Questions Often Drive Innovation

“But I want to focus on why questioning is a particularly important tool for introverts. Indeed, asking questions is the quiet person’s secret weapon—if we can learn to appreciate and exploit that gift more than we might already.
I’ve studied hundreds of successful artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs known for their curiosity and questioning acumen. Most are humble, thoughtful, and reflective, as well as keen observers and good listeners. These qualities help innovators be more attentive and aware, which in turn enables them to formulate better questions about the world around them—and those questions often drive their creativity.”

Berger, Warren. (2018). The Book of Beautiful Questions: The Powerful Questions That Will Help You Decide, Create, Connect, and Lead. New York, NY. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Questions are indeed powerful, but unfortunately we have been conditioned to not ask questions. Think about when you were a child and full of curiosity and a desire to learn. What has happened since then? Often through the educational system that encourages you to sit down and be quiet while the teacher dispenses knowledge to the insecure bosses who perceive questions as being challenges to authority we have had the desire to question suppressed until it is now habit.

Regain that childlike curiosity and learn to ask questions once again – you will be better and so will the people around you.

6 questions leaders must answer

Much is written about how to use questions to lead; about how leaders need to be asking the right questions of those they lead.

However, one key aspect of leadership, is answering questions for the people that you are leading. In one of my favorite organizational health books, The Advantagemy favorite organizational health / business author, Patrick Lencioni, lists “Six Critical Questions”. These six questions must be answered by leaders of organizations for their followers if they want to optimize the performance of their organization.

  1. Why do we exist?
  2. How do we behave?
  3. What do we do?
  4. How will we succeed?
  5. What is most important, right now?
  6. Who must do what?

So, how are you answering those questions for your organization?

I hope it is a tremendous week for you!

The Board – Some Questions to Ask

Well, I am back in the South today, enjoying sunshine and some warmer weather!

Life Action is having its semi-annual Board of Directors’ Meeting with our annual Vision Gathering after the Board meeting, so I may not be posting much the rest of the week. We’ll se how it goes.

The Board of Directors for a ministry is hugely important – more so than we often realize.  So if you are a leader in a nonprofit ministry, then you need to pay careful attention to your board.  At Life Action we are blessed.  We have godly people from across the country and Canada who are also respected professionals in their field.  First and foremost though is that they love the Lord.  They are people of great character and to the person are humble.

When you go to select your board, ask these questions:

  1. Do they have a heart for God?
  2. Are they a person of character?
  3. Do they have a heart for your mission?
  4. Do they bring needed wisdom, skills and experience to your ministry?
  5. Do they have a servant’s heart?  Are they humble?
  6. Do they have a learner’s heart?  Are they teachable?

Your Board is very important, maybe more than you realize. So be wise about how those you choose!


Questions That Strengthen Your Staff

How do you develop a stronger staff?  As a leader, one of our responsibilities is to strengthen those that we lead.  When I was a young Second Lieutenant in the 9th Infantry Division, the First Sergeant of the company I was assigned to took a liking to me (or felt pity on me!).  One of the things he taught me was to be training for the next level of command.  He made the statement that when you do your job well as a leader then you can go play golf and your people would never know you were gone.  Quite a statement!

Think about what all goes into that statement.  One aspect of it is that you have strong people that think on their own and think well.  People who know how to make the right choices about their work.

In their book, A Coach’s Guide to developing Exemplary Leaders, James Kouzes and Barry Posner, suggest the following questions to start members of your team thinking about how to make right choices.

“How do you see . . .?”

“What if we . . . ?”

“What do you think about . . .?”

“How do you believe we could . . .?”

“Have you ever . . .?”

Some good questions and their book is full of more ideas.  The idea is to give your people the freedom to make choices and to think for themselves.

Have a blessed day!


7 Questions To Ask Your Leadership Team(s)

Some good questions that should spark a great discussion in your team and keep you headed in the right direction.  These are from a blog post by Perry Noble – click here to read his post.

#1 – What is the next step we need to take in order to stay in step with the vision the Lord has given us?

#2 – What is the ONE THING that we want to happen and need to happen…but it would take a move of God for it to happen?

#3 – Is there any unresolved conflict in this room?

#4 – Is there anything that we need to stop doing?

#5 – Are there any obvious problems that we are trying to deny that simply need to be dealt with?

#6 – Do we know the vision and values of our [organization] and can we recite them from memory?

#7 – Who should we be learning from?

Some good questions.  Also Perry Noble’s site is a great one to read in regards to Biblical leadership.


Who are you as a leader? 6 questions to ask yourself

I like good questions – especially those that really make you think.  David Witt has a post on the Blanchard Leader Chat blog that has six great questions that cause you to really examine yourself. (click here to read the entire blog)


1. Who have been the leadership influencers in your life?

2. What is your overall purpose, and what do you want to accomplish?

3. What are your core values?

4. What are your beliefs about leading and motivating people?

5. What can people expect from you as a leader?

6. What do you expect from your people?

Good questions in my opinion.



More Leadership Questions for You

Good questions are powerful tools in the toolbox of a leader.  If you aren’t continually searching for and effectively using questions, you are limiting the impact of your leadership.

I have posted some questions before and you can see these posts at:

Also, I just saw a post by Seth Godin with Seven Questions for LeadersClick here to read the entire post.  Following are some of the questions:

  • What do you do with people who disagree with you?
  • Are you open to multiple points of view or you demand compliance and uniformity? [Bonus: Are you willing to walk away from a project or customer or employee who has values that don’t match yours?]
  • Is it okay if someone else gets the credit?
  • How often are you able to change your position?
  • If someone else can get us there faster, are you willing to let them?

Collect and use good questions – you will become so much more effective.

Blessings on your week,



Four Questions Leaders Should Ask Themselves

Four great questions for leaders from a post on Oct 12 on Perry Noble’s blog.  Click here to read the entire blog.

The four questions:

Did I really think this would be easy?

Did I really think I had this all figured out?

Did I really think I could please everyone?

Did I really think I could do this on my own?

Some pretty good questions in my opinion.

Have you developed some questions like these?  What are they?

Blessings on your day!


Questions to Ask Leaders

Questions are incredibly powerful in learning and especially in leading.  One of my favorite guys, Bobb Biehl, is a master at asking questions.  He is also a collector of questions – these questions have become some of his most important tools in his consulting and coaching practice.

One of the areas I have been receiving coaching on is in the area of asking good questions.  So, I was excited when I read a guest post by Michael Smith on Michael Hyatt’s blog on “20 Questions to Ask Other Leaders“.  Great post.  Listed below are some of the questions – click here to read the entire article – it is well worth your time.

1. Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?

2. What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of your organization?

4. How do you encourage creative thinking within your organization?

7. How do you or other leaders in your organization communicate the “core values”?

9. Do you set aside specific times to cast vision to your employees and other leaders?

10.  How do you ensure your organization and its activities are aligned with your “core values”?

13.  What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

14.  What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?

16.  What is the one behavior or trait that you have seen derail more leaders’ careers?

19.  What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

20.  What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?

Some great questions to ask other leaders to help you grow.

What questions do you use to learn from other leaders?

Have a great weekend!


Learn to Ask Better Questions

One area that I am trying to grow in is learning how to ask good questions. I have read several articles and a book on the subject & it is a favorite method of Bobb Biehl. Today I came across this article & thought you might enjoy it as well. It is a good post on the Harvard Business Review blog by John Baldoni.

“Every leader I know has at least one need in common: a need to connect honestly with others. One way to help foster improved connections is by asking good questions. Leaders who excel at asking good questions have honed an ability to cut to the heart of the manner in a way that disarms the person being interviewed and opens the door for genuine conversation.

Whether they are talking to customers, interviewing job candidates, talking to their bosses, or even questioning staff, executives need to draw people out. And so often, it is not a matter of what you ask, it is how you ask it. Here are some suggestions.

1. Be curious.
2. Be open-ended
3. Be engaged
4. Dig deeper

Asking good questions, and doing so in spirit of honest information gathering and eventual collaboration, is good practice for leaders. It cultivates an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing issues that affect both their performance and that of the team. And that, in turn, creates a foundation for deepening levels of trust.”

Click here to read the entire post.

What are some of your favorite questions?