As a leader, I have learned that while experience is beneficial, only evaluated experience creates positive change.
I am a natural risk taker and eternal optimist. In many ways, these tendencies serve me well. However, they can also cause me to forget to stop, reflect, and make necessary improvements.
As I was reading the book, Good Leaders Ask Great Questions I have realized that there are seven questions every leader should ask themselves when reflecting.
I want to share these seven questions with you. Maybe you can use them all or maybe you can add some of your own, but the most important point is that you begin to ask questions to position yourself as a stronger leader.
1) Are you investing in yourself?
In 2003, I heard an old bald guy with a weird voice tell me, “Work hard on your job, make a living; Work hard on yourself, make a fortune.” That life changing advice was from the late great Jim Rohn.
Personal development isn’t a fad or something you should think about when you have time. Your personal and professional growth will be the difference in you reaching your potential to wondering why you didn’t accomplish more.
How are you investing in your personal growth and development?
2) Are You Genuinely Interested in Others?
What are your true motives? I have learned that when I focus on chasing dollars I become frustrated and exhausted, but when I focus on serving others, the dollars seem to begin to follow me.
To serve is to lead. How are your serving others?
3) Are You Grounded?
In 6th grade I thought I was pretty good at basketball. I lived in a small town and I was the best player in my grade. Then I played in a tournament in a larger city. As I went up to shoot a three-point shot, a 7th grader jumped up out of nowhere, blocked my shot, and then dribbled to the other end of the floor and dunked it! With my eyes open wide, I realized very quickly that there were many bigger, faster, and better basketball players than me.
It was a lesson in humility.
The same is true in business. There will always be a person or business that is bigger, faster, and stronger than you. Just when you feel you have the tiger by its tail another one comes out of nowhere to bite you.
Rick Warren says, “Humility is not denying your strengths. Humility is being honest about your weaknesses.”
While you should leverage and be proud of your strengths, you must also be aware and humble of your weaknesses.
Are you staying grounded?
4) Are You Adding Value to Your Team?
This is one of my favorite questions. Your team could be team members, company partners, prospect, or clients. They key phrase I challenge myself everyday is, “Who can I add value to today?” At the end of the day, I like to ask, “Who did I add value to today?”
As Zig Ziglar said, “If you help enough people get what they want, you can have everything you want.”
Who are you adding value to today?
5) Are You Staying in Your Strength Zone?
A few months ago I spent almost the entire day working on formatting a landing page for a new program I was offering. For about 8 hours I tried and toiled to do something that I wasn’t very good at. Bad choice. I could have had someone help me for a low or little cost and focused my time on the content and delivery (where I am most effective.)
Where are you spending your time? Are you focused on the activities that offer you the greatest return and reward?
6) Are You Taking Care of Today?
Have you have ever been so focused on what happened yesterday or what will happen tomorrow that you lose sight of the day right in front of you? I know I sure have. That’s why this question is so valuable.
John Wooded famously said, “Make today your masterpiece.”
How are you taking care of today?
7) Are You Investing Your Time With the Right People?
Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said, “You will be the same person in five years expect for the books you read and the people you meet.”
Who are you spending the majority of your time with? Are you investing time with people who inspire you, make you think, and raise your level of effectiveness? This includes the content you put into your mind as well. What are you listening to, negative news or successful thinkers?
As the famous saying goes, “Garbage in, garbage out.”
Who are you investing you time with?
The Bottom Line
These are just a few of the questions that every leader should ask themselves. I challenge you to answer them or come up with your own that help you maximize your potential as a leader.
As a leadership coach and group trainer/facilitator, I challenge clients to dig deeper and ask the right questions to help them overcome challenges standing in their way. Set up your 20 minute discovery session to learn more.