If you’re like me, sometimes you need to conduct a mental reset.
You’re hit with a
problem opportunity, and you need to know how to handle it.
Today I’m pleased to present a guest post from Bill Treasurer, a national thought leader on change management. Bill just released a new book entitled Leaders Open Doors. I had the pleasure of reviewing an advance copy, and I can personally attest that it’s a good read.
(And if that’s not enough, let me add that 100% of the proceeds will be donated to charities that serve children with special needs)!
In this post, Bill discusses the best way to have a mental reset when a “problem” comes up: View that “problem” as an opportunity.
(This mindset serves me well as I go through the process of re-editing my dissertation)!
Here’s Bill’s take:
“It sounds like something that you’d see on one of those sappy motivational posters: There are no problems, only opportunities.
There’s no denying that challenging situations exist, and that sometimes they turn into emergencies. But there’s a good point to be made about how we perceive those situations, how we define them and respond to them. And it has everything to do with how we lead.
Problems, by their very nature, are something to be avoided – who would knowingly court a problem? But the problem-avoidance mindset, with a focus on potential threats, is…well, problematic. Evaluating every situation from that frame of mind is reactive, giving priority to mitigating risk. It leads to cautious planning and timid leadership. It creates an atmosphere of pessimism by injecting fear and anxiety into people. It damages morale and performance.
Our leadership and business culture is dominated by an unhealthy emphasis on problem-solving. We teach classes in it, we train teams to address it, we value it in employees. We embrace it as a value.
It’s time to move to a model of opportunity.
An opportunity mindset shifts everything. It frees leadership to focus on positive outcomes, to take chances, to embrace possibility. Instead of building a climate of fear, it inspires people with excitement and hope.
And for leaders, it sets up a structure where you don’t just show people how to solve problems but give them chances to grow, to embrace risk, to make the most of opportunities – even the ones that look like problems to most people.
If you want to open doors for people, an opportunity mindset is an essential first step. It may seem unnatural at first, but pay attention to how you perceive events and keep your focus on opportunities rather than problems.
Take to heart the words of Johnny Mercer:
‘You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between'”
Bill Treasurer is the Chief Encouragement Officer of Giant Leap Consulting. His latest book is Leaders Open Doors (www.leadersopendoors.com). Bill is also the author of the bestselling book Courage Goes to Work along with the training kit Courageous Leadership: A Program for Using Courage to Transform the Workplace. Bill has led courage-building workshops for such organizations as NASA, Accenture, CNN, PNC Bank, SPANX, Hugo Boss, Saks Fifth Avenue, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Contact Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @btreasurer (#leadsimple).
Join in the Fray: What current “problem” can you turn into an opportunity?
All rights reserved. All work is the copyright of the respective owner, otherwise copyright © 2013 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, The Swirl World™, Dallas, TX, USA.