Resourced Leaders

'Resourced Leaders' is a premier Australian based Leadership Performance organisation that specialises in working with senior executives, leaders and high performing individuals who aspire to greater levels of personal leadership and success.

Global problems need specific solutions

Posted by Phil Owens
Phil Owens
Philip is one of Australia’s leading performance and leadership specialists. He
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on Wednesday, 06 March 2013 in Leadership

Most of the problems we face in business and in life occur because we get stuck in abstract or global views of issues.

When we are certain that there are clear, concrete steps for achieving an outcome, we are able to take each step in the correct sequence to get our outcome.

In this way, ‘marketing plans’ are a great example of how we can break down a global concept (‘growing the business’ or ‘changing behaviour’) into a series of strategies and tactics which can be completed, one at a time., to get to the planned result.

‘Crisis’ is a great example of a global problem. It’s very difficult to create actions to solve ‘crisis’ because it is really too big, too global, to be specifically tackled.  Where do you start?

However, by asking the right question can start to break down a global situation.  For example:  “How specifically are we in crisis?”  “What happened?”, “Who is specifically affected?” “How do we determine what we do next?” 

These sorts of questions allow you to gain tighter understanding and to drill down to the specifics of a situation, and it presents smaller, concrete aspects that can be dealt with in a sequential way.

Individuals can experience global problems (“procrastination”, “anxiety”, “depression”, “communication problems”), each of which cannot be solved at this level.  The same goes for groups, teams, organisations and even societies (how do we solve ‘Poverty”, for example?).

Asking great questions allows problems to be broken down into the specific, concrete elements that can be addressed.  They can be reduced so that specific skills and strategies can be learned, tested or applied to begin the process of changing the circumstance.

This is often what a great coach, leader or mentor will do – ask the right questions to turn global issues into specific problems to be solved in a sequential manner.

Listen out to when people discuss problems – how often are the problems global?

Which questions can you ask to help move yourself or others from a global problem to a sequence of specific actions that will lead to change?


Stay resourceful,


Philip is one of Australia’s leading performance and leadership specialists. He honed his skills working with executives and leaders around the world, coaching and consulting in over 30 countries, from entrepreneurial start-ups to boards of multi-billion dollar businesses.


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