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Often the most difficult step, because it's easy to focus on the wrong part of the problem, or look at the problem too broadly.
The first thing you need to do is reduce it to its simplest and purest form so you know exactly what you're dealing with. While you're doing this, you need to ask yourself questions to make sure you're focusing on the right things.
You need a plan with actionable steps. Ask yourself what's barring you from moving forward and make step one. Step one will open doors to other steps.
Consider which steps will open more doors, add them to the plan, and keep doing that until you get to your solution. Things will change as you act on the plan and you'll need to adapt, so it's best to keep your plan somewhat open-ended and try to include steps that involve preparing for trouble you can foresee.
You not only need to make your plans flexible, but you want to try and plan for surprises as well.
You won't always know what they are, but you can make educated guesses and be a little more prepared to deal with issues when they arise. This will help keep you motivated when solving problems that take more time, as these surprises won't be so devastating if you're ready for them.
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Problems fuel great leaders, providing opportunities to learn and grow to the next level.
The greater the problem, the hungrier they are for a solution. Leaders like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates view problems as golden opportunities to disrupt the market and revolutionize the customer experience.
Great leaders acknowledge there is a problem and demonstrate the severity of the problem and the benefit of the solution to stakeholders, partners, and shareholders.
This way, the leader not only takes responsibility for making the problem transparent, but he or she also explores different dimensions of the problem, consequently benefiting from others’ ideas.