Focus on the Right Problems
Updated: Nov 10, 2022
I remember what I thought leadership would look like when I was offered my first management role. I pictured myself spending my time setting big goals. Accomplishing big goals. And getting people to set and accomplish big goals. All while sitting behind a big desk.
Pause for hysterical laughter.
If you're a new or aspiring manager, you might have this same picture. If you've been in your leadership role for some time, you might be thinking about when you will get to focus on those types of problems. Or get that big desk.
The real picture of leadership is that most of our time is spent on people issues or problems. While leaders - especially at the executive level - exist to to drive profitability, manage company operations, structure, and strategy, each one of those problems come with people.
And all people come with all sorts of problems.
If you're spending your time focused on your people, instead of what you hoped your leadership role would be, then the reality may be that you're focused on the right problems. The challenge then becomes to ensure you're:
Holding people accountable (while setting the vision and expectations)
Helping people embrace change (even when you want to force it to happen)
Helping people solve problems (without solving the problem for them)
CEOs, leaders, and managers all have people problems. Know you're spending time in the right areas - even if it is includes things you don't want to do or are uncomfortable doing.