Tippy-Toe Leaders and Other Dysfunctional Problem-Solvers
We might be able to fake leadership in breezy weather, but dark seas are bright lights.
The way you deal with problems is more important than the problems themselves.
3 dysfunctional problem-solvers:
#1. Tippy-toe leaders.
Tippy-toe leaders worry about personalities, politics, and public perception. You can’t ignore these issues. Just don’t make them central.
Tippy-toe leaders prolong problems by producing tippy-toe solutions.
Cure: Stretch your candor muscles behind closed doors with trusted colleagues until you feel confident enough to address tough issues head-on in public.
#2. Drama-making leaders.
Drama-making leaders spend more energy complaining about problems than actually working to solve them. They just can’t believe this could happen.
Drama-makers aggravate problems by adding heat.
Cure: Adopt a make-it-better approach. Ask, “How am I making things better with my attitude, words, and behaviors?”
Use the energy of stress to turn your attention to solutions.
#3. Face-saving leaders.
Face-savers worry more about appearances than results. Face-saving leaders:
- Hide tough issues from higher ups.
- Minimize real problems.
- Have things in control, when they’re actually covering their butts.
Sadly, in dysfunctional organizations, face-savers succeed.
Cure: The best way to save face is to own problems and work toward solutions, even if the problems aren’t your fault. Be known as a solution provider, not a self-protective face-saver.
5 more dysfunctional problem-solvers:
- Hand-holding leaders.
- Horse blinker leaders.
- Bullying leaders.
- Finger-pointing leaders.
- Dark cloud leaders.
10 possible questions when confronted with problems:
- Why does this matter?
- What have you already done to solve this problem?
- How are customers impacted by this problem?
- What internal teams/individuals are impacted by this problem?
- What do you assume is true?
- Who needs to be part of the solution?
- If things were going perfectly, what would it look like?
- What would you like from me?
- What questions would you like to ask?
- What’s next?
What dysfunctional problem-solving strategies have you experienced?
What problem-solving tips might you suggest?