A Leader’s Value: Teaching Your Team To Solve Problems

If you were to poll ten of your colleagues on what makes a great leader, they might quickly list qualities like driven, focused, strong communication skills, problem-solver and a positive attitude.  According to, synonyms for leader include words like commander, director, shepherd, guide and forerunner. One description that doesn’t often appear on such lists is influencer.  Yet, being able to influence teams towards breakthrough thinking and positive outcomes is key to successful leadership, especially in today’s complex and ever-changing healthcare environments.

According to Kevin E. O’Connor, CSP and Consultant at Kevin E. O’Connor & Associates, Ltd, one key ingredient necessary for effective influence and making connection with others is understanding value from the receiver’s perspective. O’Connor specializes in working with recently promoted professionals tasked with leading former peers.  Through this work, he shows them that value is no longer about what expertise a leader can give to his or her team. Today, value really means: “Can you help me solve my problems? People want leaders who can help them solve problems. Not solve problems for them.”

The Meaning of Value from Kevin O’Connor on Vimeo.

O’Connor practices what he preaches. During his seminar, Possibilities, Probabilities and Creative Solutions: Breakthrough Thinking for Complex Environments, O’Connor leads participants through a series of interactive, hands-on activities designed for practical application in their own work environments. He recently shared with ACHE: “The goal is to equip participants with the skills to get the best out of their people…not to provide a specific answer to a specific problem…but how to get on the right track [to find] those answers and solutions.”  In a nutshell, he equips participants with real tools they can then implement with their own teams to help solve complex problems.

Does this sound of value to you?  We think it does. O’Connor will be leading his seminar for ACHE in three locations over the next 12 months.  The next available date is July 30—31 at the New York Cluster in New York City.  Learn more here.

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