Having a process for overcoming a difficult business problem can be a truly valuable resource. After all, most leaders, no matter how talented, will occasionally run into an obstacle that seems unbeatable. When this happens, it’s crucial to know how to manage your mental state in a way that is productive and healthy.
4 Strategies for Overcoming a Difficult Business Problem
- Step back: As many leaders already know, stress is not very conducive to creativity. Unfortunately, when we are stressed about a difficult problem, that’s often when we need our creativity the most. It may be tempting to make a quick decision or take an impulsive action, but in most cases, it’s better not to be too reactive. Give yourself some time and distance for the toughest problems. There’s likely a better solution than your first jerk reaction.
- Look for opportunities: Some problems are going to force you to make large changes at your company. When this happens, we typically view it as a setback, but it could also be affecting you in numerous positive ways. As you go through the process of addressing any big issue in your organization, try to keep a lookout for any exciting opportunities that might have emerged.
- Ask for help: We have teams, partners and mentors for a reason. As a leader, it’s probably second nature to rely on your own expertise, but the toughest problems are often easier to understand from an outside perspective. Consult with mentors, team members and experts to collect a diverse range of intelligent opinions. Even if you don’t follow anyone’s suggestions, hearing alternative perspectives may spark an idea.
- Trust yourself and be patient: Sometimes you need to stop your brain for a moment and trust that you will do better tomorrow. Of course, that doesn’t mean putting off issues, but don’t hit your head against the wall until you can no longer think clearly. Sometimes great ideas need time to percolate before they are ready to manifest. Trust that tomorrow you will find the solution that is eluding you today.
Not every problem will necessarily have a clear solution, but knowing how to manage your outlook and maintain your productivity can be the difference between a successful business leader and someone who gave up.