Thursday, June 13, 2013

Solving problems is like shaving

Have you ever noticed that every time you shave, the hair begins to grow back within hours? Shaving is a temporary solution to an everyday problem.

Think about the time spent each day you spend with the electric razor working to get every single hair clipped off or maybe you're a purest who uses a straight blade and cream. Regardless of the approach, the truth still remains, that hair will grow back and will need to be shaved again tomorrow.

Why do we handle problems like we do our hair stubble? We act as if we can somehow remove the issue for a while, but we know tomorrow the problem will be back. We spend time each day to remove the unwanted issue so those who interact with us won't notice it exists.

We have several reasons for not wanting to fix a problem permanently: time, money, effort, true desire to change, and exposure to the situation. \

Staying with the shaving illustration, waxing works as well but can be painful, costly, and then there are those red marks left for a little while after the procedure. I once met with a student who had huge red marks all around his eyebrows. (If you know me, you know I embrace my large eyebrows.) I finally asked him if he was okay because I had never seen marks like that before. After he told me he feared the ever present uni-brow, he decided he would rather wax it and live with the pain and minimal razzing he would receive from his buddies over the constant shaving and serious razzing he would likely receive.

And then there is laser treatment. I have only heard from those who had a procedure, but the treatment does not sound painless or cheap. A more permanent solution comes at a cost.

As leaders we ought to seek the more permanent solution. Sometimes the cost is too great and would cause a social outcry, but temporary solutions aren't really solutions. Temporary-fix is an oxymoron. Look for ways to make a permanent change in your life, family, and workplace.

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