Issue No. 320 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting recommends you immediately order a 28-page booklet with 205 questions—but—do the answers very, very slowly! And this reminder: subscribe here for Drucker Mondays, as 52 guest writers share their favorite quotes and commentary every Monday in 2015, from the new book, A Year With Peter Drucker: 52 Weeks of Coaching for Leadership Effectiveness.
Your Toolbox of Questions
Peter Drucker said, “My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.”
So…what if you asked your team, and yourself, more than 200 questions?
In the last 30 days, I’ve market-tested the most amazing and provocative booklet I’ve ever read. Everyone orders it immediately! Just 28 pages and, by my count, 205 questions. In groups, or one-on-one, I read this humdinger question first—and, trust me, the room gets real quiet!
“What’s one thing you are hoping
we don’t talk about?”
Steve Brown, the author of Great Questions for Leading Well, knows a thing or two about coaching, mentoring and leading. As president of Arrow Leadership, he leads young ministry leaders (ages 25 to 40) in a unique 18-month transformational experience—focused on calling, character and competency.
Steve’s toolbox of questions is jammed with convicting, come-to-Jesus probes:
• “If you had a dashboard gauge for your spiritual life, character, relationships and service—what would each gauge read? (Green for health, yellow for concern, or red for trouble?)
• “If it were 5, 10, or 25 years from now, what advice would you give yourself today?”
• “Does your budget/time demonstrate your values?”
• “What’s the highest and best use of your time?”
• “What one thing could you change in your routine to have the greatest positive impact on your family relationships?”
Brown writes that “great questions are so critical because they are powerful teachers, inspire deeper reflection, aid discernment and clarify what is really important, encourage creative solutions and,” my favorite, “expose bottlenecks.”
“Questions for Leading You” is the first category with 30 questions—none easy. “What one area in your character could you address to become more like Christ?”
Other categories include questions for:
• Key Relationships
• Finding Perspective
• Leading Others
• Effective Delegation
• Year End Reflection
• Conflict Situations
There are also 16 powerful questions to consider “Before Making a Major Change,” with many focused on spiritual discernment. Noting that the Bible includes many helpful questions, he’s included 12 questions from Scripture, including “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6).
Brown notes Coach Vince Lombardi’s insight:
“Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”
“Fatigue, frustration and the daily grind of leadership can leave leaders feeling flat,” he writes gently—with seven practical questions, including commentary, for a very helpful section, “Questions When You Are Feeling Flat.”
The zingers are on every page:
• “What role is fear playing in your thinking and actions right now?”
• “What shouldn’t others imitate in you right now?”
• “Are your key relationships getting time with you at your best?”
That's it for today. If you still need help, read two more questions and call me in the morning.
My wife, Joanne, read the questions first and promptly suggested, “John—just give this booklet to all our clients. Tell them to answer the questions—and they won’t need you!!”
Brown urges you to use questions like you use a toolbox. “When you need a tool, you try to find the one that fits the job. A wrench set can have 21 slightly different sized wrenches but only one is the one you need. Prayerfully skim the relevant section looking for the right question or two you need.”
Tapping the tool metaphor further, he adds:
“Use these questions like you would
use a precision chisel—slowly.”
“These questions can be read or asked quickly but they need to be answered slowly and thoughtfully.”
Order directly from Arrow Leadership, by clicking on the title for: Great Questions for Leading Well, by Steve Brown.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) Steve Brown’s questions on effective delegation hit home! “What are the costs of not delegating more?” And, “What delegation assignments could be important growth opportunities for others?”
2) Brown quotes Peter Drucker: “The leader of the past was a person who told, the leader of the future will be a person who asks.” Two of the four social styles are tellers vs. askers (Drivers and Expressives). So if you’re a teller, what do you think of Drucker’s wisdom on this issue?
The Question That Will Revolutionize How You Make Decisions - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
In my cycle through the 20 buckets, let's stop at the Book Bucket, Chapter 5, in Mastering the Management Buckets:
Click here to read my review of The Best Question Ever: A Revolutionary Approach to Decision-making, by Andy Stanley.
Or…order his recent revision/updating of the book, now with a new title: Ask It: The Question That Will Revolutionize How You Make Decisions (October 2014), by Andy Stanley.
To download a list of the books I’ve reviewed between 2006 and 2014 (by bucket category), and/or my Top-100 Books List, visit the Book Bucket webpage.
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