The Impossible Question
How often do you say (maybe to yourself) “That’s impossible!”?
How often do you hear “That’s impossible!”?
General George S. Patton was known for his quip, “How do you know that?”
So let me ask you: “How do you/they know that’s impossible?”
Today I want to share with you one of my most favorite questions: (actually three versions of the same question)
Joel Barker in his book “Paradigms”:
What do I believe is impossible to do in my field but if could be done would fundamentally change my business?
Mark Goulston in his book “Just Listen”:
You: What’s something that would be impossible to do, but if you could do it, would dramatically increase your success?
Other Person: If I could just do __________ , but that is impossible.
You: Okay. What would make it possible?
Robert Hargrove in his book “Masterful Coaching” :
What would be an Impossible Future or big game you are really passionate about?
How are you going to need to develop as a leader to get there?
Although Joel, Mark and Robert are in many ways asking the same impossible question – I like the two complimentary second questions that Mark and Robert ask:
Mark: “What would make it possible?” Or how can you plot a course to take you from “Impossible” to “Possible”?
Robert: “How are you going to need to develop as a leader to get there?” All of our real barriers are internal aren’t they? When a leader changes what is possible changes too, doesn’t it?
One of my close friends shared with me that one of the phrases that became part of the culture of the executive team he was a part of was that any time someone said “That’s impossible” or “No one has ever been able to do that!” One of the executive team or the whole executive team would shout “Up ’til Now” And then they would roll up their sleeves and figure out how to do what was impossible “Up ’til Now”!
As a follower of Jesus I am also frequently reminded of his words:
“With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
So what is your “Impossible Future?”
What would make it possible?
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