Creative Leadership

The Power of Solving Problems

Taking your eyes off yourself is the first step to making your dream happen in life. That’s why one of the greatest keys to becoming successful is to do something for someone else. Problem solving may be the single most important task you will ever undertake. Solve someone else’s problem and it will change your life. Want to be rich? Become more valuable to others. Want to move up in the company? Become indispensable. Solving problems is what makes you more precious and essential in today’s workplace.

The bigger the problems you solve, the more valuable you become.

I have a friend named Ralph Winter. Ralph produces major blockbuster movies, and he’s very good at it. He’s produced Star Trek, Mighty Joe Young, Inspector Gadget, Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, X-Men, X2, Wolverine, and The Fantastic Four.

Ralph is an expert at solving problems, and because he’s so good, studios are willing to compensate him accordingly. There have been many times when a major special effects extravaganza got out of control, and he was the man to get it back on track. I’ve seen him get the call when a major high-budget movie was in production and spinning out of sight. He would fly to the location, bring in his team, rework the budget and shooting schedule, reassure nervous actors and crew, and calm down frantic studio executives.

In a world where major movies cost more than $100 million, Ralph solves expensive problems. As a result, he’s very valuable.

The question is – what are the problems that you could solve for someone else?  Solutions that would make you invaluable, in demand, and get you noticed?

Just remember. It’s not about you. It’s about solving problems.  Let me know your thoughts….

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  1. It’s amazing how often I see this advice in different contexts and how often I disregard it.

    I think you’re speaking for Jesus: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU! (In my case that’s accompanied by an NCIS-style head-slap.)

    Well said. Thanks.

  2. Most everyone in life has a problem of some sort that will need to be solved.

    A service provider can be a plumber, electrican, dentist, video producer, social ad specialist, PR person or even someone as highly skilled and talented as a Ralph Winter in the movie business.

    In reading about Ralph, I see him like a skilled surgeon who goes in with precision…making the exact incisions, moving things around, getting rid of the bad stuff and then sowing things back up. He “saves the day” for those counting on him…then onto the next adventure.   

    Life as we know it is typically not nearly as glamorus, big budgeted or dramatic…(pun intended)…but more likely about solving problems on a consistant day after day basis, no matter how big or small.

    To solve problems and meet peoples needs in your field of expertise is a wonderful thing…but when attempting to solve problems its important to do it with professionalism,a friendly attitude and fair price…in doing so you…”will gain favor and a good reputation with man.”

    A good reputaion is people knowing they can “count on you” without any issues on a regular basis. Eventually “word” will get out about you and inturn plenty of work will come your way! 

    It’s so true that our reputations do precede us..both good an bad.    

  3. It’s all about serving.  “He who is greatest among you will be the servant of all.”  Hard to do – against human nature – supernatural more than natural – but incredibly fulfilling!  Good stuff Phil!

  4. Wonderful article, Phil. I recently posted a Facebook comment on a minstry page similiar to this, that money is simply a reward for solving probems and that if we want to prosper and make the world a better place, we need to use our talents to solve problems. A person replied back that she liked the comment, but still did not want to have more problems. That’s honest.
    This makes me reflect on what we define as a problem, and how important it is to see conflicts, issues, and even crisis, not as the end of the road nor as the end of the game, but simply as a temporary circumstance and opportunity to use what is on the inside of us to help others (or even ourselves) to grow. 
    I think it is much easier to have this perspective when we are solving others problems, but possibly a bit more challenging when it comes to our own.

    This article definately makes we want to increase my problem solving skills (no multi-million dollar movie projects are calling me… yet). 🙂

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