A wrestling match with a question
"If I had an hour to solve a problem, I would spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about the solution." - Albert Einstein
How is your leadership thinking? How much time do you spend thinking about problems? Are you more concerned with checking "solved the problem" off your to-do list?
I've become convinced that as leaders we have to get comfortable with the uncomfortable idea of pondering on difficult questions which we can't answer quickly or easily. Our brain loves the thrilling feeling of doing tasks that we can feel successful at effortlessly. Think of the way you feel when answering trivia questions on your favorite subject or the way you'd feel stepping into the slow pitch batter's cage and cranking homer after homer. That's the feeling our brains are searching for all of the time.
But as leaders, we must fight that urge to settle for asking the questions that have easy answers and focus on the puzzling question which we can't answer in one quick session.
What happens when you wrestle with difficult questions for days or even weeks? What happens is we allow time to become the extra element. That extra time allows you to get to a deeper understanding that simply can't be reached with quick thinking. The time allows for solutions or understanding to present themselves often in unexpected ways.
What are some difficult but important questions you are struggling with? Are you allowing yourself time to wrestle with those questions?