Today, I’m live-blogging the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta. The next speaker I’ll be live-blogging is Andy Stanley.
Andy opened the conference and usually closes the conference but this year he’s taken a different position and is sharing earlier in the day. I’m excited to hear from Andy once again as he always delivers.
Great leaders always ask great questions. And great leaders aren’t afraid to surround themselves with people who ask great questions.
As a leader, if you bristle every time you are asked a question there’s a good possibility you won’t surround yourself with people who will ask great questions.
Questions Do 3 Things
Questions reveal values:
The questions you ask reveal what’s most important to you. What questions are you asking again and again and again? This shows what you value.
You have to be strategic with your questions. The questions you ask can send people off in the wrong direction. Questions are instructive and people begin to anticipate the question.
Questions reinforce values:
This is the magic. You can be strategic with questions and reinforce the values your organization has.
Look at your mission. Check the vision. One of the smartest things you can do is to ask this question: What questions if asked repeatedly will direct people in the direction you want them to go?
Andy Stanley begins every meeting with this question: What happened this weekend?
Andy wants to hear the stories of what happened. Life changes. Disciples made. Etc…
Questions reinforce behaviors:
Find questions that you can ask repeatedly to show how you want your staff to behave. The questions you ask can direct people to specific behaviors.
Once you know what you want your team to do, attach questions to those behaviors and values. By asking the right questions, the right things will often happen.
What Would A Great Leader Do?
When Andy sat down for dinner with Bill Hybels, he asked Bill what is your decision making grid? Bill answered, “What would a great leader do?”
This question provides instant clarity. You’re able to see beyond your circumstances. You typically make your decisions within a small context and there are no neutral decision-making environments.
This question will lift you above the fog and the mist.
If you made a decision a great leader would make, how would that make you feel? You more than likely will feel compelled to push past the fear.
Another thing asking What would a great leader do? It pushes past personal ambition. It will unmask you as a leader.
The question also creates tension that deserves our attention.
When you think about the things you hate to do when issues come up, conflicts, etc… And you step back and think, “What would a great leader do?” It gives you the courage to do the right thing. Not the thing you want to do.
The last thing this question will do is to inspire you to reach beyond the limits of personality and style.
When you ask the question, “What would great leaders do?” then you say “Heavenly Father, I’ve got to step up in this particular situation. Even if it’s outside my comfort zone or what I like to do.
The best way to become a great leader is to do what a great leader would do. Though it’s terrifying because once you know what a great leader would do, you have the responsibility to do what a great leader would do.