Invest in these kinds of problems

Default to making it easier in the long term.

Every problem has at least two solutions (hey, not talking about math). One solution temporarily solves the problem. A different solution permanently solves the problem. 

Temporarily solving the problem happens fast with quick answers to the presenting symptoms. The project is due next week and people are working this weekend to get it delivered. We solved that problem with overtime. 

Permanent solutions happen much slower. Instead of solving for symptoms we are solving for the core ailment.  Permanent solutions are underneath all the symptoms. Requires time and patience to excavate. 

We like temporary solutions because they feel like permanent solutions. It’s an illusion. We dislike solving for permanent problems because the process feels heavy and may require uncomfortable conversations.

What should we do? Default to making it easier in the long term by solving for permanent problems. 

It’s setting up direct deposit so you don’t have to go to the bank every two weeks with a live check. It’s having a discussion about project due dates with that one PM who continues to be too optimistic. 

What one solution can we use now that will solve for a hundred problems later on?

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 January 15, 2020

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.