"The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem."
- Theodore Rubin
Know the type?
Reminds my of another parable that I share with my kids: "The same hammer that shatters the glass forges the steel."
Some people are naturally hard and steely in nature and some people are naturally soft and malleable. And different people approach problem solving differently.
An old chum and mentor of mine, Tom (of Spider Man fame) called me into his office one day when I was just starting out. He had drawn on the board a picture of a evil looking troll standing the width of a deep valley. My objective he said, was to draw my solution to get to the other side of the troll. The lesson as you can guess is that the troll was our problem(s) and those that chose to do battle with the troll also dealt with our problems head on. Similarly, those that chose to try and scale the valley wall in the middle of the night and slip past the troll whilst he slept revealed a similar problem solving strategy.
In business, it could be said that how we solve problems - starting with recognizing their existence in the first place! - is linked to our efficacy as a manager and as an employee.
Is that true? Or can we succeed in work, in life and in the valley of trolls without having a conquistador's approach to problem solving?