At a conference, I overheard someone say, “You academics just admire problems. You study a problem to death and someday, if all the variables are accounted for, you might actually get around to solving the problem.”
Leaders, we must not get stuck admiring the problem, in analysis paralysis. While problems should be examined from various angles, staying in the admiring stage too long hinders decisive and timely resolution. However, wise leaders will involve their leadership team in timely analyses of the problem. Listening, responding well, and examining suggestions from team members makes the team comfortable to bring their perspectives to the table. Ultimately, the leader must make the decision and announce a plan of action.
An impulsive announcement of the plan may make the leader look responsive and decisive. Yet, if the step of informing the major stakeholders is omitted, board members, investors, and key supporters of you as a leader will feel disenfranchised.
Let’s stop admiring the problem and avoid analysis paralysis. Let’s seek input from the leadership team. Make the decision, Inform key stakeholders. Announce the resolution plan. Take decisive action. Actually, solve the problem.
This blog post was adapted from a LinkedIn article by the author, published on February 12, 2020.
SAY “YES” TO LEADERSHIP is a blog I am writing to stay in touch with the people attending my speeches, whether in person or virtually. Also, I want to stay in touch with the readers of my book, An Uncommon Journey: Leadership Lessons (from a preschool teacher who became a university president), available on Amazon. Please subscribe to my blog on this website or email me at email@example.com.