I wrote my new book, Good Leaders Ask Great Questions because I believe that questions are the key to opening many doors in our lives. In addition to teaching about why and how to ask questions, I devoted a large part of the book to a kind of Q and A session between me and many of you.
The questions that I address came from readers of this blog and my social media posts. My team and I took the most-asked questions out of hundreds of submissions and pared them down to the best seventy. They’re on everything from “How transparent should a leader be?” to “How do you motivate an unmotivated person?”
Today’s post is on a question I receive often, usually from people who are highly successful at doing their job. They’re detailed and task-oriented, and they’re often willing to go to great lengths to get something done. But the work of leading a team to achieve a goal is challenging to them.
Here’s my answer from Good Leaders Ask Great Questions:
How Do I Change My Mindset from that of a Producer to that of a Leader?
Most of us get our first opportunity to lead because we are personally successful. We produce for the organization, and some leader in the organization wants us to help others do the same. When that happens, we need to shift our focus.
|Concentrates on tasks||Concentrates on team|
|Feels indispensable in what they do||Feels responsible for what others do|
|Possesses tunnel vision||Possesses team vision|
|Thinks, “How can I help?”||Thinks, “Who can help us?”|
|Asks, “What can I do?”||Asks, “What can we do?”|
|Produces through addition||Produces through multiplication|
Put simply, to shift from producer to leader, a person must make the mind shift from me to we.
If you’re a good producer, you probably know how you personally contribute to the vision of the organization. Ask yourself, “How does this team contribute to the vision?” and “How can every individual member contribute to the team?” Your job is to maximize the team’s effort to fulfill the vision.
You also need to work to build relationships with the people on your team. If you are naturally a task-oriented person, this may be a stretch. Get to know your team as individuals and try to connect with them. Look for ways to add value to them. Find ways to lift them up with encouragement and gratitude. You can’t really know what everyone’s best contribution is until you know everyone.
As a producer, you already know how to win. As a leader, your job is to help the entire team win. You know how to cross the finish line individually. Now find ways to rally and guide everyone on your team to cross the finish line together.
Good Leaders Ask Great Questions is available now from most retailers, as well as right here. I believe learning to ask the right questions can unlock many important doors of success and leadership.