I recently ran across an article, 9 Deadly Leadership Mistakes. The author, Peter Economy, made some great points. But one, Looking for Quick Fixes, stood out because you rarely see this associated with leadership. But it is.
Peter went on the say “No matter how difficult the problem, there is always a quick solution”. And with so many fires to put out or hats to wear, the quick fix is often welcome. It allows you to move on to the next crisis, issue or opportunity.
Solving the immediate problem quickly is a good thing, especially when it impacts customers, team or money. But the quick fix is often nothing more than a band-aid. It doesn’t address the root cause; it’s not the long-term solution. The problem will return again and again.
Here’s an example to demonstrate this point. Your technician performed a service. The customer was unhappy and called to complain. You apologize and send someone out to re-do the work. Problem solved. The customer is now satisfied and you move on. But what have you done to fix the problem moving forward?
Are You Fixing or Band-Aiding Problems?
While fixing a problem will take more time, it’s worth it in the long-run. Just think about the impact these problems have on costs, profit, customer satisfaction, team satisfaction – and you personally. Do you really want to spend your days putting out fires?
Going from band-aid to fix is not difficult. You still want to solve most problems quickly – especially when customers are involved. But when you do, go a little further. Ask more questions: How do we make sure this doesn’t happen again? Is this a system or people issue – or maybe a combination of both?
Get others involved as necessary and dig a little deeper when you encounter problems. Make the commitment to really improve your business. Get rid of the band-aids and fix the problems for the long-term. Think systems and procedures. Need some help in this area? Check out my article, How to Create Business Systems
Related: How to Turn a Quick Fix Into Permanent Solution
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