Wikipedia describes a silver bullet as, “any straightforward solution perceived to have extreme effectiveness.” The phrase typically appears with an expectation that some new practice will easily cure a major prevailing problem. I get the “silver bullet” question from many of my clients; mostly the senior leaders who are working on many issues at one time and are focused on trying to grow their businesses, while at the same time facilitate a work environment of self-motivated and engaged employees.
So, when there are one or two issues with one or two employees that seem to be taking up their time, they will (jokingly) ask me “what’s the silver bullet?” Although they ask in jest, I know that they truly wish for that straightforward solution that will completely and quickly resolve the issue. And, as a coach, it would be nice if I could provide that to them!
We definitely live in a “silver bullet” society. We all are seeking the quick solution; that behavior or practice that will “cure” our current problem or challenge. Most of the time when I get this question it is because of a particular issue with an employee, or, an issue with several employees. And, the question arises because my clients (who, again, are senior leaders with many things on their plate) desire to have the issues resolved quickly and efficiently so that they and their employees can go about being productive and focusing on their work. However, when dealing with people I find that there are as many silver bullet solutions as there are individuals who need them. Yet, that response is not particularly popular with my clients (or most senior leaders, I am sure).
So, what are the quick and efficient solutions that can be turned into “Silver Bullets” for senior leaders when dealing with those repeated (and even unique) employee challenges?
(Part 2 will be posted on Wednesday and will continue to address this question. In the mean time, comments are welcome!)