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How to Transform Pesky Problems into Energizing Goals

Trail Blazing, leadership training and development, leadership coach, business coach, team building, problem-solving


“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”  ~ Albert Einstein



The Decision that Lifted Me from Chaos to Clarity

Tired of the 2020 chaos? Covid-19 and other simultaneous 2020 societal, financial, political, and climate crises have sapped our energy. Sapped our lifestyle. Sapped our businesses. The problem-solving process I am going to share with you reenergized me.

A few months ago, I decided to stop staring zombie-like at my television and computer screens discover the latest distressing updates that were mostly out of my control. Instead, I decided to take some productive actions within my control which has made a huge difference with creating some order in the midst of the chaos. I decided to be an optimistic Creator rather than a pessimistic Reactor to my life circumstances. It has made a huge difference in my business and personal wellbeing. The process I followed  can yield similar results for you.

In April I sat down with a low-tech piece of paper and pen in hand and began answering the problem-solving questions that I learned as a student and instructor for Dale Carnegie Systems. The process that I am about to share is adapted from Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. It’s a process that I have used successfully for the past 30 years as a project manager, business owner, and business consultant.

Basic Steps for Effective Problem-Analysis

Before I share with you the specific steps that I used to get out of my funk, these are the overreaching basic steps for “Strengthening Your C.O.A.R.TM” through effective problem analysis:

  1. Clarify—Gather the factsProblem-solving process to transform pesky problems into energizing goals

    • Go directly to the source of the issue to discover the facts (don’t trust hearsay).
    • Clarify the issue by gathering all the facts you can (the pieces of the puzzle).
    • Gather any puzzle pieces you may be missing from others who have them.
  2. Organize—Analyze the facts

    • Understand what the facts are telling you and where they are leading you.
    • Organize the puzzle pieces to see the clear picture of the problem and possible solutions… As with a puzzle, start by assembling the edges, similar patterns, common colors, etc.
    • Look for patterns materializing from the chaos that may be pointing to possible solutions and actions.
  3. Act—Arrive at a decision—and then act on that decision

    • Identify what the best solution or goal is for moving forward.
    • Make an informed decision, and once it’s made, don’t question your decision.
    • Spring to action as quickly as possible to transform the energy.
  4. Realize Results—Monitor progress and adjust the solution or goal as necessary

    • Scan the circumstances and environment for any deviations to your plan.
    • Determine any missing pieces that need to be added to the puzzle.
    • Adjust your solutions or goal to match the new circumstances.

The 5 Problem-Solving Questions

Here are 5 problem-solving questions that can help you transform any pesky problem into an energizing goal quickly and easily:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. What are causes of the problem?
  3. What are all possible solutions?
  4. What is the best solution(s)?
  5. What action(s) will you take?

Now, let’s look at how to use the problem-solving questions.

Problem-Solving Example


“A problem well stated is a problem half solved.”

~ Charles Kettering


Below is an example of how I applied the 5 problem-solving questions to my Covid-19 related business problem several months ago:

1.  What is the problem?

Our business income has decreased significantly this year because of Covid-19.

2.  What are causes of the problem?

    • The Covid-19 pandemic restrictions has limited in-person contact.
    • Many services that I have provided in the past (i.e., strategic planning, meeting facilitation, leadership training and coaching, and speaking, etc.) have been delivered in-person.
    • Many businesses that typically require my services have delayed these services until after the Covid-19 restrictions have been safely lifted.

3.  What are all the possible solutions?

    • Receive federal stimulus package financial relief.
    • Update the Business Energizers™ website to reflect our new normal.
    • Reengage with current and past clients to see how I can best serve them.
    • Increase my online presence to attract new clients
    • Develop effective online group facilitation tools, techniques, and skills
    • Learn how to use virtual meeting platforms effectively
    • Publish my new “Strengthen Your C.O.A.R. Guidebook
    • Create online webinars and training programs designed to “Strengthen Your C.O.A.R.”
    • Write compelling social media posts/articles
    • Write compelling newsletter articles with valuable resources and offerings
    • Stay tuned in, tapped in, turned on to my inner guidance for next steps

4.  What is the best solution(s)? (Note: I chose a combination)

    • Increase my online internet presence to attract new clients
    • Receive any appropriate government stimulus money that is offered
    • Stay tuned in, tapped in, turned on to my inner guidance for next steps

5.  What action(s) will you take?

    • Increase my online presence to attract new clients
      • Purchase the necessary hardware and software for internet work
      • Update the Business Energizers™ website to reflect our new normal
      • Learn how to use the different virtual meeting platforms effectively
      • Become proficient with online meeting facilitation, training, presentations, and coaching
      • Social media outreach
      • Create online virtual services and product opportunities… etc.

Hopefully, my example helps you to address a problem you are presently facing.

During these past several months, I have been enjoying focusing energy on my action plan. I am feeling more productive and less distracted even with all the chaos. It was fun seeing my new Business Energizers™ website go live last week https://lynray.wpengine.com/. What do you think?

Enjoy transforming your pesky problems into energizing goals.

Much success and fulfillment,



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