What Resources Do You Pull Upon To Solve a Problem?
This month, we’re going to explore a very interesting distinction between anabolic and catabolic leaders – we’ll look at the way that each type of leader makes decisions to solve a problem. This is perhaps one of the most complicated, but essential, aspects of understanding the difference between the two types of leaders.
Catabolic leaders use left brain analysis almost exclusively when making a decision. This type of decision making is linear, and rational. It’s the logical approach, and considers only facts and actual observations when examining a problem. Anabolic leaders use whole brain thinking, which encompasses emotions and intuition, as well as logic. This type of 3-D analysis is called holographic thinking, because like multi-dimensional holograms, holographic thinking involves being able to see many perspectives of the problem at once.
By using their emotional and intuitive minds in addition to left brain logical analysis, anabolic leaders are able to view a situation as a whole and thus get a complete picture of what is really going on – all the factors contributing to the problem. The ability to see this “meta-view” is key to ensuring the greatest chances for success (in every aspect of life), and especially for making, both on a daily and a long term basis, the very best decisions they can.
How do you solve a problem like Maria?
So how would this actually play out “in real life”? Say a manager was faced with a decision about how to handle a team member, Maria, whose performance was starting to decline. Maria has been late a few times in the past couple of weeks, she missed a deadline on a project without communicating ahead of time, and she has become very quiet, spending most of her time at her desk rather than interacting with her other team members. The catabolic manager would look only at the facts and figures, and, most likely, would only reprimand Maria for her lateness and missing the deadline. Anabolic managers would take much more into account in making a decision on how to address this problem. Not only would performance be examined, but also, they would look at their intuitive response (what flashes of insight they had) and also, consider their emotional response, and others’ emotional responses as well. The conclusion they come to might be the same – to focus on the lateness and the missed deadline. But they would have used more information to come to that conclusion; information that may have led to a different type of conversation.
The key is, using a holographic approach, anabolic leaders address opportunities—and problems—from many perspectives at once. To practice thinking holographically, consider your potential action in light of what makes sense, what your emotional response to it is, and what your intuitive senses tell you. This may not be natural at first, but eventually, it will become second nature and increase your effectiveness immensely.
Leave a comment below to let me know what you think about this approach. Would it work for you?