All businesses and teams will have to deal with problems; it’s just a part of life.
And here at KennyChapman.com, we’re cracking the code of leadership for home service professionals, and I’d be a fool if I didn’t talk about the importance of problem-solving in business and how we should tackle these problems.
I’m going to challenge you today and how you think about “problems” in business.
It’s what I’m good at, and it comes from a place of experience and awareness. As someone with decades of experience in the home service field and more decades of experience as a leadership coach, I can help you navigate this tricky issue and step into your greatness.
Let’s get started, my friends!
Where Does Resistance Show Up For You?
I want you to just think for a moment about where you have the most resistance showing up in your business.
If you have the ability right now, I will encourage you just to kind of do a quick exercise with me and write down what is the area of the most resistance in the business at the moment.
Is it recruiting?
Is it your leadership structure?
Training? Marketing? Lead flow? Dispatching? Call center?
Is it your own capability?
Is it your confidence?
You know, there are all kinds of areas where we have the most resistance.
And I just want you to hold that in your mind or perhaps write that down, and then I want you to write this down or hold this thought.
I’m going to talk to you about the plan.
So I don’t want to jump into the plan of the wild west of jumping into everything and stirring the pot.
When I think about the biggest problems in my life and my businesses over my career and in personal relationships and finance, the thing that’s always the number one resolution is “going at it.”
So where that biggest resistance is, that’s where you can create the most value right now as the leader that you are.
The biggest resistance is begging for your attention.
It’s begging for your desire.
The universe doesn’t care what you want.
It cares where you focus your energy, and it delivers based on your attention, your energy, your focus.
The same is true with a problem that needs to be resolved.
Resistance Tells You Which Problems Need To Be Solved (Or At Least Looked At)
Sometimes it’s just a matter of needing to go there to quantify it and ask some questions around it and do some self-coaching, perhaps.
Often, it requires reflecting, and in some cases, the reflection shows you the problem isn’t as bad as you think.
Is this really something that deserves my sleepless nights and my nonstop energy?
Or am I making something out of nothing?
So take some reflection time on where resistance lies in your business and use this to drive your attention.
What’s the biggest point of resistance?
What is the easiest option?
Don’t look too much at the easiest fixes because guess what?
It’s not going to make much of a difference, my friend.
And in fact, it’s probably what you’ve been doing to this point, which is probably why you may still have the problem that you have or the challenge that you have.
Maybe you should shift your thoughts on problems. Think about them as opportunities.
I’m big on what we call “transformational vocabulary.”
And I actually believe that every problem that exists in your life and in your business is actually a gift.
Problems Aren’t Gifts, Kenny!
Now, I can hear some of you now:
You don’t get it. I’ve got real problems here. These aren’t opportunities or gifts; they’re disasters!
I do understand. I get it.
And I hear ya. I empathize with you.
I have massive compassion, but I’m still going to tell you it’s one of the biggest gifts.
Let me give you an exercise to walk through, getting your mind there, because right now, it’s in your face, and it doesn’t feel good.
I’m going to ask you to go through some transformational vocabulary thinking.
Every time a problem arises (or what the mind holds is a problem), there’s an opportunity that gets born.
And when there is a challenge, that’s where there is value to be created, if you will.
I want you to just kind of think about that when you really take a step back.
I had the great gift of traveling with the incredible Les brown.
I did 14 cities with him in less than five months.
And I remember he would always talk about it from the stage, and many people have paraphrased it and talked in different ways.
I doubt that Les is the one that actually came up with the concept, but it’s like this.
The Importance Of Problem Solving In Business
Your life and my life are a testament to this, and this whole idea works in business too.
We work hard now so that life becomes “easier” later. It’s not so much that it becomes easier, but you open more windows to success.
In your business, you have that opportunity as a leader. Your team is like a house with all the windows shut in the middle of the hottest summer, and the house doesn’t have A/C.
This heat is a serious problem, and you need to deal with it as the leader of the house.
If you let it go as it is, some of your members and your teams could have potentially serious complications.
So as the leader, you look at how to deal with this, and you come up with two big options:
- Open some windows.
- Install some air conditioning.
Which is the path of least resistance? Opening windows.
It doesn’t work as well, and it only works temporarily. Yes, it’s easier, but is it the best option?
In some cases, maybe, but I bet we in the home service businesses know the value of a good A/C system in someone’s house. I know I do.
So the better, stronger opportunity to fix a “problem” is to go the extra mile and tackle the tougher project.
It’s almost like these “problems” are really motivating factors in creating value for your business.
And think about this metaphor in another way too:
Which of the solutions gives value back to the house/team/business?
Opening windows may be a solution, but it adds ZERO value. A house with A/C is much more likely to sell for a higher price.
This is why good problem solving is critical for leaders. This is why you MUST reflect on where you have resistance and go after the most resistance as opportunities to add value and provide long-term solutions.
Imposter Syndrome In Problem Solving For Businesses
Another issue that may creep up in this area is imposter syndrome. Basically, you ask the question:
The simple answer is that you’re the leader, and it’s your responsibility and honor and destiny and purpose to do so.
And all of our experiences matter, whether we went through hell or just some bumps. It’s all valuable.
I remember I went through a phase where I felt guilty when I got back from Desert Storm.
I was in the first Gulf war back in the 1990s. When I got back, I struggled with some stuff around it.
This wasn’t a real war. It lasted a hundred hours.
We were in real wars before in Korea and the world wars, and my experience was a cakewalk compared to that.
But I had to stop myself and say, “No. Wait a minute. I made a major sacrifice to go. I signed on the line and agreed to do those things.”
Pass Your Value Down The Line
This isn’t just about war.
This is about people in the trades too that came before us that made it so easy.
I remember the great Frank Blau, George Brazil, Ron Smith, and the other people that would come and just share their wisdom and their information.
When I was a 20 something young contractor and crushed it and built a national role model company and became one of the youngest influential trainers in the space, it would never have happened if it wasn’t for the value added by these people before me.
And hope and know that the people who come after me will win even more than I have because of the value I’ve added to the “game.”
How could I not be a success when there were so many greats that shared amazing information, and I was an implementer, and they handled a lot of problems.
They dealt with a lot of pain, a lot of resistance, a lot of struggle in order for us to have the great things that we’ve got now.
And so now it’s our privilege to look for how we use this to fulfill ourselves.
When you look at challenges in the business, I will encourage you to just realize it simply as a matter of perspective.
One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure.
I believe in paying it forward.
When I was a new leader, I didn’t have the money or success to buy good suits and clothes and stuff. I was a huge visitor to Goodwill.
Now, I donate a lot of my stuff to Goodwill to pay it forward. I could sell it on eBay or try to make money off of it, but that’s not what I’m about.
That’s not what leadership is about.
It’s not what problem-solving is about.
What Kind Of Business Problem Solver Are You?
I often think about the people who came before as leaders and how they’ve paid it forward to us through their problem-solving.
They’ve given us the foundation of the businesses we have now. And now we have the opportunity to solve our problems, tackle the most resistance, and add value to our businesses and teams in the long term.
And in the process, we step into our greatness, fulfill our primary purpose, and win at business.
Now, I don’t want to minimize your suffering. Problems cause pain, and you may be dealing with some huge problems that cause a lot of stress in your life.
I just want you to realize and kind of hold them in perspective.
These problems are real, and these problems can be freaking hard.
But what kind of problem-solver leader are you going to be?
Do you want to be the one who ignores the hard problems and tackles the smaller issues for quick wins?
At best, you’ll keep your team barely afloat and let someone else inherit a worse problem.
Are you the leader who takes the easy path?
You’ll add no value to your business and team.
Or are you a leader who seizes the opportunity to make a real difference in your business, team, and even your own life?
Not only will you fix part of or all of the tough problems, but you’ll also add value to the world and make the field stronger for your specific business and perhaps beyond.
Oh, and you’ll win. Maybe not right away, but life pays back change and growth in the long-term through experience, purpose, and often growth and profit.
Keep this in mind and be the kind of leader I want you to be. The kind that shakes things up and changes the game for the better.
Now go, and make it a better than fantastic week!