Ten Questions Every Leader Ought to Be Asking

By: Lisa Haneberg VP and OD Practice Leader of MPI Consulting

If I read another article that starts with, “during these tough times,” I am going to scream. The more we talk about how the times are tough, the greater the likelihood that we will approach our work as victims.

We are at our best when we catalyze progress – when we create environments that help people, teams and processes do great work together. I invite all leaders – at all levels in the organization – to embrace the opportunity to be great like you never knew you could be or was possible. Here are ten questions you can ask yourself and your team to get catalytic juices flowing:

– What’s the new opportunity that we are not seeing? How might we learn from other organizations, both competitors and non-competitors?

– How might new trends in how people communicate and work open up new ways to improve our organization? What does the workplace look like when we are focused and in action?

– When a meeting feels flat and perfunctory, what’s going on? What’s on people minds that they are not saying? What question could I ask that would open the discussion back up? What’s possible if I had the courage to do this?

– What is “my best work” and how can I ensure I do that today? How can I enable my team to do their best work?

– If we were starting this organization from scratch, how would we design it? What would we do if resources were not an issue?

– What’s the craziest idea that just might work?

– What are the most irksome/damaging barriers facing me and my team right now and how can I reduce or obliterate them?

– What is my manifesto (driving philosophy and passion) as a leader and how can I ensure my team understands it? What is our team’s manifesto?

– What’s possible now that was not possible last year/month?

– Do I have my team focused on doing the work that matters most? How can I optimize how we spend our precious time?

Create your own list of questions and bring them into your next staff meeting or team huddle. Select one of these questions to drill down on with a small group of peers. Put a copy of this article in everyone’s inbox! Great questions help us generate productive conversations and conversations are our currency for getting things done.

We are leaders because we make things happen that would not happen without us. We are driven to create, model, and catalyze excellence. We do not maintain. We do not play the victim. We take the initiative to do whatever it takes to make a significant and positive difference and we have more opportunities to do this today than ever. As the great Henry V said in Shakespeare’s play, “All things are ready if our minds be so.” And let’s not forget Westmorland’s response, “perish the man whose mind is backward now!” Indeed. The most effective leaders will shine bright now because they are ready to slog through any organizational muck that threatens to slow their team down.

Let’s all be a part of the leadership revolution.

About the Author:

Lisa Haneberg is the VP and OD Practice Leader for MPI Consulting. She has written 10 business books and writes the popular Management Craft blog. She speaks to and trains leaders and managers about how to produce uncommonly good results. http://www.managementperformance.com/ and http://www.lisahaneberg.com/

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