The fabulous 5Y tool!

4 02 2016

“Real obstacles don’t take you in circles.  They can be overcome.  Invented ones are like a maze.” ~ Barbara Sher

Real obstacles are like math problems.  You may not remember how to calculate the hypotenuse of something, but you can google it, or get a math tutor.  They’re problems that have a solution, even if you don’t have (or even need) the skill set to solve them.  That’s why contractors and consultants can indeed be valuable.  Invented problems arise from laziness, apathy, complacency, passive-aggression, and other psychological obstacles to movement.

Leaders, know how to tell the difference.  That may mean you need to pull out the “5Y” tool out of your leadership tool box.  As a fictitious example:

  1. Q: “Why can’t we make this change to our counseling process?” A: “It’s not technically possible”
  2. Q: “Why? Don’t we have the technological ability to solve it?”  A: “No, we don’t have a SQL expert in house.”
  3. Q: “Why not? Should we have one in house?”  A: “This is a rare issue, and we don’t need a SQL expert most of the time.”
  4. Q: “Why can’t we hire one on a temporary basis (i.e. contractor)?” A: “We don’t have the budget for it.”
  5. Q: “Why don’t we hire one, as the additional revenue will offset the expense by a factor of 10?” A: “Good idea! I’m on it.”

Speaking of a maze…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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