Get Ahead of the Problem, Not Behind It

Jan 24, 2024

As leaders, sometimes we make things more difficult for ourselves than they have to be. Just like not studying before a test, not preparing yourself for all possible scenarios in any situation is going to open the door up for failure. So we must do all we can to be prepared and to prevent things from becoming an issue. Don't let today's problems become tomorrow's crisis. 

John Maxwell has quoted this by Leroy Eims many times before and I strongly suggest that you write it down and let it be a reminder for you every single day:


"A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see, and who sees before others do."


If you can see more, see farther, and see before others, then you are not only making things easier on yourself, but you are also making things easier on your people. By being proactive in your leadership, you are ensuring that whatever is taking place now will be handled on simple terms instead of standing by and letting things become more complicated.

Leaders need to see around the curve and in order to do that, you have to be aware of everything that is going on and not only be present, but be involved in every aspect of the organization. 

Here are three ways you can get ahead of any problem:  


When you lead with an offensive mindset, you are able to stop problems from happening by getting ahead of them. When you sense something bad about to happen, take charge and make the decision or decisions to do what needs to be done in order to get ahead of it and stop it from getting to that point. When you know something is about to happen, you stop it. Don't wait for something to happen before you act on it. Stop it from happening in the first place.


If you have to have a conversation with someone about what they are doing wrong or what they need to work on, have that conversation in the beginning stages when you first become aware of it. Do not wait until you feel more comfortable or until you feel like you have given enough time to see if the problem will naturally fix itself; have the conversation when the problem is fresh and you will prevent a small issue from turning into a possible crisis down the road. When you have conversations while they're simple, you avoid emotions on both sides and are able to get your point across a lot easier.


When a problem of any sort arises, be sure to handle it right then and there (unless it is a circumstance where the best thing for you to do is to take a deliberate pause to make sure you are responding instead of reacting). When an issue is in the early stages, it is a lot easier to fix as opposed to if you let it simmer for a while and then it becomes something that you do not have the skillsets to handle anymore. Get ahead by stopping it immediately.

Do not make leadership harder on yourself than it needs to be. If you are proactive in handling situations as they come and see them as a fence to jump over instead of a barrier, you will be highly respected and will limit the amount of hardships you will have to endure in the future.

As a leader, you are going to witness issues, you are going to deal with problems, and you are going to handle complications, but if you can get ahead of it by either stopping it quickly, preventing it from getting worse, and/or preventing it from happening at all, you are going to save yourself, your team, and your organization from having to deal with a possible crisis.

Like I said before, don't let today's problems become tomorrow's crisis. Get ahead of the problem, not behind it.

- Dean

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