Separating the Problem from the Symptom

Oftentimes we see symptoms of issues (in business and in life), and we think those are the problems.

What do I mean by that? Well, let me share an example. 

Let’s say you’re not in shape, but you want to be, and you think the reason for that is because you don’t have the proper exercise equipment. Okay, great. So, you buy yourself a Peloton, a set of weights, and a bunch of gear to get you motivated. 

Problem solved, right? Wrong. 

Do you suddenly get in shape? Probably not. Instead, your Peloton starts to collect dust and you repurpose it as a drying rack for your laundry. 

And the reality of it is this: the lack of exercise equipment was never really the problem. 

Perhaps the reason didn’t actually have anything to do with your lack of equipment. Instead, the problem lies within your lack of accountability, lack of discipline, and lack of commitment toward your fitness goals. 

Here’s the thing: we do this in our businesses all the time.

Many times, we’ll jump right into tactical problem-solving mode to fix problems on the surface level, when in reality we’re really just putting a Band-Aid over the symptoms of the problem. 

It really requires looking at what the core issue is. Maybe it’s a marketing problem? An intake problem? Is there something going on operationally? Is it from a capacity standpoint, where you’re not moving cases forward fast enough? 

Whatever it might be, it is up to you to identify the real problem and create actionable solutions to resolve it. 

I would advise instead of misdiagnosing the problem and gravitating towards solutions that end up being prescription for failure, that you dig deep down to find the true root cause.

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