Opportunities are problems waiting to be solved; those that solve them reap the rewards. Being a problem solver is not just for ourselves—those around us MUST be adept at it. But can we promote more effective problem solving? Consider it two sides of a coin. Each individual must: (1) possess the desire to problem solve and think creatively and (2) be comfortable with and capable of problem solving together with others. So why not emulate a sports team and practice? Do a fun problem-solving challenge at the next team meeting. It will provide insights into how each person thinks and raise the collective skill level of the team. How well do you problem solve as a team, and what can you do to increase that?
As our teams and dreams grow (and sometimes fail), it’s important to remember we’re getting closer to our cause. Too often, we’re so caught up in our own personal & professional development & training programs that we forget to cast our eyes & energy on the development of those around us. Check your priorities and ensure your team has sufficient tools & resources to act successfully; give them ample opportunities to learn; and be driven by your desire to serve others. Most importantly, ask your teammates what they hope to accomplish by being part of your tribe (using private one-on-one meetings, confidential surveys, group meetings, etc.), then seek to make this their reality. How can you help make the hopes & dreams of your teammates a reality?
If we don’t believe in ourselves, or in the people we work with, can we really call ourselves effective leaders? It takes guts to identify a need or shortcoming, and then make the choice to enhance or improve in that area. It takes even more courage to openly share our vision, and to bring together a powerful and purposeful team to conquer our goals. Let’s slow down for a second and consider that confidence, vision, and authenticity are traits in leaders that people find attractive. And since people like to be good, and they like to do good, it’s our responsibility to leverage that desire, and communicate effectively to do great things. It’s our belief in our team, and in their potential, that empowers & enables them to multiply our efforts and impact. Are you leading an inspired team?
Every innovation, romance, discovery & adventure began as the fantasy of an optimistic daydreamer. I once heard that we should be focusing our energy & resources on those things we think about when we daydream (or what we do when we’re procrastinating). Let your mind wander around that one for a minute! For some people this simply means spending more time doing what we love, or getting intentional about our bucket list; for others, it means a long overdue career change. Ouch! How honest are you, with you, about what excites you? Although a simple question, it can be difficult to answer because it takes courage to give ourselves permission to dream big. Schedule time to daydream, and note where your mind wanders. Where’s your mind taking you today?
Life is full of choices. Dream, or do? Lead, or follow? Speak up, or shut up? Our everyday choices will form who we are; and will frame how our friends, fans, family and foes will remember us. We must possess the courage to do the hard right, over the easy wrong. What’s most profound is that we’re the only one who’ll ever really know whether we’re content with the choices we’ve made. Consider this: every choice we make is an opportunity to show our true colors. Like it or not, people are watching our every move. Decision-making is our opportunity to step into our God-given potential by taking action and being honest with ourselves (and our loved ones) about the greatness we hope to achieve. How will you be remembered?