When we look at the great leaders, the one thing that’s common in all of them is their ability to tackle even the most complex situations with ease. They are able to maintain their calm even in the toughest situations, solve the problems and most importantly get things done.
The skill lies not just in problem solving, but to create a team of problem solvers. That’s the biggest attribute of the personality of a great leader – they don’t create an army of followers, but they create a team of more leaders. And, these leaders are adept at problem solving. But, how do they do it, that’s the question.
Let us take a few leafs from the textbook of different leaders, and see how to create a team of problem solvers –
Problems come unannounced. If you as a leader keep waiting for the moment when the problem will arise and then work towards its solution, then it will be too late. You have to stay prepared all the time. How do you prepare for it? By constantly looking for problems.
This is the kind of attitude great leaders inculcate in their team. Rather than holding their horses till the last moment, these leaders put them into situations where their emotional intelligence is tested. That’s the first step of problem solving.
When you are put in situations where your mental prowess is tested, you mind automatically starts being more active. It is always in that active mode, rather than procrastinating which is usually the case when we start to lead a stable life. Take this example for instance, a person living in the wild will be more prepared for a tiger’s attack, then a person who lives a 9-5 job and stays in city. Isn’t it so?
A problem is a problem. It does not know any hierarchical barriers. A great leader knows this fact. This is the reason they promote an open culture in the team. What does this open culture mean?
Well, it simply means that there are no hierarchical barriers. A team member facing some problem could go ahead and seek assistance from their senior, without hesitating. Also, if he or she has a solution to the problem that any senior in the team is facing, they are free enough to go and share their views on how that can be solved. This is the first step in building trust within the team.
A single person cannot have solution for all the problems. Great leaders embrace this fact. They know that they cannot do everything on their own. They value the capabilities of their team. They believe that success is a team effort, and not an individual one. By keeping the hierarchical barriers down, they actually give equal opportunities to everyone in the team to show their capabilities and become the future leaders – the problem solvers!
Solving a problem where each person in the team has a unanimity is quite easy. The real challenge in problem solving arises when you have different opinions between different team members. This is the real test of problem solving skills, because it puts him or her in an unfamiliar territory.
When you have to deal with conflicts in thoughts within the team, you are made to think in a way which you would have never thought of. An emotionally intelligent person looks at it as opportunity to learn something. And, this is the hallmark of a great leader and a great problem solver.
A great leader always promotes conflicts in thoughts within the team. This is how innovation comes. This is how team members always on their heals, no matter how proficient they are. Because they know they have to foolproof their or else there will be someone to challenge their prowess. How they do it? Simply by putting people with opposite thinking and working style together to work on the same tasks.
Great leaders know that each human mind has equal capabilities, all it needs is the right moulding. And, this is the reason why treat each team member equally, provide them with equal opportunities, and appreciate and condemn them equally – they are not biased.
By promoting a sense of equality and by giving every individual equal opportunities to grow they sow seeds for great problems solvers for the future. And, this is what makes them even greater!