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Are you admiring the problem?

The day finally arrived.  Lunch had been on the books for 3 months.  I arrived early, as I didn’t want to cut our time together short.  It had been too long.  And the conversation started just where we left off last time.  It’s what I love most about our time together.  You can focus on what matters most and walk away with both renewed confidence and a new perspective.

Today was no different.

are-you-admiring-the-problem-2We were both leading significant strategic change in our organizations.  It’s hard work.  Learning to meet people where they are is required, but difficult.  Especially for the people who find comfort in admiring the problem. And what begins as an effort to understand, causes some to stay at this stage far past its value.  It can sometimes attract a crowd who also decides to make it their goal to admire the problem too.

As a leader, it is important to recognize the importance of understanding.  But it takes extra care to see why people get stuck. Some people stay stuck out of fear, others because they don’t know how to move forward and yet others who will never leave this stage.  Fundamentally, they don’t want change.

The focus of the leader needs to be on the first two groups with the realization there is nothing you can do to help the last group until they decide they want help.  And the answer might be never. And that’s OK for them.

It is always a personal choice.

But for you as a leader, your role is to move people forward.  Learning to recognize the signs of “admiring the problem” from those who need attention is critical to moving the organization forward.

And it’s important to remember the first two groups might be quiet about their needs because they don’t want to appear inadequate.  The group that doesn’t want to move, they will be the loudest.  Don’t be fooled and distracted by the intensity of these efforts.

Instead focus where it matters. The momentum of this group will deliver evidence of progress that cannot be ignored, even by those that prefer to admire the problem.

How are you practicing intentional leadership to separate the crowd who are admiring the problem?  Your engagement matters!



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