Leadership - Problem solving, Vanilla Ice Style

#leadership #problemsolving Aug 29, 2021

"If there was a problem, yo, I'll solve it. Check out my hook while my DJ revolves it."

Thank you Vanilla Ice for that song and that line. Unfortunately that song is not played enough on the radio. I like it and I pride myself in knowing pretty much all the words. Not embarrassed at all. 

Problems were meant to be solved. We have a problem and we want answers. When faced with tough problems though, we want someone to fix it. I know I do! I have kids and a dog and when something happens to them, I want someone to fix it. 

Right now we have a puppy. He is cute, sweet and loves to sleep in my bed. But he is having problems. Problems like skin issues and a hurt leg. The hurt leg is being taken care of from the vet. It's a problem, but not much I can do to solve it. The skin issue, on the other hand, is one that I can try and solve. But it takes time and research and patience. The vet said skin issues can be a tricky problem. So I started with allergy meds. That was an easy and quick solution. Didn't work. Then went to food. I did so much research on best food and homemade food to make sure he was getting what he needed. Whew. That was a lot of work! But I got it, spent the morning making plain chicken, rice and veggies and bagging each serving up. He loved his new food! And I loved being able to feed someone who actually ate all there food for once! But that was not the solution. Next I tried fish oil. His skin may be dry. Again, no. Then a trip to the pet store to check out special shampoos. I spent like a half and hour in the shower scrubbing him and holding him steady so the stuff could have time to do it's job. Then next day? Nothing, but he smelled great and his fur was super soft!! We are currently on to the next thing, stronger meds. So we are seeing how that works. 

Problems are hard to solve when we don't have any experience in the situation. If I was a vet, this may not have taken so long. Thank goodness for the internet! But one issue with my problem solving is that I didn't have a team to help me. Having a team where different people can add their ideas and experience can help make the problem solving process much more effective. Again, from the wise Vanilla Ice, "stop. collaborate and listen."

As young people, you face problems all the time. Issues at school, with friends, using the car, school work, a job, parents, siblings. I know if I surveyed teens and young adults, we could come up with hundreds of problems you face each day. But who are you collaborating with? How do you decide? 

With any problem that we are attempting to solve, it is very helpful to collaborate with others. Here are some tips to make the process a little better. 

1. Choose your team carefully. Think about what each person brings to the problem/situation. What 'qualifies' them? Maybe they have experienced that problem before. Maybe they are great with ideas. Maybe they are just easy to work with. 

2. Listen. I won't quote Mr. Ice again, but listening is key. Listen to all the ideas. Write them down. No matter how crazy an idea sounds, listen. 

3. Decide. After you have a list of options, decide which one you will try first. Not all your great ideas are going to work. But choose which one looks the best. It might be the hardest one, but one you think may work better than others. Maybe you have a great idea, but trying it out may not work with your abilities. 

4. Try again. If at first you don't success, try try again. 

This process can work for huge problems from a powerful company (with a few more steps and time) to a problem with a friend at school. 

Being a great, effective leader means you will have to face and solve problems. But with the right team and strategies, you can solve 'em! 

For more discussions on this and other leadership/compassion/culture issues, join our FREE Facebook group. 

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"word to your mother"

Michelle