Solutions are never binary

Rarely is any solution strictly binary. Meaning, rarely is any solution only answer A or answer B. For whatever reason, especially when we are stressed, we tend to see only two alternatives. “I can stay and tolerate my intolerable manager, or I can quit.” Binary solutions, though, are an illusion. When I catch myself thinking binary, I know it’s time to pump the brakes and seek deeper reflection. In the example above the answer might be to move departments, work fewer hours, voice concerns, or even to combine potential solutions. The answer might require me to seek input from others to see hidden possibilities. The point is this: Binary thinking is fine if your question is Indian food out or Uber Eats delivered. When the problems get more tricky, the best solution will need reflection, space, and time to bubble up to the surface. Consequently, this means you have to be patient in spite of whatever pressure you are feeling in the moment.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on May 9, 2019

You Might Also Like…

The sound of your work eulogy

What would your work eulogy sound like? Maybe that opener sounds a bit morbid. The idea isn't about dying, it's about...

The 737-MAX has a trust problem

The 737-MAX is back in action! Now, if you had to board one tonight how you feel? Would it soothe you to know that the...

How gracious can you be?

How gracious can you be? That email with just enough snark. The person who is 10 minutes late to your virtual meeting....

A-Players consistently invest in themselves. Take the next step.