Arjun Singh Rathore
Indian Republic is perhaps the only democracy in the world where the festival of electoral process and elections is a never ending continuous process, taking place all the time and all the places. They start in one’s life even before the birth of that individual. Ladka hoga ya Ladki, and family members vote for it. Which school Nukad wala prep ya International Public school, again voting. Class Monitor again voting. Elections and we as electorate mature from Society representation to Mohalla committee and finally we graduate to the tough, real and dirty electoral process of electing a Ward Councillor to Municipal Corporation to Party Posts to MLA to MP to CM to PM. But when asked, none among us could really define to whom we want to choose and what expectations we expect to be fulfilled by our representative. The common answer we get ‘Kaam tho kisi ney karna nahi hai bus vote maangny aa jaty hain’. But where lies the fault we approach our leadership with the problem but without a solution, having an approach like ‘Dekh lo kaisay karna hai’.
But a representative/leader is a one who considers himself a fairly even-keeled person, and it should take a lot to set him off. However, one thing that really should make him angry is when people interact with present problems but fail to offer solutions.
Anyone can point out the existence of a problem, that’s the easy part. The people who bring solutions to the table when addressing a problem are the people who really move the world forward.
Throughout my career, I’ve found that people fall into two categories, doers and complainers. On the most successful teams, the number of doers far exceeds the number of complainers.
The challenge for leaders, then, is to figure out how to attract, retain, and nurture self-starters. It’s no secret that leaders set the tone for the entire organization.
In business, as in life, there are many different leadership styles. While all of these styles can produce results, the solution oriented approach is one of the most effective in overcoming obstacles and increasing productivity.
Solution oriented thinking involves naturally looking for solutions to the problem at hand, and identifying ways to solve issues and prevent them from occurring again. It has become one of the most desirable traits in modern business leadership.
In a work environment, a solutions led approach means providing solutions to problems, rather than just having theories about how the problem came to be. These solutions should be focused on changing workflows and systems to solve problems, and make longer-term improvements to efficiency and productivity.
When used in leadership, this approach not only improves processes, it also helps team members stay motivated and goal-oriented. A solutions approach is always forward-thinking and positive, whereas a problem-oriented approach can often be backwards-looking and negative.
Being a solution-oriented leader is a great way to better and more swiftly manage challenges in your business and to encourage your team to do the same. But what, exactly, is solution-oriented leadership? What are the top characteristics of solution-oriented leaders? And how can you foster a more solution-oriented mind-set both within yourself and in your team?
Not playing emotional card
Don’t allow yourself to become emotionally involved in a problem, this means not getting upset or growing resentful. In a leadership context this also extends to your team. Don’t let anyone dwell on the past, instead start building the future.
Identifying a problem
Identifying a problem is the first point and finding a solution is the second. With a solutions oriented mind, you should start thinking about methods you can use to close the gap between those two points as quickly and efficiently as possible.
A solutions oriented leader doesn’t need excuses. If you’re truly focused on solutions, you shouldn’t care about whose fault the problem is. Instead, focus on what can be done to make things right. This is not a blame game.
Some employees will inevitably ask, why did this happen? A solutions oriented leader should resist these questions, often they just waste time. Focus less on why and more on what we do now.
A solutions oriented leader knows that the most important thing is to find a way forward. The best way to do that is to pull the whole team together to develop a solution. This ensures that everyone buys into, and is on board with, any changes and improvements that are made.
First things First
Very often, we think a solution-oriented leader is very quick to action. But I think it’s essential that you have the ability to stop, to pause before you respond. First things first. Before jumping into how to become a more solution-oriented leader, it’s very easy to jump into action, but solution-oriented is not necessarily the same thing as action-oriented.
One must take a lesson from the leadership of Modi that solution-oriented leaders don’t spin their wheels stressing about past problems or what’s going wrong; instead, they keep their eye on the goal and keep their focus on what needs to happen for themselves and their teams to continue moving forward. And that’s the last thing you want if you’re trying to move forward and get solutions in place.
(The author is Chief Manager IAPM JK Bank, Zonal Office Mumbai)
Arjun Singh Rathore