Find a Bigger Problem (and learn how to talk about it)

Leading change is difficult, not only because the future is unknown but because of who we bring with us. Change requires adaptation over routine, it will mean re-learning and re-tooling. It means introducing inconvenience. That’s a problem, so in response to that problem you need: a bigger problem.

Good stories hang on big problems. To help tell a great story, you need a compelling problem to solve. People buy from us, work with us, and listen to us because we help solve problems.

Trouble drives the narrative.

Dale Bruner, Life as Narrative

The trouble is, in the last year our customers problems changed. Many have different inconveniences, irritants, and issues today than yesterday. If you want to help them, you need to know what bothers them.

If you don’t know about their problems, you won’t be able to tell them about your solutions.

Even if they have the same problems as before, they have new ways of talking about them.

If you aren’t talking about their problems the way they are talking about their problems, you will not get their attention. Without their attention, it’s hard to help them.

If in this changing year you want to be a leader, you need to put words around a big problem worth solving. This problem should be wildly idealistic. It should be customer-centric, meaningful, and worth listening to.

Find a bigger problem. Start by listening, not with a whiteboard. Then, direct all your energy to solving it. 

Next week: Peace is overrated. Subscribe today and I’ll send it directly to your inbox.

Want help identifying and rallying around a problem worth solving? Let’s talk about it.

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