John Maxwell on Leadership

The Answer Is Not What You Might Think


You’ve come up against it again: that obstacle to your success or your growth as a leader that you just can’t seem to get over, under, around, or through. You’ve tried everything you know, but there it still looms, mocking you. You’re frustrated and beginning to feel hopeless that you’ll ever overcome this issue, and you don’t know where to turn next.

I’ve been there. I think all of us have. Early in my career when I was confronted with a barrier to my goals, self-reliance was my guide. I worked harder. I put in longer hours. I focused more. Back then, I believed that I had to be the “Answer Man,” that I had to know how to meet the challenge on my own, plus provide answers to the questions of others. And I was afraid to turn to anyone else, because I thought it would make me look inexperienced and reflect poorly on me as a leader.

Maybe you can relate to that belief, and you think you need to have all the answers. Would you be surprised if I told you that there’s another, better way? Ask more questions.

My life and my leadership changed when I started asking questions. I asked questions of peers. I made appointments to ask questions of people ahead of me on the journey. I looked for answers within my team. And even learned to ask questions of myself.

“That’s it?” you may be asking: “Questions?”

Yes. Trust me, there is an art to knowing what questions to ask, how to ask them, and of whom to ask them.  And you can learn that art. More importantly, I can teach you how to ask the right questions.

If you too easily dismiss the idea of asking great questions, then you may be like I was: the very person who needs to learn about this. Ask the right questions, and you will find a way to overcome that seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

I believe that questions are really the key to growth and personal breakthroughs. Questions empower you to be proactive and focused on the front end. And the answers you receive on the back end help you to achieve more.

In my next post, I’ll share how using questions will transform your life. In the meantime, like us on Facebook, share this post with friends, and leave a comment about how asking questions could impact your life. We’ll be reading your comments and responding to as many as we can. 

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