Rarely is any solution strictly binary. Meaning, rarely is any solution only answer A or answer B. For whatever reason, especially when we are stressed, we tend to see only two alternatives. “I can stay and tolerate my intolerable manager, or I can quit.” Binary solutions, though, are an illusion. When I catch myself thinking binary, I know it’s time to pump the brakes and seek deeper reflection. In the example above the answer might be to move departments, work fewer hours, voice concerns, or even to combine potential solutions. The answer might require me to seek input from others to see hidden possibilities. The point is this: Binary thinking is fine if your question is Indian food out or Uber Eats delivered. When the problems get more tricky, the best solution will need reflection, space, and time to bubble up to the surface. Consequently, this means you have to be patient in spite of whatever pressure you are feeling in the moment.
Future leader speaker and author of the book Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future. Free stuff! Get the first five chapters of my new book, an executive summary, and the Future Leader Companion Workbook here.