Short and Long Term Solutions
There’s No Either/Or – You Have to Do Both
When you’re a new leader, it’s easy to spend all your time-solving problems as they pop up. If you’re only focused on the fires, though, you never make progress. It’s important to come up with solutions to prevent the fires from recurring. Being able to solve small problems quickly while keeping your head is a good skill to have, but great leaders do more strategic thinking. That said, it’s equally easy to spend all of your time on strategic planning and ignore the day-to-day issues that pop up, but that’s a death by a thousand paper cuts. It’s great to have vision, but that vision doesn’t really matter if your day-to-day is a total mess.
It’s easy to get bogged down by focusing solely on short- or long-term solutions, but neither all-or-nothing approach is ideal. The best leaders can do both.
Here are two sure-fire ways to make time for both short and long term solutions:
Delegate certain issues to someone else on your team to free up your time. It’s a great way to give more opportunities to up-and-coming leaders. You’ll increase morale and ownership in the company by assigning certain candidates to long-term projects.
Train your team to be more solution-oriented than blame-oriented. Feeling like part of a team creates more eagerness to solve problems. Encourage them to tackle problems by starting small and proving the case. Getting their ideas off the ground can turn a short-term solution into a long-term one.
Most people don’t play the long game, and businesses are more comfortable with short-term solutions. However, a short-term solution only solves one problem, and there are always new problems. If you can consider multiple problems together and work on them at the same time, you might just end up with a different solution. Finding that synergy is incredibly important, and it falls on you as a leader.
When a company struggles to address both types of solutions, it’s usually due to leadership not being on the same page and everyone doing (and wanting) something different. Maybe the CEO was brought in to sell the company, middle management is working on diversity, and the rest of the team just wants a raise. Perhaps there’s poor communication and people are putting themselves first. If you want to succeed, you need to work under one single vision. You may have to get a lot of people bought in, but if you can address both short- and long-term problems, you bring a ton of value.
Do you want to bring more value to your team? Let me help you! Join my email list to receive regular leadership tips in your inbox. Or if you’re really ready to rock, join my Kickstart Leadership Course!