Are you problem solving or problem finding?

How comfortable are you with solving issues in your retail management or leadership role?

I was reading an interesting article recently in Forbes magazine by Glenn Llopis on leadership. Its key focus was that problem solving is the essence of what leaders do.

It’s true that some managers view a problem in the business as a distraction. Certainly all managers want to minimise issues. But the fact is, if you approach an issue with a view to continually improve your business, then you are thinking like an effective leader.

Leaders need to be proactive not reactive. This can make the difference between being an effective or ineffective leader.

4 key areas that the article looked at as enablers for effective leadership are:

  1. Create transparent communication: You need to create an environment where everyone feels safe to speak freely and contribute their ideas. Problem solving requires transparent communication
  2. Break down silos: To create a problem solving culture you need to dissipate cliques and small insular groups of people. Creating a team of people is always more productive than small groups of people working on their own
  3. Create an open-minded team of people: You need open minded people to break down silos, communication barriers and find solutions to problems
  4. Build a solid foundational strategy: A lot of managers attempt to dissect a problem rather than identify the strategy for change that lies within the problem itself

If you want to be an effective leader you need to view problem solving as your greatest enabler to grow your business. This will allow you to be open to additional opportunities that you may otherwise not see.