“Most people prefer a problem they can’t fix to a solution they don’t like”Lee Thayer
This sentence is mad…. but there is a certain truth to it.
Lee Thayer is the author of several books on the practice of Leadership. He was a big proponent of working to integrate thinking, being and doing into a more complete mode of leading people and organisations. Lee was a mentor and inspiration for many Vistage Chairs.
Why might we prefer allowing a problem to persist than to take the steps to solve the problem?
Why is this:
- Delay the Pain: The consequences of the problem will probably be felt most strongly in the future, whilst the discipline to put into action the solution requires pain today.
- Fear of Uncertainty: A persistent problem may be challenging, but it is familiar, and we know what to expect.
- Locus of Control: It is easier to accept a problem that we have no control over than to accept a solution that requires conflict or change, or the involvement of other human beings in putting into action.
The best way to approach being human is often to learn to laugh at ourselves. We have the capacity to be rational, goal seeking individuals… and also the capacity to be nuts.