I begin many of my presentations by asking the audience to think about a leadership challenge they’re currently facing. This is an attempt on my part to help each attendee establish context for my remarks. I was taught years ago that content without context is irrelevant. However, I've come to realize there are several additional reasons to name your challenge.
What’s your current leadership challenge?
You probably know the answer immediately. Perhaps you have several CURRENT challenges. If you haven’t answered this question recently, I would encourage you to do so. I think there are at least three reasons this may help.
Clarity - To state your challenge succinctly may give new clarity to the specific issue you face. One of my favorite quotes of all time, “A problem well-defined is half solved.” I invest a lot of leadership energy on defining problems well. Try to represent your current challenge in a single sentence.
Analysis - Once you’ve named the challenge, it’s much easier to analysis – is this challenge a symptom or a root cause? If you decide it is a symptom, you can shift your focus to identify the cause. If we only manage symptoms, we can get a false positive result. It would be like taking aspirin for a brain tumor. You might feel better for a while, but the tumor could still kill you.
Priority - If you have multiple challenges, naming them may help you better prioritize your activities. You may find that to tackle the challenges in a specific sequence could make them less formidable.
Leadership is tough. The challenges you and I face are real. Many of them have staggering consequences. Naming the challenge is not the solution – it's a step. It’s a step that almost always adds value. Give it a try.[GLS_Shield]
I’d love to hear from you on this. What leadership challenges are you facing today?
I’m starting a feature on this site called Today’s Challenge. The idea is to present a challenge that one of you has submitted and I’ll do my best to give you some thoughts regarding next steps. The process is very simple…
Submit a single sentence stating your current leadership challenge. If you’d like, you can also send a paragraph outlining pertinent details or context. I will not reveal your name or email address.
You can send your challenges to: Mark@GreatLeadersServe.org
Or, if you can fit your challenge in 140 characters, you can use Twitter: @LeadersServe.
When I started this site, I said that I wanted to fuel a conversation that would help us all lead at a higher level. My hope is that I can use Today’s Challenge as another mechanism to spur the conversation and serve you!