The February 2009 issue of the Leadership Wired Newsletter from John Maxwell, had an great article “Questions I Ask Myself” that focuses on the following questions that leaders should be asking themselves:
- Am I investing in myself? This is a personal growth question.
- Am I Genuinely Interested In Others? This is a motive question.
- Am I Doing What I Love and Loving What I Do? – This is a passion question. You will never fulfil your destiny doing work you despise. You are nothing unless it comes from your heart.
- Am I Investing My Time with the Right People? – This is a relationship question. Most people can trace their successes and failures to the relationships in their lives. Be selective about who you join with on the leadership journey. Choose companions with a commitment to personal growth, a healthy attitude, and high potential.
- Am I Staying in My Strength Zone? – This is an effectiveness question. Effective leaders stop working on their weaknesses and diligently develop their strengths.
- Am I Taking Others to a Higher Level? – This is a mission question. My success is determined by the seeds I sow, not the harvest I reap. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best: “Life’s most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?”
- Am I Taking Care of Today? – This is a success question. The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda. Are the habits in your life steering your toward success or simply frittering away your time? Be serious about making each day count.
- Am I Taking Time To Think? – This is a leadership question. A minute of thought is greater than an hour of talk. Author your own life by clearing your schedule for thinking.
- Am I Developing Leaders? – This is a legacy question. “The ultimate test for a leader is not whether he or she makes smart decisions and takes decisive action, but whether he or she teaches others to be leaders and builds an organization that can sustain its success even when he or she is not around. True leaders put ego aside and strive to create successors who go beyond them.” ~ Lorin Woolfe
- Am I Pleasing God? – This is an eternity question. As the Roman general, Maximus, exhorts his men in Gladiator, “What we do in life echoes in eternity.”
I would add ten other questions that Leadership also ask themselves.
1) How am I? This is a health question. We as leaders are so quick to focus on everyone else that we forget us. We need to have an honest appraisal of how we are going.
2) How is my marriage? This is a key relationship question. If you lose your marriage you lose your ministry: Not that that is the motivation for this question just putting it into a leadership context. Your marriage should always be your first priority.
3) How could I parent better? This is a parent challenge question.
4) When was the last time I lost my temper? This is a self control question. Losing your temper is a litmus paper test for the state of your emotional health.
5) Are there any addictions in my life? This is the first “who is in control question”. Addictions by very definition mean that you aren’t in control and also therefore God is not in control.
6) Is my ego the director of my life? This is the second “who is in control question.” Leadership makes you the centre of attention to those you lead. When you enjoy being the centre of attention….that is a problem.
7) When was the last time I had fun? This is the ‘is it time to lighten up question”. God designed life to be fun. He made us to see beauty, laugh, be excited, smile, enjoy….so when was the last time you had fun…..In the words of the Joker…why so serious?
8) When was the last time I personally led someone the Christ? This is the time to get serious question. We want the people we lead to lead people to faith….so let’s lead by example.
9) How good do I manage money? This is the personal management question.
10) What was the last book that I read and how long ago was that? This is the personal development question. Leaders who don’t read are illiterate by choice. Don’t do that.
Questions are exceptionally powerful. Self questions are an important part of self examination.
Here are some other blogs of mine on questions:
- 39 Powerful Thought Provoking and Inspiring Questions.
- Some Great Questions to Use as Conversation Starters.
- Six Questions You Should Never Ever Ever Ask. Ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (In fact you shouldn’t even read this blog).
Ps Peter Pilt
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