Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.
Leaders spend much of their time dealing with problems—from big problems like an unexplained drop in sales to smaller problems like misspelled words on customer correspondence. The constancy with which leaders deal with these kinds of issues makes many confident that they are pretty good at problem solving. My friend Joel (not his real name) certainly feels that way. Joel is the CEO of a hospital. During a recent dinner he mentioned a pernicious problem that periodically reared its head at his hospital. I suggested that, given the recurring nature of the problem, he and his team weren’t tackling it methodically enough.