Are You Solving Symptoms?

First responder
First responder (iStock photo )

My idea of a good physician is someone I can speak with on the phone, tell her all my problems, and then pick up my prescription from a drive-thru pharmacy. Fortunately, for my health, it doesn't work that way.

The way to wellness is through examination, diagnosis and then prescription if necessary.

An issue in many organizations is that prescription often precedes diagnosis. Too often, solutions are developed for problems that do not exist. Symptoms receive solutions to problems that do not exist.

Effective leaders have knees that have been trained in the school of the slow-jerk reaction. There are relatively few organizational problems that require the sounding of an alarm. Many midlevel managers confuse reacting with a planned response. We need more responders and less reactors.

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The key to effective response is to develop a culture of fact based decision-making. I'm not suggesting paralysis by analysis but I will bang the drum for additional input. Facts help us to see what we might miss in a flurry of actions. Facts lead to responses while emotions produce reactions.

Facts are also useful in helping leaders differentiate between a symptom and a problem. Stories are often told in trend-line data or time series analyses. Snapshots, Instagrams or daily reports are useful as compiled data over time. 

Over-reliance on fast-facts often lead to a solution in search of a problem.

Measure twice, cut once.

"Study to show yourself approved by God, a workman who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15).

Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.

Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, Love Leads.

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Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.


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