It might sound trite, but every problem gives us the opportunity to win.
I don’t talk about the nature of competition in business (or life) very much. I am very collaborative, and I believe that we most times you can find win-win-win solutions. We have to recognize that it is competition, and specifically our differences in being able to win in certain areas, that makes us unique. Some people can win in the arena of business, some in politics. Some people have the most number of network connections, while others have the most profound relationships. We each have a unique and valuable contribution to make — because we all win in different areas.
We all have something unique to offer. We are all excited about something. We all have some area that works for us. You often don’t recognize what this area is, because you figure that everyone finds it this easy.
We often see problems as obstacles when we encounter them. If you are coding, you might have an unmanagable algorithm to develop. If you are doing project management, you might have a team that you cannot herd in the right direction. If you are a director or VP, you might not be able to get people to be passionate about your vision. When we run into problems, sometimes we let them stop us. We think that these are barriers for everyone, and we should focus elsewhere. But this is wrong.
You come across the problems that you do because you are in a unique situation. And you will solve the problems that you have because you have the skills and knowledge. No-one else is in the place that you are to solve the problem. It becomes your opportunity to break down the obstacle that no-one else can address. The VP can’t fix the code, and the developer can’t create unity of vision. You have your problems because you are in a position to contribute. Fix the issues you have; they are your unique opportunities. No one else has these problems, because no one else is you.
Problems aren’t going away. You will always have some problem. Change your thinking to understand that each problem is an opportunity that only you can address. Embrace the opportunity, enjoy your unique position.
Everyone has something that they are better than everyone else at. It is when we don’t recognize this fact that we start to marginalize certain groups. It is why women initially didn’t get to vote, and why minorities and people with disabilities are under-represented in our workplaces. We have to realize and look for the unique contributions that people can make, even if they don’t see it for themselves. We have to lift each other up, which will make us all better together.