Eat Problems for Breakfast


Innovation from problems

“Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.” Alfred A. Montapert

Known for his 1970 book, The Supreme Philosophy of Man: The Laws of Life, Alfred A. Montapert wrote, “Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.” No matter how much careful planning and organizing you do, problems arise. As a leader, you must have the poise and grace to deal with them calmly. A huge part of work is problem solving and if problems did not exist, nor would you have a job.

Eating problems for breakfast means taking them head on, one bite at a time, perhaps even enjoying the search for the solutions and the opportunity to innovate. A strong leader knows to engage in their team to recognize a problem as  opportunity to uncover a flaw and resolve it thus making lasting improvements. This empowering mindset removes the sense that problems are insurmountable, replacing it with the confirmation that each of us is strong and capable of getting through  everyday challenges.

A calm and methodical approach to problem solving includes respectfully interacting with others. Tyrants and finger pointers appear as ego maniacs  who indulge in out-of-control emotional outbursts that send people scurrying. They believe that direct reports should toughen up and if they can’t handle the heat they should get out of the kitchen. This approach perpetuates bad behaviour and creates toxic workplace cultures causing employees to cover up mistakes, pass blame take credit for the work of others, do the minimum to fly under the radar, come in late, leave early, and change jobs the first chance they get.

What kind of a problem solver are you? Look around you and observe the behaviours of  your employees and that will give you your answer.

This article originally appeared in Your Workplace Magazine Volume 15 Issue 1

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