It doesn’t take much skill to spot a problem. The majority of us in Environmental Services can see the obstacles in front of us, yet only a select few see the opportunities. We need to understand the need to stop focusing on problems and look for opportunities to improve our operations.
I have learned to be analytical and persistent in dealing with problems. Defining the issue and seeking out other peoples’ opinions. Many times, I have not understood a situation at first, then while trying to explain my problem to another colleague, some ideas come to mind. Through this process I have come to understand a few simple truths:
Problems are a matter of perspective. Through many difficulties others will often give up. A confident manager will show team members and stakeholders how easy it is to prevail when they try.
Obstacles, setbacks and failures are simply parts of our daily operation. You can’t avoid them, but don’t give in to them either. Focus on possibilities rather than liabilities and push the limits of what you can do. Take what you have and find a way to make it work.
Problems either stop us or stretch us. When it comes to approaching problems, you really have only four choices: flee them, fight them, forget them or face them. Which do you usually do?
Here are a few suggestions to help you become a leader focused on solutions:
Refuse to give up. No problem can withstand sustained troubleshooting. Work with your key team members on the issues and don’t wait until you are too tired or distracted to start.
Rethink your strategy. Albert Einstein once said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” Think outside the box, break a few rules. Redefine the problem.
Repeat. If at first you don’t succeed, keep at it. Remember your goal is to cultivate a solution oriented attitude within your department.