Opportunities in Work Clothes
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
When I was a kid and would tell my Dad I had a problem, he would always say, “Son, you don’t have a problem, you have an opportunity in work clothes.” I must admit that I didn’t always appreciate that advice. Most of the time I wanted him to either solve it or join me in my pity party. Well, I assure you he never joined me in my pity party. Yes, at times he helped me find a solution and then again there were times when he had another saying, “Sometimes you need to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.” Another translation for this might be, “Put your big boy pants on and get going.” Nonetheless, I knew what he meant.
Henry Ford said, “Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than trying to solve them.” We need to face the fact that problems do come into our lives and they are not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I think they are a good thing. Without problems would we ever grow? Would we ever try new things? Would we ever discover what we are made of as a person? Problems don’t define us as leaders, but they do reveal who we are. My greatest failures as a leader resulted in my greatest growth. I frequently see this played out with my coaching clients. When they are faced with a problem, they are also positioned for the greatest opportunity for growth. My task is to help them shift their mindset so they can explore the many opportunities.
Albert Einstein put it best, “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking we used when we created them.” Shifting our mindset about the situation often allows our minds to search for and find the solution. The first and most significant shift in mindset is to view problems and failures as our friends. Friends that are helping us grow and develop. The second most significant shift in our thinking is to realize that all problems have a solution. If we make these two fundamental shifts, we will be ready to solve our problems and perhaps more importantly, accelerate our growth.
Please join Marisa and me on The Next Page podcast as we discuss various tools we can use to help us shift our mindset, solve our problems, and grow.