I solve challenging operations problems with a combination of technology, people and process.
I meet with people all day to understand the root cause of problems, understand the nature of systems and how all of our processes are working to support our goals. If any of them are out of line, I work with the appropriate areas: engineering, operations, partners, etc. to ensure that we make the changes necessary in order to make our customers thrilled with our products. I also research outside systems to see if we can take anything from them to improve our own operations.
Understand logic and algorithms. Sentence structure is essentially an algorithm; it's nothing intimidating. You can then apply logic from other systems to the one that you're working in and see if it fits. Confidence is also critical and you have to believe that you are sufficiently capable in your role to deliver on whatever has been asked of you. If you believe in you, everyone else will too.
Here's the first step for high school students
First, learn what makes you tick. If you love solving challenging problems and communicating, this is your thing-- even if you're an introvert (yes, really). Shadow someone- a lot of it won't make sense, but you'll pick up on valuable work lingo. Take up a management role in a school organization and you'll start to learn some of how the role works too.
"You should be an engineer instead."