Managers are often trained to make things run smoothly. For most of the 20th century that worked.
Nowadays, however, managers are called upon to put on their leadership hats.
Here’s a leadership insight I’m going to share with the managers from the best selling book “Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Leadership,” written by Harvard professors Ronald A Hiefetz and Marty Linsky.
They describe two Kinds of Problems leaders face…
1. Technical Problems: Problems we have the know-how and expertise to deal with. (easier, safer)
2. Adaptive Challenges: Problems not amenable to authoritative expertise or standard operating procedure, which require experiments, discoveries, multiple adjustments from numerous places in the organization. (harder, riskier)
That safer easier path is tempting but may be debilitating to the long-term success of the company.
Beware the Ides of Management! “Et tu easier, safer solution?”