5 Pillars of Advanced Problem Solving Leadership

Be The Leader Your Dog Thinks You Are (Episode 3)


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Three essential reads touching on competency and cost of its absence, complement this article. And the reader is strongly urged to follow up. They are:

① Hiring Great People Part 3 (Right Talent: How To Avoid Unprofessional & Costly Bad Hires).

② Advanced Problem Solving Leadership (Part 1). And, more generally,

The Leadership Series (Volume 2).

The tragic cost of ignorance is the most important reason to understand why Advanced Problem Solving Leadership matters. Others, include (as seen above) Risk Management/Avoidance, De-escalation, and perhaps surprisingly, EQ/EI-driven Leadership expertise. Let's start with China.

In my last year in China, the view from the rear of my gated community was all dogs. Stray dogs and blue-collar owners living in shipping container homes whose work ethic inspired me. But sadly, kept the wrong dogs on a leash, had virtually no concept of walking their countless dogs; regularly abused the ones that barked incessantly and couldn't be understood — the same ones that were almost never walked — played with newborn puppies literally as toys until they were no longer considered “cute” whereupon they were shunned, and generally, unnecessarily lost many dogs, sometimes in a span of two or three months as they got hit and died violent deaths on the expressway nearby.

It was gut wrenching stuff that much like second-hand smoking, was pretty much second-hand abuse, emotionally and psychologically speaking. And the same Chinese friends who tried to “explain” how “In China some people consider dogs as tools, watchman, etc. Nothing you can do about it”, were psychologically and emotionally crushed witnessing much less serious abuses.

Moreover, about a month before I penned this blog, I watched a housewife get bitten by her huge white husky after getting it excited, and frankly, simply because she lacked the kind of basic de-escalation skills one is likely to pick up watching Episode 2 and as well as the feature video above. And truth be told, I've witnessed more owners bitten by their dogs since this blog's release.

Suffice it to say, people like her have been, and are, pointed to blogs like this all the time.

Advanced Problem Solving Leadership begins with Operational Skills that begin and end with the selfsame clear-headed recognition that lead the owners and participants (above) to solicit César Millán Favela's amazing expertise. It says and thoughtfully asks:

I understand “one size fits all” doesn't scale.

What's the nature, cause and provable solution of/for the problem we have here?

Do I/we have the commensurate skills to fix it?

Do I/we have the humility to step back or aside and let experts do their best work?

What is the baseline for efficacy here? And BONUS:

How mentally weak or rigid am I/are we being here?

Augmented by expertise/dedicated professionalism and genuine emersion, Advanced Problem Solving Leadership begins with a conscious departure from the follow-the-crowd or my friend(s) mindset approach, opting instead for pure pragmatism.

It is, in other words, NEITHER subjective NOR ideology-driven.

It brings and applies to complex problems, Self-Examination, Self-Discipline, true Self Insight, Self-Awareness, Emotional Intelligence and most importantly: Authentic Leadership EthicsHighly effective problem solvers have, and continue to hone the single most important Ethical Leadership ingredient in solving contentious problems or disputes. And that ingredient is a strong moral compass. A clear sense of right and wrong concerned with the most important, yet overlooked question: “What is/would be the right thing to do?” The same question every pet owner can teach themselves to confront, and answer.

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Unless your business model is akin to the Desperate Housewives/always-on drama world of Jerry Springer and such, your goal, as a high impact problem solver, is to master the art of de-escalation. And doing that requires a firm, consistent and demonstrable commitment to never cease asking the question: What is/would be the right thing to do?Being known for taking sides is not a good leadership trait. Quite the contrary. It is a hallmark of corrupt leadership.We live in a world of entrenched geopolitical conflicts. And like workplace conflict, contentious domestic dispute/family rivaly, or even the temptingly sadistic, narcissistic and voyeuristic world of scripted negativity fed to us through Reality TV and viral Social Media videos, we are encouraged — indeed, lured — to be addicted to drama. The latter is tempting and easy. Problem is, like pandering, it's neither Authentic Leadership nor a proven formula for building and sustaining true credibility, without which one is a leader in name, or position only.

Notice how César Millán isn't there to take sides or amplify the problem(s) faced by pet owners? It takes Advanced Problem Solver mindset to zoom out when lured to be obsessed with being right or applaud ethically questionable options and actions. And instead, exercise true courage in asking the only question that matters: Am I living in the solution right now?

Great leaders look for, and bring high impact creative problem solving acumen.(Follow the Dove)


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