- Every morning when I wake up, I make up my mind to solve as many problems, before retiring home. – Aliko Dangote
If there is one sure lesson I have learned for career and personal development, it is to seek to be a problem solver. If you can solve people’s problems or at least be passionate about finding solutions, you will go very far. Why? Because people love people who add value to them and want to give instead of take. Think about it….If you were the CEO of a company, who would you want to hire? The person that turned up and did the bare minimum, never used their initiative and needed you to instruct them on every single thing to do, even after they have worked for you for some time and know what is expected and how things work. Or the person who is committed to learned the ropes asap, delivers well how you want them to, then starts looking for ways to improve the way you work, is passionate about learning and trying new things and goes above and beyond to make processes and people better for you? I am sure very few (if any) would have chosen the first individual. It is amazing we are able to make these judgments about others but are nowhere near as good at being frank about ourselves and reviewing our own behaviors.
Good news is we do not have to remain this way. We can all decide now to make that change and make conscious efforts to review the way we are working: is it bare minimum or are we looking to add value?
A good process to follow is this:
– What is the problem/ challenge here?
– Who does it affect?
– What affect does it have?
– What would need to be changed to lessen/ eradicate that impact?
– What steps can be taken now to do this?
Keep going over this process, share the problem with others and get their input. It is incredibly important to share the challenges we come up against because everyone has such different life experiences and exposure. You could be troubling yourself trying to find a solution when someone you know experienced the exact same thing previously and can help you out. You know the saying – the wise learn from other peoples’ struggles.
Another great thing to do is – read. Look for people, companies, organisations you respect, admire or simply wish to learn from and read literature/ articles by them or people who work for them. The exposure to another’s mind via words is a beautiful thing. So enriching – do not overlook it.
You can be a problem solver and as you do so, see how opportunities open up before you.