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Developing the Leader Within You: Chapter 5

We’re back again with Jason and Brad to discuss Chapter 5 of Developing the Leader Within You. This week, we’ll talk about problem solving and how leaders go about doing it, as well as solving problems with people and not for people. Don’t forget to join the discussion in the comments below!


5 Responses

  1. Jimmy says:

    Great post today!
    Early in my career, I’ve had many leaders jump in and solve problems for me. Yes, the problem was solved but I was often left feeling disappointed and unsure of my abilities.
    I’ve only had a few great mentors take the time to solve problems ‘with me.’ Which increased my ability as both a problem solver and a mentor down the road, not to mention my increased loyalty to that patient mentor that didn’t just jump in and fix the problem.

    • Basher says:


      Do you remember a specific instance of when a mentor helped you through a problem instead of just doing it? Can you talk about that some? Sorry for the interview question, ha.

  2. Chris Meriwether says:

    I can definitely relate to the section talking about prioritizing. In my experience there are very few simple problems. Most of the time where there’s one problem there are many more interwoven into it. Often times I can’t see the forest for the trees. I see all these small or medium sized problems amassing into this one mega problem that’s going to destroy the whole world! This causes me to get discouraged and overwhelmed leaving me much less motivated to actually address the problem at hand.
    I love this line in the book “Whether you face three problems, thirty, or three hundred ‘make them stand in single file so you face only one at a time.'” Great advice. Problems are a constant so rather than losing my cool or freaking out, I need to remain calm. Address the most important and/or urgent problem head on. Then I can address the next most pressing problem.
    Trying to fix all problems at once is not a realistic, efficient, or effective strategy.

  3. Basher says:

    Like Chris, I see most problems as multi-dimensional. However, my natural tendency is to step back and look at the bigger picture, possibly foregoing important work on some of the smaller problems first. I’ve learned/I’m learning not to brush the “small” stuff under the rug, but to address each issue with a clear mind and in due time. Not every issue must be dealt with today, but every issue must be addressed at some point.

    For me, getting ahead of these issues goes back to something from the previous chapter. I like the rush of completing a project or finishing something as the deadline looms – but this puts me in danger of being much too reactive. Starting projects early and getting ahead of tedious tasks can be the thing that keeps the smaller problems at bay, while leaving much more time to address the larger issue at hand.

  4. Jillian says:

    I had a few problems with this chapter, but I really liked the way that Brad worded the very things with which I took issue; I left the video feeling a bit less defensive than I did after reading (and rereading). It was a bit “bootstrap” heavy to me, and his ability to predict Marcia’s cancer recovery based on her attitude undermines those people who have succumbed to this illness. But there was a lot of good in here, and I thought that the video and its emphasis on the positive aspects of the reading made those more clear to me, so thanks.

    I think I can get caught up on number four on the list; “they share their feelings and findings to a few trusted colleagues.” I love to get buy in to the point that my team feels like my idea was theirs to begin with, and I listen to their feedback and consider it regularly. I can sometimes waiver on how I approach a problem though, by asking for too much feedback or oversharing findings, and then having to explain all of the whys. I maintain a positive but realistic attitude with my team, because I want them to feel ownership of the business, and be a part of the decision making processes; but there are times where I should just move forward.

    In the words of one of my favorite philosophers, “If there were a problem, yo, I’ll solve it. Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it.”

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