Very rarely does any leader, no matter how effective or even potentially great, have all the answers.
What essentially differentiates the great leader from others is the quality of the questions that he asks, as well as the effectiveness of his listening.
There is a significant difference between asking the right questions, and simply asking some questions to make it appear that one is interested and concerned. A truly great leader thoroughly examines the facts, and it is that intense analysis and homework that develops the initiative to ask the really important questions. It is when one asks the right questions that he has the best opportunity to get the answers needed to create a good plan.
Tony Robbins put it this way, “Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions and as a result, they get better answers.”
What makes certain questions better? The purpose of a leader’s questions must be to help get to crux or root of the matter, and to gather the greatest amount of detail and information, in order to make the best decisions possible. When this is done, a leader is able to develop a well thought out and detailed plan of action, in order to accomplish what his organization needs to be done. Only when someone does enough analysis first is he able to think of the real questions. Lesser leaders often ask lesser questions. A lesser question is one that is often simply a rehash of the same old, same old, and thus the answers receive rarely offer any additional information. On the other hand, a properly formulated and developed question delves into additional details that the average leader does not even realize needs to be asked. Too often, those in leadership end up closing their mind to alternatives and ideas, a condition that is exacerbated when there is not enough questioning done.
The key is to gather the needed information. Rarely does all the information needed to excel simply appear before us, but rather it is a result of self analysis, study, homework, judgment, experience and expertise. Those assets combine to permit the great leader to delve into subject matters in far more detail, and thus get answers that others are unable to. However, merely asking the important questions is not enough, unless someone also listens intently and effectively, and asks the correct follow up questions, as well.
Great leaders analyze situations and alternatives by accumulating information. What better way to do that than by asking the pertinent questions?
Richard Brody has over three decades of consultative sales, Management and leadership expertise, including operating businesses in both the non profit and for profit realms. He is an often published and consulted individual in strategic planning, events, Negotiations, Board training and motivation, having written 3 books, approximately 2,000 articles and brochures, and conducted hundreds of seminars and training programs. For more information about Richard, email him at Richard@plan2lead.netAdditional information available from Plan2Lead or Port Washington Long Island Houses
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