“If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” – Albert Einstein

Different Problems: Different Tactics

Fully understand the challenge you have encountered, and you will possess the ability to work towards a solution efficiently and effectively. Clear and present awareness is crucial to position yourself at a tactical advantage.

Most complex challenges that leaders face today are just an amalgamation of many simple, individual challenges of the following types: puzzles, obstacles, and entanglements.

Chunking, or the process of breaking complexities down to their simplest components, will allow a greater focus of your full creative potential on each smaller chunk. This will greatly diminish the difficulty as you work to overcome your challenge bit by bit. These are the three types of problems you are sure to encounter on your journey:

1. Puzzles: Puzzles are fragments of difficulties to be solved and put together. A puzzle needs to be investigated and analyzed. Like peeling back layers of an onion, or untying a large knot… the solution will become clear with sufficient time. The key skills puzzles will call upon are patience, followed by basic analysis and ingenuity.

2. Obstacles: Obstacles are roadblocks that must be overcome. You’ll need force to destroy them, move them aside, create footholds to climb over, or you can simply go around to continue on your path. The key skills in this solution are perseverance and resolve.

3. Entanglements: Entanglements are mazes designed to consciously or unconsciously trap you in a series of limitations. These are the most treacherous of all problems, because they endanger our most precious resources: time and authenticity. Great periods of time can erode without ever attain-ing a solution and sometimes without awareness that the only solution is extrication. In order to leave behind negativity and regret, you must free yourself from the chains entanglements create, no matter how difficult. The key skills required here are courage and strength.