Good leaders ask good questions.
Every now and then I try and take some time to reflect on this truth. Leadership requires reflection. Good questions can serve as an anchor for leaders, keeping them grounded and tethered to the place that they need to be. Here are a few questions that I have recently been reflecting on.[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]10 Questions Leaders Should Ask[/quote]
1) How can I STRENGTHEN those around me?
Healthy leaders develop and strengthen the people around them, not just themselves. Do you look for and think about ways that you can strengthen others, simply to make them better and help them advance (not for the purpose of advancing your “thing”)?
2) What are the areas that I need to SLOW down in?
We live in a fast paced world. This sense of hurry can creep into just about every area of our lives. Are there some places that you need to slow the pace and tempo down in your life to be a more healthy leader? Are all of your conversations hurried? Are all of your study and prep times rushed? Where do you need to “relentlessly eliminate hurry” from in your life?
3) Where do I need to SPEED up?
Are there any areas in your leadership that need greater urgency to replace a little apathy? Maybe there have been some areas that you have been putting off, neglecting or avoiding. Maybe it is time to speed up in those areas.
4) Do I demonstrate SERVING or just talk about its importance?
Jesus said this is the key to greatness. Serving isn’t something that we DO as leaders – serving IS leadership. Do people around me see the fruit of this in how I live? As leaders, it is important for us to remember that serving is best CAUGHT, not just taught.
5) Do I have authentic FRIENDSHIPS?
I really believe leadership will be as lonely as WE CHOOSE it to be. We all need friendships. Answer this question: If I encountered a real crisis in my life, who would I call? Do you have that type of friend? The truth is that it can be lonely at times in leadership. You will have to make decisions that not everyone will love. Healthy leaders have friends, not just followers.
6) Do I want the people I’m leading to SURPASS me? What am I doing to ensure they will?
The fruit of our leadership will be seen for years to come (both for the positive and the negative). Do you want those on your teams to go beyond where you ever went? If that really is your desire, what opportunities are you giving them and exposing them to NOW that will set them up for that success THEN?
7) Is there someone in my life that I’ve given a license to CALL ME OUT when I’m wrong/out of line, etc.?
We ALL need people in our lives who know us well enough and are close enough to us who can keep us grounded. Do you have people in your life who are ready and able to call you out? More importantly, have you given them the invitation to do this when you need it?
8) Are the lines between courage & arrogance / humility & insecurity CLEAR or FUZZY in my life?
Be a bold leader – but understand the line between courage and arrogance. Walk in humility – but don’t allow yourself to become or come across as insecure and weak. Do you know where that line is? Is it clear or fuzzy in your life and leadership?
9) Do I INVITE or STIFLE collaboration/input/feedback?
A friend once reminded me, “People buy in to what they give voice to.” If I want people that I lead to journey with me, I have to be willing to listen. Do you invite that type of collaboration, or do you have to be the one with all the answers? Its been said, “If you are the smartest person in the room, it is time to find a new room.”
10) What question am I NOT asking that I should be?
I think healthy leaders take time to THINK ABOUT what they are THINKING ABOUT. Good questions are powerful. Examining our lives is vital.
I hope these questions can be a simple exercise for you to do some reflection in the area of your leadership, whether you are leading a team, a family or yourself.
What are some questions that you would add to the list of 10? What are good questions that you ask yourself as a leader?