Fifth in the series — “Solve problems effectively”*
The last trait that the study showed as separating great leaders from good leaders was “solve problems effectively”. I believe the key word here is “effectively” and I believe that one word has three components. Effectively means…
Right assumptions: No matter what the problem, there are assumptions that have to be made. Leaders know when the assumption base is reasonable, and when it is high risk. Great leaders drive to ensure the key components needed to effectively solve the problem are pursued. Great leaders have great filters.
Sustainability: Anyone can solve a problem for a day (OK, most anyone). Great leaders don’t solve a problem – they eliminate problems.
Communication: Ever heard the question — If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? If you solve a problem and don’t tell anyone, is the problem really solved? Sharing the solution ensures the team knows, and thus can trust, that the issue won’t come back. It also allows others to benefit as they might be able to apply your solution elsewhere.
* Quote Article|McKinsey Quarterly
Decoding leadership: What really matters
January 2015 | by Claudio Feser, Fernanda Mayol, and Ramesh Srinivasan