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Recently on my travels I heard a great story. An engineering company was turning over on average £10 million per year and one day the owner of the company had a massive heart attack and died.

His wife had never had anything to do with the company and no previous leadership experience, so as you can imagine everyone was worried what would happen to the company and their jobs. After the funeral, his wife went into the office and called all the Heads of Department together and spoke to them individually, one by one. During the meeting she asked them three questions:

  • What are you doing?
  • What is not working?
  • What is working?

Over the next two years, she went back every six months and asked the Heads of Department the same questions. Within two years the company grew from £10 million to £25 million. She had no previous experience, yet she had the ability to ask great questions and allow the people to stop doing what no longer worked.

Four Lessons from the Three Hard Questions:

  • Stop and Pause, ask yourself regularly the three hard questions.
  • Give yourself and your staff permission to stop doing what no longer works.
  • Ask yourself and your team the hard questions every day.
  • Listen to your staff.

Molly Harvey is one of the world’s most trusted advisers on Leadership and Culture Change. She is known for her no nonsense thought provoking approach, speaking from the heart and personal experience. Her motto is ‘Don’t talk about it, just be it’. Internationally recognized, she leads corporations and their people to a whole new level of leadership and has been described as “a motivational speaker who can help people do what most of us imagine is a gift bestowed only to the Richard Bransons, Tony Blairs and Paul McCartneys of this world; she can help people visualize.”

You can connect with Molly at: Molly Harvey

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2 thoughts on “Three Hard Questions Great Leaders Ask

  1. I loved the story and the simplicity of this. I’m a firm believer of the leadership abilities of women who have beens running a home and/or not “professionals,” but have skills and abilities that can be transferred into a business setting. Kudos to her for taking up the calling and for her success!

  2. Thanks Maggie! Many times it really is that easy isn’t it? Just ask a few profound questions and then listen!

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