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The 1-3-1 of life

Having been a coach for many years and through many different sports it is customary for me to use customary sequences of numbers for plays. Today, I want to focus on the most influential of these sequences called the 1-3-1.

Some might think I was calling a defense for our ladies basketball team or some form of coverage package for the football team. However, this sequence extends to more than sports. The 1-3-1 technique I am discussing today is the method by which you can solve problems and move yourself in a positive direction.

One. You must first define the single problem and only that problem. I need to gain or lose weight, I need to get to work, I need to stop the other team's best offensive player, etc. The key here is you must tackle problems singularly and not in groups. You must discipline yourself and those around you to focus on the single most important issue before moving on to others.

Three. You then need to develop three possible solutions for the problem. If it is losing weight then solutions might be not eating after 6pm, choosing to eat smaller portions six times a day or taking carbohydrates out of your diet.

If the opposition has a quick running back that seems impossible to stop then we might bring an extra defender to the line of scrimmage, we might consider moving our best defenders to the wide side of the field or we might consider playing less aggressive on the edges. The point is you must stretch your mind to more than the first solution so as to give yourself and your team options.

One. You must pick the best of the three solutions. You are not allowed to bring your problem and solutions to the team and not have one which you feel is better than others.

Leaderships and problem solving requires us to not foist both on others. We must take ownership of the entire process and this means identifying the problem, coming up with solutions and then ultimately selecting the one most appropriate.

Finally, you need to listen to the counsel of the rest of the team. However, because you have given significant thought to the problem and the solution you will be better prepared to accept or disregard the thoughts and opinions of others.

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14

God desires we seek guidance. He wants us to Google it. He wants us to pray about it. He wants us to develop multiple solutions from as many data points as we can obtain. There is safety in having as much information as you can when making a decision.

He also wants us to make decisions and not pass the buck. So, make the 1-3-1 a part of your life so you can begin the process of solving your own problems. Also, require it of those with whom you interact. It will require them to take ownership of their problems while allowing you to be better informed when offering counsel.

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