One of my mentors, Lester T. Shapiro, told me that the primary role of leaders is to ask relevant questions. I heard that over twenty years ago, and it is as true today as it was then. Leaders ask questions.
Questions to challenge.
"What was the best thing about the performance?
"What could we have done to make the performance better?"
"What will you do differently next time?"
Questions to probe.
"What stands in your way?"
"When will you achieve that goal?"
"When will you know when you will know?"
"What would make this goal even more noble, more ambitious?"
Questions to motivate.
"When have you overcome something like this before?"
"Who do you know who has done something similar?"
"What makes you feel good about this goal?"
"Who will you help the most by achieving this goal?
The secret to leadership success is asking the right questions.
And, to once again quote one of my other mentors, Andrew Oxley, "If you don't like the answer to a question, ask a better question."
If you get this right, when you get this right, the leadership develops new and refreshing clarity. Try it. You'll like it.
-- Doug Smith