Be A Solutions Seeker

July 12, 2013 — 15 Comments
Be A Solutions Seeker | Joseph Lalonde

There’s never a QUICK way to the top of leadership. This takes hard work, lots of time, and plenty of effort.

However, if you’re looking for a way that will get you noticed and help you rise in your level of leadership. Look no further.

The way to get noticed as a leader is to be someone who seeks out and offers solutions. Solutions to the little problems. Solutions to the big problems. Solutions that will help others.

Solving problems and getting things done is what a leader does. So look for those solutions.

Why Be A Solutions Seeker?

There’s a simple reason to be a solutions seeker. When you constantly seek out new solutions, you’re able to find new ways to accomplish difficult tasks. You’re able to put together a way to do the impossible.

Solution seekers know there’s always a way. And they’re on the lookout for it. They can use past experiences and apply it to situations many people wouldn’t think you could.

This lends itself well to leadership. Leaders are leading the way, moving into new territory, and bringing others along with them.

There will be many times when you won’t know the definite path. You might have an idea but you will hit walls.

However, when you’re seeking solutions you’ll be able to find ways to tear down the wall that’s blocking you.

This is why you need to be a solutions seeker.

How To Be A Solutions Seeker

You want to be a solutions seeker now, don’t you? Come on, I know you do.

Now that we know you want to learn how to be a solutions seeker, let’s break it down.

Learn to learn from every situation: It’s time to stop thinking each event in your life is an isolated incident. It’s not.

Be aware of what is happening around you. Who’s doing what. What do things look like? How long are things taking?

Think about these questions as you experience life. I’ve thought these things while whitewater rafting, ice climbing, and zip-lining. They’ve helped me to shift my paradigms and see leadership principles where I didn’t before. It’s helped me to see new solutions.

Be willing to tinker: Thomas Edison has been quoted as saying “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas was willing to tinker with an experiment until he found a viable solution. He sought out solutions to problems.

Don’t let a failure or two (or even 10,000) derail you from seeking out a solution. Tinker with what you’re doing until it works.

Collaborate: When we’re working alone, it’s easy to put the blinders on and spotlight only one or two solutions. It’s hardwired into our brains.

This is when you need to call in others. Ask your friends, family, team members, and those outside of your industry for input. When you go to unlikely sources, you’ll get unlikely answers.

The crazy part is, these unlikely answers are likely the solutions you need to move forward. Seek them out!

Question: What’s your way of being a solutions seeker? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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  • http://www.buckleadership.wordpress.com/ Justin Buck

    Great thoughts, Joe! What I love about solutions-seeking is that it’s a habit and builds reputation. When you seek solutions, people come to you. They might call it optimism at first, but when you take a step out and say “How can I help you?” rather than “Here’s what you should do,” your leadership becomes real. Thanks for stirring this in me, Joe, and the great questions to get us all to a solution-seeking mindset.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That’s a great observation Justin. Bringing solutions to the table creates a name for ourselves that people will look at and consider for future endeavors.

  • http://JonDHarrison.com/ Jon D Harrison

    Don’t miss a great source of insight – those who complain or are dissatisfied – they can tell you what is wrong, and often (without always meaning to) tell you what a solution will look like. I go as far as to say dissatisfied employees are the best kind! http://jondharrison.com/2013/04/16/the-best-kind-of-employee-is-a-dissatisfied-employee/

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Good one Jon. There’s lots that can be learned from the complainers. For those guys, we need to find a way that we can help them to productively vent their criticisms.

  • http://lorrainemariereguly.wordpress.com/ Lorraine Marie Reguly

    Talking with others in a brainstorming session is great, since you have someone to use as a springboard (bounce ideas off of). This is super-helpful, since everyone has different ideas, and the different viewpoints can ultimately help with a final solution, whatever the problem may be.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks Lorraine! With so many different ideas being thrown around, how do you come to the final solution?

      • http://lorrainemariereguly.wordpress.com/ Lorraine Marie Reguly

        Take the best one, or the best ones. Having a vote is also an option for deciding.

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

          Those are good ways to decide. Has your team tried picking two or three of the good ideas, setting them aside for a day or a week, and then coming back to see if the ideas look as good?

          • http://lorrainemariereguly.wordpress.com/ Lorraine Marie Reguly

            No, but that’s a great idea!

  • http://www.sevenhillsselfstorage.com/ Self Storage

    This is a really great post. I must say that one should always try and help out others may it be by the name of a solution seeker as it makes an individual stand out in the crowd and moreover turn him a leader whose expert advice is always admired.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks for commenting

  • http://www.mondayisgood.com/ Tom Dixon

    Don’t stop at the first obstacle you run into – when faced with a challenge figure a way to keep moving forward.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Great advice Tom. We can’t let the first obstacle derail us.

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    I always ask my team members if there’s something I can do to help them.

    As leaders, we need to start with this attitude. We need to be helpful.

    Your advice in this post lines up very well with a book I just finished…The Catalyst Leader by Brad Lomenick. I’d recommend it to your reading community.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That’s a great way to get to a solution Jon.

      About the Catalyst Leader, I’ve been hearing terrific things about it. Now to find time to read it.