Leadership is full of questions. Especially questions leaders should ask themselves.
These days it seems far too few leaders are asking themselves questions. They’re going with the flow and they’re missing the big picture.
Why Leaders Should Question Themselves
Leadership isn’t without pitfalls. We can easily find ourselves in compromising situations or making bad decisions.
This happens when we stop asking ourselves vital questions. Questions that look deep into our motives and propel us in the proper direction.
When leaders ask questions of themselves, they’re able to look within. And every leader could use a little more of this introspection.
The Questions Leaders Should Be Asking Themselves
1. Why am I really leading?: Asking ourselves why we lead cuts to the heart of the matter. We begin to see our motives.
Our motives could be selfish or they could be altruistic. It’s up to us to determine our leadership motives.
If we notice that our motives for leading are selfish, we need to course correct. Simon Sinek pointed out in his book Leaders Eat Last (you can get a free audio version of the book here) that great leaders aren’t selfish. In fact, great leaders put others’ needs before their own. If that wasn’t enough, look to Philippians 2:4
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Ask yourself why you’re leading. Look deep and be honest. Then figure out if you should be leading.
2. Where am I taking people?:Leaders take people places. They challenge others to live better lives and get things done.
When we fail to ask ourselves where we’re taking people, we are failing to lead.
We can’t take people to an unknown destination. We can’t lead people well if we don’t have an endgame in mind.
3. How’s my family doing?: You’re a leader of more than just a team at work. You’re the leader of a valuable unit of people called your family.
Great leaders know they can’t ignore their families while leading others. It doesn’t work that way.
Failing to lead well at home means you fail to lead well at work. The two go hand in hand, especially if you’re leadership at work is causing your family relationships to fail.
4. What’s my succession plan?: The dreaded question leaders don’t want to face.. We don’t like to think we’re not going to be around forever but it’s the truth.
We have a limited amount of time on this earth. One day we’ll be gone. And more than likely, we’ll be out of specific leadership roles by that point.
This is why it’s so vital to figure out a succession plan. Ask yourself today if you have a plan in place.
5. When’s the last time I failed?: This question isn’t so a leader can beat themselves up. Rather, this question is asked so a leader can look at whether or not he’s stretching his boundaries.
Failure doesn’t mean you didn’t do a good job. Failure means you made a bad choice. Failure means you didn’t know enough. Failure means you tested the waters.
Failure also means you have an opportunity to learn. Dissect the failure and see what it’s telling you.
Leaders should fail once in awhile. If you’re not failing as you lead, you’re not dreaming big enough.