

You can measure a leader by the problems he tackles. He always looks for ones his own size – John Maxwell

The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year – John Foster Dulles

Leaders with good problem-solving ability demonstrate five qualities.

They Anticipate Problems

Since problems are inevitable, good leaders anticipate them. Anyone who expects the road to be easy will continually find himself in trouble. There is a story told about David Livingston, missionary to Africa that illustrates the kind of attitude leaders need.

A mission organization wanted to send helpers to Livingston. They sent a letter that requested “Have you found a good road to where you are? If so we want to send other men to join you.” Livingston replied, “If you have men who will come only if they know there is a good road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come even if there is no road at all”

They Accept The Truth

There are two types of people: people who refuse problems and then put up with them or people who embrace problems and want to make things better. You cannot have your head in the sand and yet navigate people through troubled waters.

They See The Big Picture

Leaders must continually see the big picture. They cannot afford to be overwhelmed by emotion. Nor do they become bogged down in details they think are important.

Author Alfred Armand Montapert wrote, The majority see the obstacles; the few see the objectives, history records the successes of the latter, while oblivion is the reward of the former.

They Handle One Thing At A Time

It has been said never try to solve all the problems at once – make them line up for you one-by-one. Leaders that get into trouble the most are leaders that feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the sheer volume of troubles.

They Don’t Give Up A Major Goal When They’re Down

Effective leaders understand the peak-to-peak principle. They make major decisions when they are experiencing a positive swing in their leadership, not during the dark times.

To improve your problem solving, attempt the following.

Look For Trouble – Look for problems, do not avoid them. Find situations that need fixing, come up with viable solutions and take them to a leader with good problem solving skills. You will learn from others.

Develop A Method – Many use the T.E.A.C.H. method.

T-ime – Spend time to discover the real issue

E-xposure – Find out what others have done

A-ssistance – Have your team study all angels

C-reativity – Brainstorm multiple solutions

H-it it – Implement The Best Solution

Surround Yourself With Problem Solvers – Problems solvers will compliment your weaknesses. You will always learn from others.


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