Best Ever Question for Leaders

We all get very busy every day, focusing on problems to be solved, people to talk to and tasks to be completed. In 90% of the time, we live like machines, reacting to inputs we receive or slaves of the moment.

Our mind, however, is destined to achieve so much more. You must have read studies on how much of the brain capacity we use and sure there are some myths around that. However, we can all agree there is much more in the reserves in there, should we decide to use it?

For that the best ever question is: “Why?” … This can be a stimulating question to ask in any situation. Breaks you away from the moment and the complexity of situations, and focuses you on a forward-looking state. It feels like a switch to the brain…. “Time to work!”.

This is an excellent tool to formalize strategies, create motivation, solve complex problems and a lot of others.

I am posting this on a Wednesday, so if you have gone through your manic Monday, when everyone seems to have downloaded all the great ideas they had over the weekend, every person who wanted to follow up on something had sent the emails to you. And the Tuesday, when you took care of all what came about on Monday…. It is time to set aside a bit of time and work on the “Why?” a bit. I find it most efficient to set aside time to work on a project, strategy anything important on Wednesday. I even had some jobs, when I took some part of Wednesday off and did not go to the office I was working on things where thinking was required. It is not to be confused with planning time when you have answered the question already, but take time aside and ask the “whys”…

So let’s walk through an example of how would this work:

You are a leader and your team needs to do a better job on whatever your team is doing. You take your Wednesday morning off, switch your email, set an out of office, turn the mobile off, or forward to someone else’s number. Get yourself a table at you favourite coffee place…. The background is all set, your mind is free, you are in a familiar but not an office environment, so your brain is being reminded that something unusual and great will be taking place.

Why are we not doing a good job? And list out the things that come to your mind in the next minute… Do not spend too much time, your brain will be more or less coming up with the important stuff in the first 30 seconds, the minute is only required for your hand to catch up with the writing

Then, ask the question Why again on the items on the list. This way you will build a logical chain. After you finished the thinking I would encourage you to come up with a document, preferably one page to summarize your thinking. This will be required to explain what you have come up with to the key members of your team and continue the thinking together. The document has to be clear enough to be printed and put in front of anyone and without you saying a word the other person should understand the message.

Once you have the one-pager, you can reward yourself with another coffee, cake or whatever you like, pack your things and go back to work. Although Wednesday is the lowest point of the week, you have just built a piece of strategy and could proudly be the leader you deserve to be.

If you wish to post your ideas in comments, we are happy to help you with any questions you might have!

Enjoy the Ride and Deliver Results!


Author: Gabor Gleisz

Internationally experienced manager with a passion for coaching people how to bring the best out of themselves.

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