***This article is inspired by chapter 25 of John C. Maxwell’s book Leadership Gold –
“You Only Get Answers To The Questions You Ask.”***

Leaders always want better results, but they are not always achieved.

Why is that?

It’s been said that the definition of “insanity” is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. Many times, leaders dig in their heels and work harder and longer. In our typical American culture, it’s easy to fall into this trap. We are a nation built on the backs of hard work, determination, and “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.” We like the stories of “self-made” men and women.

But what if that isn’t what really made us successful? What if there was something else behind the scenes that caused the success of our great nation?

Innovation and ingenuity came before hard work and determination. Yes, we’re a hard-working society, but someone had to think up the ideas first. And those ideas came in the form of asking better questions than others were asking.

Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile, but he did figure out the assembly line. He had a curiosity about how to mass-produce vehicles and found a way with his team to make it happen.

Thomas Edison became a famous inventor by asking thousands of questions and experimenting.

The list goes on of famous inventors who knew that in order to become better and find creative solutions, one must ask better questions.

Where do you need to be better? How does your organization need to be better?

In his insightful chapter 25 in Leadership Gold, John C. Maxwell gives us 9 questions to consider:

1 – Am I investing in myself? – Personal Growth Question

2 – Am I genuinely interested in others? – Motive Question

3 – Am I doing what I love and loving what I do? – Passion Question

4 – Am I investing my time with the right people? – Relationship Question

5 – Am I staying in my strength zone? – Effectiveness Question

6 – Am I taking others to a higher level? – Mission Question

7 – Am I taking care of today? – Success Question

8 – Am I taking time to think? – Strategic Leadership Question

9 – Am I developing other leaders? – Legacy Question

If you want to become better, block off intentional time to ask yourself these questions and write down your thoughts. Define specific action steps to implement. Then, build it into your weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual rhythm to ask these questions over and over again. Encourage your team members to do the same.

If you want to become better, start by asking better questions.

Think of specific questions that relate to the problems or opportunities that you are facing.

Reflect on this ancient Chinese proverb – “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask is a fool forever.” 

Set your ego aside and begin asking more questions rather than telling people what you already know. You might just be amazed at what you learn that can take your leadership and organization to a whole new level.

Until next time…make today GREAT!

***If you need help developing a personal growth plan or implementing a leadership development program for your team, please contact me. I’d love to talk with you to determine how I can help!

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