“One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.” Arnold Glasow
Recognizing problems in advance is a challenge for all leaders. There are benefits to preventing problems from becoming emergencies. The question is what can be done to recognize these problems in advance?
Accept that problems will happen. Living in denial, ignoring, or hoping a problem will go away is an invitation for an emergency. Problems are a part of life and accepting this fact will help in preventing emergencies.
Practice good communication. Good communication is a two way street. However, the key is learning to listen more than speaking. Many problems could be detected sooner if leaders listened carefully.
Ask appropriate questions. At the first sign of a problem, learn to ask questions related to what might be occurring.
Learn from the past. Chances are, this is not the first problem. Use the lessons learned from previous experience and use it as a foundation for the future.
There are no exact lists to resolve every problem in advance. However, a few simply ideas will help make some major differences.