Shane Parrish

Shane Parrish quotes on problem Solving

Founder Farnam Street. Reader & writer. Student & teacher. Leader and follower.

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You get paid linearly for analyzing and solving problems. You get paid non-linearly for spotting and siezing opportunities.


Invest the best hours of your day on the biggest opportunity, not the biggest problem.


Chess masters know that to win you have to avoid losing. The first thing they do after an opponent make a moves isn’t to think about strategy or winning but rather to ask them self: what’s the threat? Avoid stupidity before seeking brilliance.


The Levels of Problem-solving: Level 1 — You solve the problem. Level 2 — You solve the problem that caused the problem. Level 3 — You avoid the problem that caused the problem. Level 3 is the most valuable but hardest to see.


I don’t think great decision makers necessarily are good problem solvers. Rather, great decision makers are masterful problem avoiders.


Choosing the right problems to work on matters more than the effort you bring. Don't waste your energy on linear problems. The right problems offer embedded leverage.


Average teams solve C+ problems as a unit. Good teams can solve B+ problems. To solve A+ problems, however, you need individuals and not consensus. All organization face all of these types of problems. The good ones approach them differently.


You don’t have to solve problems for others. You can let them be uncomfortable.


Professionals solve the problem. Amateurs solve the symptom.


Meetings are easier to understand once you realize that most people spend time signaling not adding value. You can instantly shorten them and increase quality by asking people to tell you what they know about the problem that no one else in the room knows.


Professionals solve the problem. Amateurs treat the symptom.


The quickest way to ruin a company is to solve people problems with bureaucracy.


Smart people never reward solving a problem that should have been avoided in the first place.


Decisions are the choices we make to overcome existing problems, avoid future problems, or seize opportunities. Good decisions make life easier not harder.


Adding too much value often reduces outcomes. For example, slightly better ideas executed with less motivation often give you worse outcomes than slightly worse ideas executed with more motivation. When in doubt, let people own the problem they are solving.


Often teachers reward the quickest answer and not the deepest.


I think part of the reason we’re quick to try and “solve” other people’s emotions is because we’re scared of feeling our own emotions. We do anything to avoid feeling — we analyze, problem solve, distract, and avoid.


Terrible organizations use bureaucratic solutions to solve people problems.

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