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It was about 11:00 PM. We had an issue to settle before we could end this contentious monthly board meeting. The problem was quite complicated with several possible solutions. Suddenly, one of the men stood up and leaned across the table facing another man, and said: “If you only have a hammer in your tiny box of tools, every problem looks like a nail!” I quickly called a recess and everyone went to a quiet corner to check their toolbox.

In my management toolbox, I have many tools to help me solve problems. Here are some of them and how they are used:

  • Needle nose pliers and WD-40 – to find and extract the actual problem. Too often we try to fix effects and not causes. Finding the real problem is the difference between success and failure

  • Cross-cut saw and drill – to cut through the layers of the problem for better understanding. Just looking at a problem from the outside is not enough. Solutions come from comprehensive exam

  • Tape measure – to see the size and potency of the problem. Some problems are better left alone. Is this problem even worth the effort required to implement the solution?

  • Socket wrench set – to figure how many solutions are possible. Few problems have only one solution. Bad leadership grabs the first solution suggested. Wisdom surfaces in research.

  • Wrench and level – to decide which solution is best for us. Finding the best solution for your particular situation is the key to success. It takes time to narrow down possible solutions.

  • Grease and vise-grips – to implement the solution. Finesse and Godly anointing are needed when you work with people. They will know if you care by how your solve their problems

  • First aid kit and duct tape – to handle the backlash. Usually, someone disagrees with your solution. They deserve your loving concern and explanation of the process. The duct tape is to put on your mouth to keep from making the problem worse than it already is.

The main tools are the Bible and prayer. Pray over every decision as if your life depends on it – because it does! Psalm 50:15 – “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”

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