Articles on the subject of leadership run the gamut, from the four essential qualities to the 30+ characteristics. Internet searches on the word leader offer up myriad choices including: integrity, passion, patience, delegation, clarity, creativity and fearlessness – valid and important traits all.
To my surprise, one trait seldom gets mentioned – problem solving. Think about it. Acknowledging and effectively dealing with an issue (especially if it’s caused difficulties for a prolonged period of time) showcases leadership abilities.
In my new book The Sales Leader’s Problem Solver; I take the reader through the process of solving 15 of the most common sales force conundrums. At the end of every chapter, I talk about how the act of solving a dilemma enhances the person’s leadership credentials.
While the problems featured in the book are sales specific, the process for solving a problem has applications for leaders in different departments throughout the company. I offer the following suggestions:
Take the time to speak with others in your organization about the issue. Once you have a better understanding of the issue, get away from anecdotal information. Seek out unbiased facts and figures.
Most of us tend to read and rely on a regular group of reports. Step out of your comfort zone. Ask people in different departments about their favorite reports. CFOs are often great sources of new information. Assemble data that backs up, shows the extent of; or reinforce people’s claims about the problem.