Why You Should Welcome Problems

Several years ago, I was having a really rough day at the office. It seemed everything that could go wrong was going wrong—at the worst possible time.

A Carton of Spilled Milk - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/kickstand, Image #157024

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/kickstand

One of my biggest authors was threatening to leave. I had a major position I couldn’t seem to fill, despite numerous interviews. And, several of our customers were upset over what I had thought was a minor policy change.

When will it ever end, I thought.

About that time, Mark Schoenwald, now the CEO of Thomas Nelson, but then our Chief Sales Officer, sent me a wonderful quote from Max Lucado’s book, Great Day Every Day.

Citing management consultant Robert Updegraff, Max wrote:

You ought to be glad for the troubles on your job because they provide about half your income. If it were not for the things that go wrong, the difficult people with whom you deal, and the problems of your working day, someone could be found to handle your job for half of what you are being paid.

So start looking for more troubles. Learn to handle them cheerfully and with good judgment, as opportunities rather than irritations, and you will find yourself getting ahead at a surprising rate. For there are plenty of big jobs waiting for people who are not afraid of troubles.

Mark had no idea what kind of day I was having when he sent this, but his e-mail could not have been more timely.

I was guilty of the faulty logic that says,

If I’m in the right job, I won’t have any problems.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, as I look back over my career, it is clear that growth and promotions were always dependent on solving problems.

Big problems brought big opportunities.

In fact, If you ever find yourself in a job without problems, you should immediately start looking for another one.

Without problems, there aren’t opportunities. And without opportunities. you can’t grow, be given more responsibility, or make more money.

Question: What problem are you facing today that could be an opportunity in disguise? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • ebuttscpa

    Today, as most days, resistance to change (aka the right thing to do) is the biggest challenge.

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Indeed, change is difficult yet necessary for growth – great point EB!

  • http://www.warriorshepherd.com/blog Dave Hearn

    The challenge ( I avoid calling them “problems” :^) I am facing these days are the biggies: 1. Finding the right people to fill critical roles in my organization, and 2.  Fundraising (I work in non-profits).

    If I see these as opportunities in disguise, I guess that 1.  I’d be forced to find ways to do things more efficiently and utilize my current people better… and 2.  I am forced to “bootstrap” more and look how to save money–and it forces me to better “market” what our organization is doing.

    Thanks for this!

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      I agree that those are significant challenges Dave, especially getting the correct people on board. Organizations are only as strong as the people that work there.

      I’m not familiar with the inner workings with a 501(c)3 but I do know that joint ventures between for-profit organizations can be very beneficial. Might that be a possibility with a similarly aligned non-profit to help share your workload while you’re identifying candidates?

      Also, have you considered contacting an organization of retired executives such was http://www.score.org? You might get some out-of-the-box thinking from one their executive volunteers…just a thought…

      • http://www.warriorshepherd.com/blog Dave Hearn

        Thanks I will check those options out!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Ack, fundraising. Been there, done that. Not an easy job!

  • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

    God also uses these “problems” as preparation for more “problems” in the future.  All the time we spend working through them is making us stronger and wiser.  His final goal is conforming us to the likeness of Christ.  I just posted on this very topic on Friday!

    Here is that post – http://buff.ly/N4MGY8 

    It is cool to know that there are short term and long term benefits to the headaches I face everyday!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, it reminds me of James 1:2 in the J.B. Phillips translation, “When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends!”

      • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

        I have never read that translation…I like it!

      • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

         That’s one of my favorite passages. James 1:12 in the J.B. Phillips shows the results of a person who handles trails and temptations successfully, “The man who
        patiently endures the temptations and trials that come to him is the
        truly happy man. For once his testing is complete he will receive the
        crown of life which the Lord has promised to all who love him.”

        • prophetsandpopstars

          I need to get me some J.B. Phillips!

          • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

            It’s good:)

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Great insight, Chris. Today’s challenge is tomorrow’s preparation.

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.”
    “They call it work for a reason.”
    This doesn’t mean that work can’t be fun and fulfilling, but it does mean we should expect to work and struggle a bit as we pursue or careers and fulfill the duties of our position.  I’m so thankful for my job – especially the problems that bring challenge to each work day.

    • http://www.alslead.com/ Dave Anderson

      My dad used to say, “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.”  I find myself quoting that to my kids and to people who have worked for me.

      Problems are why they pay me the medium bucks!

      • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

        My dad used to say that too.

  • OluOlanrewaju

    My big problem which is also a great opportunity is to leave my current job in dignified manner.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I believe how you leave a job is even more important than how you start one. Do you have a plan in place? Would love to know your thoughts.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    I just came back from a three day leadership conference in San Diego. One of the common themes was overcoming problems. One of the speakers, Steve Farber, talked about a program he created  called Greater Than Yourself, where you take on someone as a mentee and help them overcome their problems and challenges. The results were amazing. Steve is a successful business author and  had taken on a guy struggling to get organized and write a book. Through Steve’s expertise and connections, he was able to get his mentee, Tommy, a book deal and guided him through the complicated process. Tommy’s book, “It’s Not Just Who You Know,” went on to be a New York Times Best Seller. 

    Tommy Spaulding talked about the mentor process at the conference. It was one of the most powerful presentations I have ever heard. The secret to the GTY process is to pass it on. Tommy talked about his mentee and how the process continues. GTY is one BIG way to overcome problems!

    • http://www.toodarnhappy.com/ Kim Hall

      Thanks for the heads up on Greater than Yourself. It looks like a terrific book and idea. I am thinking how these concepts could be implemented into my new role as a volunteer with our teen youth group at church.

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        It’s a great program, Kim. A lot of it is finding the right person to mentor. The book and the website are very helpful if you want to try this approach.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That sounds like a great program, John. I wish I could have heard the talk.

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        I’ll tell you Michael, the speakers were great, the material was awesome, and the sound and lighting took it over the top. If you ever need a motivational speaker for an event, Tommy Spaulding knocked it out of the park. If you are ever doing an event in California, the multimedia team was exceptional. 

  • http://www.revivallifestyle.com/ Daniel Vogler

    It really is all a matter of perspective. Very encouraging, Thanks again Michael!

  • Alan

    When I was first hired as a General Manager, my boss told me there would be times when I might go three weeks and not have a lot to do.  However that fourth week was when I would earn every dime he was paying me.  That is when it dawned on me I wasn’t being hired as a caretaker, but as a problem solver.  It was a sobering discovery.

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Well said Alan – there’s a time to act in a custodial role and time to lead the charge. The trick is to know when and which role to play!

  • Scott

    Makes me think about if I am having no problems then I am doing something wrong. The lessons I learn from overcoming the problems is so valuable. If I can only learn to enjoy the problem time more than I do.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Good reminder. Problems aren’t always an indicator of a personal failure or lacking.  Even on those occasions when it IS, it still can be a catalyst for growth and change.

  • http://twitter.com/cupojoegirl Eileen Knowles

    This has been on my heart so much lately!  It’s the challenges that grow us.   Why are we so inclined to take the path of least resistance?  It’s been the tough and problem- filled jobs in my life that have grown me the most over the years.   This goes with jobs and life in general.  Shying away from the hard only stunts our growth.

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      “…It’s the challenges that grow us…” awesome point Eileen. That goes along with the truth that bones are stronger in the spot where a break heals over!

  • Kristinkaufman

    All things for a reason…yet, this post was a marvelous B12 shot this Monday morning.  Facing many hurdles as I build my business….just like a workout – building muscles is not always fun while it is happening. Thank you, Michael, for this perspective.

  • http://www.thadthoughts.com/ Thad Puckett

    I have a busy week, which seems to be true every single week.  Irritating?  Yes.  Have I missed the fact that these weeks are full of opportunities– YES.

    Thanks for sharing this Michael.  I needed it this week (and all of them!).

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

    If you’re looking for trouble, you came to the right place…

    Today, as always, I’m swamped with opportunities. But they’re exactly the same ones like last year and the year before. 

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      “…swamped with opportunities…” I love that turn of phrase Cyberquill!!!

  • Loren

    Mike,
    How true!  Thanks for the reminder.  Loren

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Good to hear from you, Loren. I hope you are well!

  • Joe Don

    Thanks so much Michael.  I really needed to hear this at this point in time.  

  • James Bernard

    Timely item, thank you. Made me think!
    The biggest problem at work (the day job) is there is no-one who wants to take a risk, always play safe. Bit like bashing your head against a brick wall. All the other problems I have I actually enjoy solving!

    • http://www.alslead.com/ Dave Anderson

      I feel your pain.  I used to say to the other leaders on our elder board at church:  “Leadership through risk aversion inspires no one.”

      • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

        Great quote!

  • Terri

    What a timely post! Thank You so very much. My current unemployment and the mistakes I made along the way created a host of challenges and problems.  I worked fulltime for years and completed my B.A. and my M.B.A in the evening so when I became unemployed wow I really didn’t handle it well. That was not the plan!   However, I would not trade the pain and the lessons that came my way the past few years for anything. I am much much better person and so much healthier then I was pre-recession. Well ok so my finances were a lot healthier but spiritually, physically and mentally I am in a much better place.

  • http://www.whiteboardbusiness.com/ Dallon Christensen

    This was extremely timely. I’ve been struggling to open my marketing funnel as I build my business, and I’ll admit I’ve been pretty frustrated over the last few days. Seeing this post helped me realize I need to embrace the challenge instead of being frustrated by it. It’s all about mindset, which in this case is seeing the situation as a challenge and an opportunity to grow instead of something which should not be happening.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Once you get past the honeymoon phase, the first weeks/months of ANY new endeavor are the most difficult and risky. The problems and challenges often outweigh the progress and rewards. Most people quit here. Press on, Dallon!

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    In a novel, problems are what drive the story forward and maintain interest in the reader. You’ve shared problems you’ve faced in other articles and you’ve hooked us readers in with the question, “How’s he going to solve this one?”

    In fact, that’s one of the reasons you have so many who follow you. You offer solutions to problems we all face. No wonder you get paid the big bucks. ;-)

    Interesting to note that you and several others (I noticed one of them, Chris Patton, mentions this as well in his comment) offer a positive spin on facing problems. I’m tucking each one away because you line up so well with something that I plan to post later this week, thoughts and lessons learned while cycling up and and down our county’s hills.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      So true about novels. Don Miller makes this point in his excellent book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. The book basically challenges you to view your life as though it were a story and edit it to make it better.

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

         Great book which does an excellent job of connecting what we understand as readers and applying it to meaningful life change. The conversation between Don and his friend about the friend’s daughter–bad boyfriend, smoking pot, etc.–was an excellent illustration of a “living a bad story.” The concept of wanting to live a better story resonates with me. Thanks for the reminder.

      • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

        Great book. Don Miller illustrates a story’s need for tension beautifully.

  • Wendy Hamilton

    As a SAHM / WAHM my current problem is re-acclimating my kids to back-to-school time.  Not big but foundational to how they approach school. 

    My attitude each morning is essential in preparing my kids.  If I yell or fuss, I’m setting a tone for their day that is not conducive to optimal learning.  My best opportunity is to teach them to self-govern their bedtimes and manage their alarm clocks.   Instead of drill sergeant, I am cheerleader calling out what is not as if they are.  (Romans 4:17)

    This same leadership principle carries to my work.  When working with others my attitude is essential in preparing them.  By my tone, I create or diminish an atmosphere of optimal learning.  Being self-governed and expecting those I work with to work independently generates the most opportunity for success and the realization of not-yet-seen potential.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      It so helpful that you are conscious of your role here. So many people aren’t. We don’t do anything in a vacuum.

  • SweetieBerry

    One of the awarenesses that has come to my attention this last six months is every problem, crisis and inconvenience is part of God’s Sovereignty for my life. Learning to accept the issue is there with peace just simply cuts down the nightmare whatever it is..is.  Some are situations I created for myself, at times because I was not tuning into the Holy Spirits leading, other times because small choices were made with abandon that later added up to very off course strategies for my life. Often I find that it is not so much what is happening, but what led up to that happening. I am more mindful now of each choice I am making, more margins as you suggested, more time in prayer seeking a peaceful start of each day…more time stopping for even a 2 minute prayer check in as problem are hitting…for when I try to do this on my own it shows…when I seek the wisdom of others through God’s leadings…it iss just amazing what is happening. As my roles are shifting I continually am back to checking for the skill sets, systems, strategies and structures I am working within…it has been an enlightening, empowering journey as I realize that so often the biggest picture issues are  or were correctable at the smallest skill qualifier level…the journey isn’t about perfection or perfect but perfecting the journey…trying for the new lessons, not repeating old ones! 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I totally agree. Nothing happens by accident. Inside of every experience is a lesson!

  • harrisonwilder

    This is so great.  I notice I look for people who are willing to tackle problems so I can promote them.  I distance myself from people who avoid problems or get all bent out of shape every time things go wrong.  We grow by stretching our capacity not by managing our life at our current capacity.

  • Connie Almony

    What a great quote. I’ll have to remember that one.

  • http://bobholmes.blogspot.com/ Bob Holmes

    I needed that. Thanks Michael!

  • http://facebook.com/stacyboydbooks Stacy Boyd

    I’ve been encountering more difficult and more frequent challenges in my job, and this post was the perfect way to re-frame my thinking, especially on Monday morning as I prepare for the week.

    I appreciate all of your insightful posts, but this one is one I will print and hang on my cork board.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Excellent, Stacy. I’m so glad it was timely.

  • http://www.talkingupthegood.wordpress.com/ Jenny Flannagan

    Whilst I take your point about embracing challenges and problems, I reject the notion that the size of your salary sits in direct proportion to your skill at overcoming problems and your willingness to do that.  Perhaps somebody would do a better job at half your salary and see that salary as more than adequate.  I’m not arguing for underpaying people.  But it seems to me that the size of your salary is often not so much about how tenacious and skilful you are as you encounter problems, but rather whether you work in a field which your culture puts a particularly big value on – whether that’s a banker, a movie actress, or a sports star.  I’ve heard many people argue, for example, that people working in finance and in the stock exchange need enormous salaries, because ‘that’s where we need our best people’ – as if large salaries are guaranteed to attract the most skilled workers rather than just the most greedy.

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Fair points Jenny, especially given the fact that teachers, firefighters and law enforcement personnel are typically underpaid. 

      However, I would also point out that supply and demand factors into salaries – as well as skill, problem solving, passion and desire. 

      For example, A vitreoretinal eye surgeon is virtually guaranteed an income in the high-six figure realm, while an optometrist may earn $50K.

      There are fewer than 2,000 vit/ret specialists within the US, while there are more than 35,000 practicing optometrists. 

      There is a definite correlation between skill level specialization and availability of those skills with a person’s earning power.

  • N00k

    What about overworking and meeting a lot of problems while being underpaid?

  • http://qfellowship.com/ Paul Roberts

    As a pastor who has recently been frustrated by trying to lead a church in a consumer-focused society I continually find myself fretting over the number of people slipping out the “back door.”  While new faces continually show up every week I am trying to learn to shift my focus to engaging the newcomers better instead of getting defeated by those shopping for the next exciting church.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      It’s difficult not to focus on those who leave, isn’t it? Although at times we can learn from the “why’s” of a departure, our time and energy is better spent on those who want to be with us.

  • http://twitter.com/quirkycity Heather C Button

    This is so incredibly timely for me. In the construction industry, as an (Intern & soon-to-be) Architect, I have to deal with crises on a regular basis. Thanks for this inspirational quote.

  • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

    This week is one of those where it just feels like there is more on my plate than I can possibly pull off. Typically, with these kinds of weeks, I set aside what I love and enjoy – writing, engaging my kids, really listening to God. So, this week is an opportunity to write a new story, to let go of some of my old frantic ways, and to enjoy life in the midst of all the demands around me. Thanks Michael, for leading us into a better mindset at the outset of this week.

  • http://intentionaltoday.com/ Ngina Otiende

    Great thoughts Michael, as always.

    Sometimes it’s hard to see the blessing when you are in the middle of a storm :)

    A word in season, like this one,  helps :).

    Thanks for sharing this today.

  • Lorna_Faith

    This is so true and so real for me personally. I don’t know why, I tense up when faced with problems;( I’m going to prayerfully turn that around and embrace problems…and ‘consider it a sheer gift when tests and challenges come at you from all sides’ like it says in James 1:1 :-) Thanks for the thought provoking post Michael!

  • K Hammons

    Great Monday morning read. For me, work is most satisfying just after finding a solution to a nagging problem. It begs the question, though. When does a problem or set of problems become too big? Is there a fine line between working through ‘bugs’ in our day-to-day problems in our work, and continually living with an ongoing, underlying problem in the way you are managed or your organization is operated?

    Great article, as always, Mike!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, no doubt. But there is value in getting out of your comfort zone and stretching. The challenge is to find just the right amount of stretch without breaking.

      • K Hammons

        Very true. In my line of work, there can be days where it seems like the problems come one after and other. However, as the saying goes, once you have weeded through the problems, you realize that the journey is the true reward.

        Thanks again, Michael! (apologies for my error in calling you Mike previously)

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          Mike is fine. No problem.

  • Cherry Odelberg

    Yes!  On the weekends, I work a pick-up retail job.  The customers with special needs – sizes, colors, product I must search for; those are the folks I am most thankful to for providing my job security. 

  • http://www.dennisbrooke.com/ Dennis Brooke

    I was blessed to work for a larger than life leader who used to say when times got tough, “If it was easy, they wouldn’t need us.” And frankly, easy is boring!
    Great perspective when times are tough, Michael.

  • http://PracticeThis.com/ Alik Levin

    Time and again the key problem I observe is a lack of clarity. I filled few positions and  the biggest opportunity always is creating clarity and removing frictions. People make wild assumptions but when checked in fact many are false or only wishful thinking. Next, one thing to go off and start blaming or use excuses another grabbing this opportunity and driving for clarity and helping people doing their job fricitonlessly and drive to success. That’s the opportunity that’s always exists and always helpful and always welcomed and praised. 

  • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

    Wow, this is a fantastic post! Along the same lines – while we’re seeking out new “trouble” or problems to fix we need to celebrate our difference. 

    By that I mean that our respective experiences, training and education can uniquely prepare us to solve specific problems. The tougher and more specific the problems we solve, the higher our earning potential. 

  • annepeterson

    Charles Swindoll said, “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” I’d have to say the challenge I’m facing is giving up on my writing. When I’ve tried to do the things others have done with success I don’t see the same thing. When numbers go down I see my confidence dwindles somewhat. 

    I needed this post today, thank, Michael.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That is a fabulous quote! Love it.

  • Anita

    I work with high risk kids in Bogota, Colombia which means that problem solving for me must be interpreted and then responded to through a second language and culture.  The tendency is to become weary of the hassle and to feel, “If only I understood everything” or “If only I could express myself better.”

    The challenge is to believe that God has placed me as I am and where I am on purpose to uniquely respond to the needs not only because of my giftings but through my limitations as well.

    The cultural and linguistic limitations force me to find solutions that go beyond words and expected behavioral patterns.  When viewed through the lens of faith this is freeing to creative juices.

    Our foundation picks up kids that no one else is working with which gives real urgency and value to positively responding to the needs.  Since no one is fighting for my job, I can break my own ground and write my own book (literally or figuratively).

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I love this example, Anita. And thanks for being there to solve those problems.

    • Jim Martin

      Anita, wow!  What a powerful comment.  Thanks for your words.  Very good for me to read this today.

  • http://www.stuffcustomerslike.com/ Brian Snyder

    Thanks for the awesome perspective. My job is daily problem solving, and every day is not a bowl full of kittens. Today’s post helps me get through the day and see it from a positive point of view. Thanks Mr. Hyatt. Your blog is stud-tastic!

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

       And even bowlful of kittens comes with unique problems :)

  • http://www.matthewreedcoaching.com/ Matthew Reed

    Perfect timing Michael!
    I know that one of the things that is a problem currently is generating new clients. In the first year of working for myself as a life and leadership coach. 
    I’m seeing the opportunity to build a better platform, be creative in my approach to presenting coaching to the world and also the opportunity to choose positivity and productivity. 
    I’m finding THAT choice to be the one that requires the most continual effort and provides the most powerful dividends (including but not exclusively financial ones).

  • http://twitter.com/budsnblades Rick Longnecker

    Recruiting and filling positions

  • messymarriage

    I think we’re on the same wavelength today, Michael. God is showing me and my husband that the struggles we’ve been going through with his ministry position have taught us so much. We are trying desperately to thank God for the problems that grow us up in Him. 

  • http://www.sharonrosegibson.com/ Sharon Rose Gibson

    Great and freeing perspective!
    Also, without problems, there would be no growth. Personal growth has come for me as I’ve faced the various problems in my life and sought solutions by seeking God and wisdom. We go from strength to strength when we face and overcome our problems.  They prove whether or not our faith is genuine according to I Peter 1:7.

    I still have challenges welcoming them especially if there are a lot of them. Usually, I allow myself to express my feelings about it, whatever anger or frustration I have because I’ve learned, it’s important to allow yourself to have your feelings. Then I praise God that He will work this out for my good and pray for His help. Then I seek solutions. This helps to get me past any victimization I may feel. Now, I will add the helpful insights you shared as well. I appreciate this positive perspective.

    • Jim Martin

      Sharon, I really like your approach to these challenges.  I also appreciate the clarity with which you express this.  Very good.

      • http://www.sharonrosegibson.com/ Sharon Rose Gibson

         Thank for your feedback Jim. Your comments encourage me. :-) Blessings.

  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    I can get easily frustrated with little problems, like the spilled milk in the picture, but big problems are something we should look at logically, strategically.  I’ve had many personal and a few professional crises over the years.  I’ve usually been able to handle them well.  However, that said, although major problems usually have solutions, the stress one puts on themselves by continually dealing with them can have negative affects and I often think less pay may be the better option for a happy and healthy life.

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

       Dan, I hear you about the “stress one puts on themselves” piece. I’ve been on a journey of learning that it’s usually not my problems that stress me out, but how much of the responsibility I put on my self that wears me down. There is a way to meet problems head-on without taking on the full weight of them.

  • Qmiykajah

    I am presently given the opppertunity to take a local house (Church) as their leader. The previous leader has been there for over five years and has been well recieved as their leader. Still, this previous leader will continue to have a leadership presence and will continue to be directly involved with this local house. I am concerned with the struggle of leadership shift that I will encounter. Nevertheless it can also be seen as an oppertunity to grow stronger as a leader!!!  

    • Jim Martin

      Sounds like you are trying to look at this situation cautiously, realistically, and yet you see this as an opportunity for your own growth.  Good for you!

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    Leaders and managers don’t get paid for showing up they get paid for solving problems, handling conflict, and moving everyone forward.  I think it also allows us to become better people, because it causes us to learn and be stretched.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      If viewed as an opportunity, our feelings about solving problems completely changes.

      • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

         So true.

    • Jim Martin

      Dan, last week I had lunch with a man in his mid 70s who is working in a high pressure, stressful environment.  I asked him how he had managed to age so well.  He said that his work continues to be an environment that causes him to learn.  

      I appreciate your comment.

      • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

         What a wise person. It shows the importance of being growth minded and always learning.

  • Pastorgwr9

    Perfect post for me today as I have had to deal with a major staff problem. 

  • C_beard21

    Looking for a literary agent and publisher for a book I already have in print (ereader) and will shortly remove it; so that I may make major revisions. . . and I want an editor!!!

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    Today I face a the problem of not having enough time but I know it’s an opportunity to learn how to be more intentional :)

  • http://www.williamsjim.com/ Jimfwilliams

    I have had a few days like this lately. I appreciate the reminder. Problems can bring the greatest opportunities for growth, if handled well. 
    Thanks Michael.

  • Kate

    Wow, thanks Michael – your timing was excellent, just as your friend’s was, as you related in that anecdote. I’d just sat down to do some work (I’ m a freelance editor) after a surprisingly stressful visit from an insurance assessor, who was quoting on our bathroom when I saw your email. I was thinking, phew, why did that happen? What is going on? And I realise I have been guilty of doing the sort of thinking you describe, expecting everything to go well if I’m managing them well (and consequently blaming myself if they don’t go well) when I saw your email in my Inbox. This is the second time this week I’ve come across this idea that difficulties are opportunities (and hence blessings) – thank you – the message is getting through! All the best, Kate

  • http://www.pauljolicoeur.com/ Paul Jolicoeur

    Putting a bad day or a tough time into perspective. Good judgement will make you a valuable member of any team!

  • http://www.changevolunteers.org/ Change Volunteer

    Good post Michael. There is so much to explore on problems and opportunities.

  • http://www.authorpeterdehaan.com/ Peter DeHaan

    My biggest problem was not enough time to do the things I thought needed to be done. I guess the opportunity in that is I have a chance to prioritize my workload and  cut some things out.

    (But I’ll do that tomorrow when I have more time.)

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  • prophetsandpopstars

    Right post, right day!
    Timely and inspiring as ever.
    Thanks.

  • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

    My problems currently (and perpetually, it seems) involve time constraints and my own insecurities.  Working through both will leave me a competent, confident woman, able to step out in faith wherever the Lord leads. Looking at it as opportunity–love this encouragement. Thanks, Michael.

  • Helen SH Lee

    This article is my wake up all for today! I’m now taking four challenging yet urgent tasks. I have been upset for the whole day, probably because of my stress, until I read this passage after work. Solving problems for my boss is in fact a demonstration of my value to my work. ;)

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  • Sunnydeesez

    its been a tough year , ive just been offered a couple of good gigs but my bass player has not moved here so , i now have to get another its sometimes hard work gettting people together as i am disabled too, I am glad  you put this post because if it was easy lots of people would be doing it and i wouldnt have a chance. So thankyou for the advise im ognna overcome this obstacle x x 

  • Htowner

    From the little preacher in skinny jeans…
    http://vimeo.com/47653862

  • http://twitter.com/conservagirl Susan

    PERFECT.  Needed to hear this today :)

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  • http://www.jeffhoots.net/ Jeff Hoots

    For those of us who are husbands and dads, our biggest jobs are leading and loving our families.  Of course, that’s where the biggest problems can be.  Our wives need our love and support.  Our kids need our example and wisdom.

    Through that, we fight illnesses, the influence of the culture, and our own sin nature.  If ever there was an opportunity to turn problems into opportunities, there it is!

  • http://twitter.com/toddlollar Todd Lollar

    Thank you for reminding us that “problems” are really “growth opportunities”…Great reference to Max’s quote!

  • Mary Elaine

    Your comments remind me of a similar (and fundamental) concept I’ve learned from one of my mentors: Health/well-being is not the absence of problems; rather, it’s the ability to have NEW problems.

  • Chol Caldito

    Thanks for this Michael! I needed to hear this. The quote was very timely. :)
    Keep on sharing ! You are channeling God’s blessing through this. :)

  • matthewdbenson

    It’s been a central philosophy of mine: “If it was easy, then the role probably wouldn’t even be needed! Enjoy the challenge.”

  • Furnsecret

    The challenge facing me right now is whether or not to continue to try and build my Financial Advisory business or to move on to a speaking and writing career.

    Being a financial advisor has had its rewards and its costs. I’m 4 years into it and still can’t seem to make enough income to support myself. One of the biggest challenges is that this industry is really more about”selling” than “advising”.

    I enjoy the educational aspect of this career but I do not enjoy selling. I am really stuck as to what to do next.

    I love to read inspirational books and have written several “inspirational and educational letters” to my sons. I take great pleasure in quoting from the many authors I’ve read and sharing their insights with my sons. I am a current member of Toastmasters and I find that most of my speeches are really just “stories” from my experiences. I love storytelling! Especially when they contain a message that can help someone live a better life or solve a current problem.

    I would appreciate any insight or advice.

  • FrankNJohnson

    Well, that was timely after my immensely difficult day at work yesterday – a day filled with problems caused by others that I had to solve. I would have preferred to wallow in my frustration, but thanks to your insightful comments, I don’t have that luxury any longer. Thanks a lot! :)

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  • David Sollars

    Michael, great reminder that we are paid for being able to jump into situations and deal effectively with issues. I often refer to these problems or challenges as forest fires and our role as fire jumpers that parachute into the middle of them.

    Currently, my greatest fire is in the area of board development within a non-profit that I chair. We have evolved into a larger and more influencial organization with a need to develop the leaders for the next phase of our mission. It’s actually a great chalenge to have!

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