Two Questions Most Leaders Must, But Won’t Ask

03/06/2013 — 7 Comments

question Two Questions Most Leaders Must, But Wont Ask

Not enough leaders are upfront about their shortcomings. Fear holds too many leaders captive and causes them to mask shortcomings. They lead with a facade on, thus setting themselves up for failure. Of course, there’s a platform and context for sharing some things.

Leaders that are constantly growing are leaders that allow themselves to be under the scrutiny of others. I’m not talking about opening yourself up to the entire world of critics, they’re already more than enough. I’m talking about opening themselves to the right people. Asking the right people the right questions.

Here are the two questions every leader should ask his or her team:

1. How am I doing in leading you?

2. How can I better serve or equip you to do what you’re on the team for?

The challenge is not only the questions but to whom they need to be posed. These questions must be asked to those you lead. I’m not talking about the whiners that look for every opportunity to whine about everything.

I mean asking those that are not afraid to disagree with you. The honest ones. That guy who respectfully will challenge you for the sake of the cause and not just for trouble’s sake.

Every leader needs to cultivate a relationship with those he leads for honest and respectful feedback. Don’t be a bully. Neither be a ‘softie’ at the cost of your vision.

Can you ask any of them those questions? If not, why not? Could it be indicative of dysfunctions in your team? Or are you afraid you might be doing a bad job as their leader?

There’s no leader who doesn’t wrestle with insecurity. Who doesn’t wonder if he’s making the right calls…

These questions are only for leaders that are serious about leading well. They’re only to be asked without defense. Pull down the guards and dare to tell your team you want to be a better leader. Make them aware of the reasons:

1. So that you can, in turn, help them bring out the best in them

2. To make the vision happen, thus serve those your enterprise exists to serve.

Every time I’ve let my guard down, asked the questions, listened to the responses without defending my teams’ concerns, I’ve grown close with them. Not only that mutual respect grows for each other.

Our team got tighter and, in turn, those I serve as leader were not threatened or felt attacked when I addressed areas they could grow in.

Be creative in how you ask the questions about your leadership. Asking those you lead is one of the quickest and easiest ways to evaluate yourself as a leader.

[image by Bilal Kamoon | cc

Blessing Mpofu

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