All this week we are celebrating the 11th Anniversary of LeadingWithQuestions.com by sharing “Excerpts” from the just released 3rd Edition of “Leading With Questions.”
Do you feel that people aren’t providing the information you need? Do you wonder whether the people in your unit really understand your vision for where things need to go? Do you speculate about what your boss is really thinking?
Have you ever thought about getting all this information, and more, by asking questions?
Questions can elicit information, of course, but they can do so much more. Astute leaders use questions to encourage full participation and teamwork, to spur innovation and outside-the-box thinking, to empower others, to build relationships with customers, to solve problems, develop leadership skills, and change organizations and communities. – as we will show in this book. Recent research and the experience of a growing number of organizations are now concluding that the most successful leaders lead with questions, and use questions more frequently. Successful and effective leaders create the conditions and environment to ask and be asked questions. When the Center for Creative Leadership studied nearly 200 successful executives, they discovered that the key to their success was asking questions and creating opportunities for others to ask questions.
Consider these successful leaders:
These leaders have discovered the amazing power of questions. Questions wake people up. They prompt new ideas. They show people new places, new ways of doing things. They help us admit that we don’t know all the answers. Questions build great people, great organizations and great communities.
Unfortunately, many leaders are unaware of amazing power of questions, and how they can generate short-term results and long-term learning and success. If you have never considered making questions a tool in your leadership kit, this book is for you. Of course, many leaders do ask questions but, unfortunately, disempowering questions such as these:
Too often, we ask questions that disempower rather than empower our subordinates. These questions cast blame; they are not genuine requests for information.
Other sorts of questions are really just often thinly veiled attempts at manipulation: Don’t you agree with me on that? Aren’t you a team player? If you tend to ask these sorts of questions, this book is for you.
So the point isn’t that we just don’t ask enough questions. Often, we don’t ask the right questions. Or we don’t ask questions in a way that will lead to honest and informative answers. Many of us don’t know how to listen effectively to answers to questions—and haven’t established a climate in which asking questions is encouraged.
And that’s where this book comes in. The purpose of Leading with Questions is to help you become a stronger leader by learning how to ask the right questions effectively, how to listen effectively, and how to create a climate and culture in which asking questions becomes as natural as breathing.
Both of us have spent our careers training managers all over the world, more recently developing leaders who ask questions. Mike was a global leadership consultant for 20 years and then served as a professor for the Executive Leadership program at George Washington University for over 30 years. Bob has served in a variety of positions at Cru, and is currently managing the organization’s senior leadership program. His bi-weekly blog, Leading with Questions, recently celebrated its 11th anniversary.
Over these many years, we have noted more and more frequently that leaders of the more successful companies tended to question others and themselves more often. We have made a concentrated effort to discover why questions are so important to leaders, why they result in such success, and what are the questions that are the most powerful and used most frequently.
Among the questions that we asked of the 45 leaders highlighted in this book:
Their responses to these questions and their stories are interwoven throughout the 3rd edition. As you read this book, you will discover the wisdom of the question-asking leaders. Among those who shared their experiences as questioning leaders are senior executives from DuPont, Marriott, Popeye’s Chicken, Alcoa, Box of Crayons, Novartis, and Cargill; public leaders from global and national agencies. The leaders every corner of the world including Brazil, Finland, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Mauritius, Korea,
Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Singapore and the United States.
FYI, instead of personally receiving any royalties from the sales of the 3rd Edition – I have designated all my royalties to go towards Cru’s Leadership Development Programs that I am a part of.
All this week we are Celebrating the 11th Anniversary as we share “Excerpts” from the 3rd Edition of “Leading With Questions!”
Click HERE to read Monday’s Post: “Would you like to hear the Story that lead to my co-authoring the 3rd Edition?”
Today: “Introduction to the Third Edition”
Click HERE to read Wednesday’s Post: “A Powerful But Underused Leadership Tool”
Click HERE to read Thursday’s Post: “Benefits of a Question Culture”
Click HERE to read Friday’s Post: “Asking the Right Questions.”
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