A problem or predicament?

I heard John Maxwell speak a few years ago and pointed out that there is difference between a problem and a predicament.  His point of view was that problems can be solved while predicaments can only be dealt with.  After reading Mark Gongloff’s article in the WSJ this morning, I am beginning to ponder which of these terms more appropriately identifies our economic troubles.

It is important for both those attempting to devise strategies to address it as well as the general public to correctly categorize it in our own minds for the following reasons:

  • Our expectations can be in sync with reality (if they are out of sync, we have internal conflict).
  • The strategies developed to correct the issue(s) are effective.
  • Most importantly, we do not pressure policy makers into taking actions that provide a aspirin  for a broken arm.  While it may relieve some of the pain in the short term, resetting the arm later will hurt a great deal more.

To provide a visual for this challenge, following are the 3 “options” outlined in the article.  Imagine the challenge of having to predict the right course of action and then manage all of the disparate variables as the strategy is implemented.

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Filed under Decision Making, Looking in the mirror

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