Either in one of my leadership tips of the week, in a live presentation or in a coaching session, you have probably heard me talk about the importance for leaders to ask great questions.
The make-up of a great question has three components:
1. They cause someone to think.
2. They enable engagement.
3. They stimulate action.
I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about the questions not being asked.
Questions not being asked maybe because we are afraid to ask them … we’re afraid to ask them because we don’t want to hear the answer.
We don’t want to hear the answer because we don’t want to take the necessary action or deal with the truth or maybe we’ll look bad as leaders.
My leadership tip for you this week is to encourage you to ask yourself the great questions you are most afraid to ask. Focus on just three of them at one time, because this is an exercise that can consume you.
The sooner you ask the question(s), the sooner you will become free of what’s holding you and your organization back from accomplishing more than you already are.
Here are 3 – questions leaders are often afraid to ask:
1. If I had a clean slate, how should we organize this company (department / business unit) for greater efficiency and improved customers service ?
2. Who are our 3 – weakest links ? … and what are we doing about improving them ?
3. What are our 3 – greatest customer (or employee) retention problems ? … and what are you doing about fixing them?
I offer these to help you to begin to think about the questions holding you back.
Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself … address your organization – your morale – your customer challenges – your process challenges – your forecasting challenges – your personnel issues – your competition – your leadership.
Leadership requires courage . Courage begins with asking yourself the questions you’re afraid to ask.