Good leaders ask great questions that inspire others to dream more, think more, learn more, do more, and become more.

–John Maxwell

I’ve been slowly reading John Maxwell’s book Good Leaders Ask Great Questions. I say slowly reading because I want this one to stick with me, and I’ve learned that if I speed through a book or article, less sticks with me over time.

John lists 10 questions that he asks his team consistently, and I share 5 of them with you below – I think they are worth thinking through for our teams and organizations.

  1. What do you think?
    This is the question that reflects a leader’s desire to gather information, confirm their own intuition, assess a team member’s judgment or leadership – the question that a leader can use to teach others how they think.

    If a leader only gives commands, only listens to their own voice, then they will find themselves surrounded by order-takers, not leaders. Asking this question is a great way to help leaders develop.
  2. How can I serve you?
    This reflects a leader’s desire to make sure those they lead have everything they need to do what they’ve been asked to do. It also reflects a servant leader’s heart.

    This is a great question to prevent a leader being the “bottleneck” for their team.
  3. What do I need to communicate?
    Success in communication comes from knowing the context and speaking into that more than just distributing content.

    Leaders might think they know what needs to be communicated. Often they do. But asking this question not only communicates a spirit of humility and teachability – it also opens the door to information they might not have.
  4. Did we exceed expectations?
    Meeting them is not enough – leaders want to consistency exceed expectations.

    Excellence honors God and inspires people. Mediocrity does neither. What are we aiming for as we lead?
  5. What did you learn?
    This is the question I will often use to assess whether evaluation is happening. Experience doesn’t make you better – evaluated experience does.

    This is great coupled with “how do we make it better next time?”

What are the questions you consistently ask those you lead? What would THEY say are the questions you ask often?

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