How Might You Become a More Effective Leader?

Originally Posted @ Careers in Government

A Leader Who Leads With Questions Will Often Be 10x More Effective Than a Leader Who Only Leads by Telling!

How is this possible?

First, a Question:

Looking at the photo above, if this is your team in this canoe and there are oars for everyone and you want to get this canoe across the lake as quickly as possible, how many of your team members would you like to row with you?

All of them, of course!

Now, Picture This: 

Imagine that this is your same team—all seated around your conference table—and there is an “opportunity” on the table.  (Please read this next question carefully) If you are a leader like I once was, who thinks it is your job to figure out how to take advantage of this opportunity and their job is to then do what you tell them to do, how many “Mental Oars” are in the water?

Yes—Only One—Yours!

Now, imagine that this is your same team – all seated around your conference table—and there is an “opportunity” on the table.  You are a leader who Leads With Questions,  so you lean forward, look around the table—make eye contact with everyone on your team—and ask, “What do you all think we might do to take advantage of this opportunity?”  now how many “Mental Oars” might be in the water?

Yes—All of them! 

As your team members start sharing their ideas, is it possible you hear ideas better than anything you were thinking?

While not a guarantee—the odds are—with all your team members contributing their ideas you might just hear ideas better than your own!

Now, Imagine This:

Sitting across the table from you is Felicia.  When Felicia shares her idea you think, “Wow, that is an incredible idea! So much better than anything I was thinking!”  So you lean forward and say, “Felicia!  Wow!  That is an incredible idea!  Love It!  Felicia, would you be willing to lead our whole team in executing your idea?”

How hard will Felicia Work?   She will give it everything she’s got!  Why?  Because it is her idea! 

What Are the Benefits of Becoming a Leader Who Leads With Questions?

You go first. What do you think are or will be the benefits of becoming a Leader Who Leads With Questions? 

 Here are some additional benefits:

  • You will grow your questioning skills
  • Improve your decision making
  • Your staff will feel valued
  • You will grow your listening skills
  • You will hear ideas you have not thought of
  • Your staff will feel increased ownership of the ideas they are executing
  • Your staff will develop greater self-confidence
  • Your staff will have an increased sense of camaraderie
  • Asking questions will become natural
  • You will develop leaders

 Final Question:

So now, going forward, are you going to choose to be less effective and Lead by Telling? OR, will you choose to become a more effective leader by Leading With Questions?

Bob Tiede

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bob has been on the staff of Cru for 52 years. He currently serves on the U.S. Leadership Development Team and is passionate about seeing leaders grow and multiply their effectiveness. Bob and his wife, Sherry, live in Plano, TX and are blessed with 4 incredible children and 8 remarkable grandchildren.

MORE RECENT POSTS

Four Killer Interview Questions To Hire The Best

Guest Post by Bill Bliss Recently, I read an article from Inc.com discussing the four specific questions a...

“8 Questions for Helping Others Develop a Vision Statement”

Guest Post by Dr. K. Shelette Stewart              Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write...

For Valentines how about giving each other the Gift of a Great Conversation?  

The best remedy for marriage conflict is marriage...

What Would Happen If…?

Note from Bob:  What would happen if you could double or triple or 10X your response rates from you...

7 Reasons Why You Should Ask Your Team Questions

Excerpted with Permission from the 18th Chapter of  “Blue-Collar Leadership & Supervision” by Mack...

Most Sales Advice Is Wrong

Guest Post by Josh Braun You are told: 1. You need unbridled enthusiasm. Unbridled enthusiasm is akin to a...

Leveling Up – Book Review

I just finished reading “Leveling Up – 12 Questions to Elevate Your Personal and Professional...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.