Consumed by a Problem You Can’t Solve?

Several years ago an executive told me that if I knew about a problem that was unsolved, it didn’t matter how hard I wanted to be a part of the solution,…   I was a part of the problem until it was solved.  

beating your head against the wall

Ouch. That was a hard pill to swallow.

Recently I was reminded of that pill, as someone contacted me and asked for my help.

  • First I listened.
  • Then I offered some advice.

A few months passed and I received another call from this person. The conversation was essentially the same conversation we’d had a few months earlier and other than talking, this person had done nothing to change their situation.

So, I reminded the person on that my time was valuable, I was willing to offer advice, but they had to take ownership and act. Additionally, their actions would determine if I would get more involved or not.

A few months later… The phone rang again. And nothing had changed.

In another situation, lots of people were complaining.

When they were reminded that they could be a part of the problem or a part of the solution…

  • Some of them started generating ideas and then jumped in to help.
  • While others, just wanted to tell others what they “should do”.

If you are dealing with a problem that you are struggling to solve on your own, consider this:

  1. You won’t create any solutions feeling sorry for yourself. (…But you will probably alienate people that could help you.)
  2. Solutions won’t fall out of the sky by complaining to others. (They’ll eventually get tired of the fuss you make and take what you say with a grain of salt.)
  3. Solutions won’t come by asking for the advice of others, if you won’t take any ownership and act. (They’ll stop listening and offering to help.)
  4. You aren’t really part of the solution if you are only willing to sit on the sidelines generating ideas for other people to act on. (And ohhh do you miss out, on opportunities to build relationships, to be creative, to make a difference, and to have more joy in your life!!!)

If you really want a solution, you must take some ownership and… 

What are your thoughts?Do you know anyone struggling with a problem?  What advice would you give them?  

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Image Credit:  iStock

2 Steps Forward + 1 Step Back = Progress

Last week a friend pointed out the importance of celebrating progress.

2 Steps Forward + 1 Step Back = Progress

Her comment came at a time when many people we care about are focused on “what is not” instead of on “what is”.

Her words were a waving caution flag reminding me that:

Focusing on the steps back, on the struggle, or on what is not…  Fuels negativity and slows progress.  

A few days later, I saw that friend again, and she spoke that important truth once more. .

Focusing on progress:  Fuels hope and creates momentum.

Stop for a minute and think about your life:

  • Where were you 1 year ago?
  • What were your goals at that time?
  • What have you done since then?
  • What have you learned?
  • How have you grown and changed?
  • What difference have you made?
  • How have you celebrated?

Now stop for a moment and think about your family, your organization or the community you are a part of:

  • What was happening 1 year ago?
  • Did you have shared goals at that time?
  • What has been accomplished in that time?
  • What has been learned in that time?
  • How have the individuals and the organization grown and changed?
  • What difference are you making together?
  • How have you celebrated?

 If you’re struggling to recognize progress remember:

2 steps forward and 2 or even 3 steps back CAN STILL BE PROGRESS:   If you’re dancing  ~ OR LEARNING!

What are your thoughts?

How about you?  

Are you focused on the steps back or on the steps forward?  




 Image Credit:  iStock

I wanted to say yes, but I don’t trust you…

Once upon a time, I worked with someone that had some great skills even though they made a lot of choices that I didn’t like, respect or trust.  (This person was smart, witty, and could be really fun, but repeatedly lied and manipulated and bullied others to get what they wanted.)

Broken Trust

Years after we worked together, that person sent me an invitation to connect on LinkedIn.

  • If some time had not passed, I would have declined it instantly and been filled with tons of negative emotions as I did it.

Executives: Do you not know? OR …Do you not care?

Years ago I read a wonderful post by Ted Coine titled, Dear CEO:  Who tells you when your baby is ugly?

Executives:  Do you not know?  OR ...Do you not care?

The post resonated loudly, because as an employee and as a customer I have wondered…  

Over the past 41 days, I’ve asked that question at an increasingly high level…