By: Bill Thomas
Have you ever tasted good food? Spices, cooking times and
ingredient quality make all the difference between a great
or horrible meal. You are more likely to have a grand feast
if it is the result of superior preparation.
Master chefs create an event theme, set up their
kitchen-areas, select and prepare the raw materials,
construct and integrate menu items into courses, and
supervise the dining area and service to insure a fabulous
Using this idea of 'masterful' cooking styles as our guide,
I suggest that we look at handling our office or knowledge
work in much the same way. Instead of thinking of problems
or roadblocks as being tasks for managers, we should view
those challenges as requiring acts of leadership.
You could view your problems as opportunities to create
something that may be better or more effective than your
normal situation. The biologist might say, "your response
to stimuli should include an adaptation to or an alteration
of your environment."
Napoleon Hill stated, "every adversity has within it the
seeds of an equal or greater [beneficial] advantage." Most
people think their problems are destined for a bad or
terrible ending - but Dr. Hill's maxim shows us that every
difficulty has the potential to produce praiseworthy and
So, how do you handle your challenges or problems? Here are
10 time-tested recipes you can use to quickly cook-up tasty
masterpieces of solutions - without any muss or fuss. You'
ll find that 'clean-up' is a snap, too!
1) Your Problem has a "Need", a "Desire" and a "Want" - you
'Need', 'Desire' and 'Want' to do what or to achieve what
goals [Goals - for example: I 'need' to lose weight, I '
desire' to be physically fit, and I 'want' to look good]?
2) Create 'knowledge' [relevant, applicable & valuable data]
about the significance of solving your problem - by
brainstorming, picturing or mapping, cataloging, and
discussing the importance of solving the problem [Knowledge]
3) What would it mean to you if your problem or difficulty
was solved? What might your world or situation be like if
this roadblock did not exist? [Implications]
4) How would you describe the results of solving these
challenges? Name the benefits and pay-offs that you expect
to get when this problem is solved. [Payoffs and Benefits]
5) Using the answers of the first 4 items, what actions
would you need to take to begin the process of transforming
this problem into a new opportunity? [Action Plan]
6) Which resources of time, cash, expertise/knowledge,
equipment, systems and materials do you need to help you
work through your "action plan" [Resource Allocation]?
7) Who are the key people you need to influence, to assist
you and to support you in your efforts [Key Stakeholders]?
8) How much more new knowledge, attitude and behavioral
change, and specialized skills must you develop within
yourself to achieve your goals [Leadership Development]?
9) How will you know where you stand? What criteria will
you use to measure your progress towards the goal?
[Measurement and Appraisal]
10) What will be your forms of reward and recognition for
reaching or achieving your milestones, targets, and end
goals? [Report and Reward]
Even if you only use 3 or 4 of these strategies, you are
certain to see a tableful of solutions and feel more
satisfied with your options for overcoming your roadblocks.
obstacles and difficulties.
Please join me as we raise our glasses and "toast" your
future victories over all of your challenges! Let's sit
down, put on our napkins, crack-open those problems and eat
the fruits of sweet success.