Leadership

Innovative leaders ask powerful “what if?” questions

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Guest Post by Susanne Madsen

Asking questions is an essential component of leadership. Voltaire said that we should “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers” and Albert Einstein was obsessed with questions, or more precisely, with getting to the right question.

Another smart mind, Tim Brown (chief executive and president of IDEO) says, “It’s very easy in business to get sucked into being reactive to the problems and questions that are right in front of you. It doesn’t matter how creative you are as a leader, it doesn’t matter how...

How do you respond when one of your staff comes to you with a problem and asks you what they should do?

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Scenario:

One of your staff comes to you with a problem and asks you what they should do. And you know exactly what they should do!  How are you most likely to respond?

Truth is—most of us—being a lot more practiced at “Telling” than “Asking” are likely to simply tell them what to do.  One of my former supervisors responding to this exact scenario shared that not only would he tell them what to do, he would also feel proud that he knew the answer and hoped they would be impressed with his wisdom!    His truthfulness was refreshing!

Same...

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