A solution-focused approach to leadership is generally future-directed, strengths-based and action orientated. A core premise of this approach is that a deeper understanding of the problem is just that “a deeper understanding of the problem”.

I know what you’re thinking, this sounds counterintuitive in that a key part of the leader’s job is to solve or fix problems. That would be right, but I would argue that the leader’s job is not about focusing on problems, but fundamentally about influencing others to make progress towards a preferred future despite the existence of the problems.

That’s not to say that the problem should be ignored, but more that it should be used as a springboard or departure point to a preferred future. It’s about focusing more time, effort, and energy on what you want, rather than on what you don’t want or what needs fixing.

In simple terms, the difference between a problem-focused approach and a solution-focused approach to leadership is:

  • Problem-focused leadership = inaction, stagnation, fear and negative discourse as the driving force of you and your team.
  • Solution-focused leadership = action, innovation, creativity, strengths-based, future-orientation, and positive discourse as the driving force of you and your team.

Which one would you choose if you had a choice? Which one would your team want you to use if they had a choice?

If you would like to give your leaders a solution-focused edge and learn how to lead in a solution-focused way then click here for my future leadership program dates. You can also click this link for further information on my leadership development program and other resources.