Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DEVELOPING LEADERSHIP SKILLS Part 3: Do you Solve or help Others Solve a Problem

Do you Like to Solve the Problem or Help Others Solve The Problem?

This section is less about problem solving and more about what type of leader you are. Some of us NEED to be in control; Some of us hate to be in control.  There is nothing wrong with one type of leader or the the other, however, if you know where your strengths are, you can better use them. Each of us need to be able to swim in both ends of this pool; however, to some degree.

Imagine a situation where you are a, or the leader, and your/the team is presented a problem that needs to be addressed: (This is a leadership exercise, so you or your team needs to actually fill in the blanks.)

Write the What the Problem is? _______________________

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You’re the one who solves the Problem:

Example: When I was a boy scout I took part in a leadership course that was a week long, in the woods, without food, called HTOTEA, How to Teach.  The first night I volunteered to be the first leader, and the brought to our camp site 5 live chickens, and said, you have 2 hours to prepare and eat the chickens. In two hours, we come and take the chickens away from you, or what is left of them.  I was the one who was responsible for solving the problem.  There was a councilor assigned to us, who was the problem solver who was being paid to help me solve the problem.  The problem, however, was deeper than just killing, cooking and eating the chickens.  The councilor was not informed of the task until I was, and he too did not get to eat unless we did.  They had designed it so that we all failed to begin with, unless the helper helped.  HE HAD NO IDEA WHAT TO DO. So I had to find a way.

If you find yourself in that situation, the consequences may or may not be dire, but your ability will still be on the line.  This is a SKILL, not a talent.  Anyone can develop it, if they let go of their fear of failure, and use the resources around them.  Being Decisive is the most important skill in this situation, after being able to listen to others.

In the above situation, which would you prefer to be?  The one who helped the team find a solution, or the one who was responsible for feeding the team, and why?

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From the above question, you know know which you are, and what the difference is.

Drill to work the Two:

Now take the example you created at the top of the sheet, and write down how you would act under both circumstances below.

You Solve it: ______________________________________

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You Help Someone Else Solve it: _____________________

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When we teach this drill, we actually have them create the problems, and then randomly select the problem from a basket, and also which of the two leadership styles they must use.  Then they have 5 minutes to make it happen.
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