Asking personal leadership questions is one of the most powerful and effective things you can do to improve your life, your leadership, and your organization.

Great self-accountability questions often stem from a difficult situation in our lives. As people, our natural tendency when dealing with a challenge of some kind is to become frustrated. That moment of frustration presents us with a tremendous opportunity to ask self-leadership questions that help us leverage challenging situations.

John Maxwell calls these “crucible moments”, and they can be powerful teachers. We can up-level our leadership and make better choices in the moment by practicing self-reflective questions before responding.

Here are 3 simple guidelines for creating your own personal leadership questions (PLQ’s):

1. Begin with “what” or “how” – Avoid “why” “when” or “who.”

The word “why” in problem-olving or selling can be helpful. But when it comes to personal reflection, the “why” word can leave you powerless and feed victim thinking. Asking yourself “what” or “how” will stimulate more productivity.

2. Contain an “I” – Avoid “they,” “them” or “we.”

“I” questions enable you to be assertive and help you take responsibility for your own actions. Using “we” instead of “I” gives you opportunity to pass the blame if something goes wrong. “I” questions also help you become aware of problematic or redundant behavior. You will take responsibility for your own thoughts when you use “I” questions.

3. Focus on action – Avoid inaction.

I make an intentional effort to prompt action in myself through personal leadership questions. Every chance I get, I find ways to remind myself to apply what I’ve learned from any given experience. A question is only as productive as what it drives you to do. It’s important that we are honest with ourselves and then focus on how to grow.

Nobody understands you better than you. But you have to be honest with yourself in order to grow.

I have 3 go-to PLQ’s that I ask myself regularly:

1. What did you love? What did you learn?

2. How is your heart? Are you loving what you are doing?

3. Where is God? Is He in the decision or the opportunity? Is He in front of me or walking alongside me?

Since I have been asking myself these questions on a regular basis, especially in challenging situations, I have seen major breakthroughs in my leadership.

Develop your own PLQ’s and practice asking them to yourself consistently. You will love the impact that it has on you and those around you!


  1. Monique Walkes on February 15, 2019 at 9:05 am

    Great article to start my Friday! I am in a very challenging space in my business. I find myself asking the very question – How can I assist? How can I mentor and add gravity to the success of the business? Most of my thoughts are How can I………….

  2. Florence Sundberg on March 20, 2019 at 10:22 am

    March 20th, 2019: I am trying to form a team, a task-force to raise awareness of Human Trafficking particularly of children. Would your leadership insights be useful in this mission. Thanks and God bless, Florence

  3. home decor canada on May 19, 2019 at 4:53 pm

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