Seeing the Problem Clearly

We waste a lot of time because we misunderstand the problem.

Our poor diagnosis leads to the wrong mental models. We then waste energy focused on addressing things that aren’t really a priority.

Worse, we incorrectly assume that “correct diagnosis” is binary: either we see things the wrong way or the right way.

In reality, we don’t flip from not seeing to seeing.

Rather, we have a first glimpse of true understanding, and we sharpen what we see over time.

If, tomorrow, you finally figure out what the problem is, in your enthusiasm you might rush to turn that eureka moment into a plan for action.

Let me suggest, instead, spending some time sitting with your new understanding.

Keep doing things the way you’ve been doing, while all the while keeping your hypothesis about what needs to change in the back of your mind.

Letting this gap persist—the gap between today’s practice and your (new) view of what things should look like tomorrow—will automatically force your diagnosis to sharpen. As your understanding deepens, you will have:

  1. A more complete understanding of what you need to do differently
  2. Much more conviction behind starting down that new path

The clarity of understanding will itself be hugely valuable.

The strength of your conviction will make it much more likely that you’ll successfully lead those around you to rally around the changes you want to make.

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