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Saturday, October 03, 2009

20 Questions to Ask Other Leaders

As a leader, how do you become a better leader? One of the best ways to grow is to ask other leaders questions. Here are some of the questions you might ask:

1.Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe some one who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?
2.What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of your organisation?

3.As an organisation gets larger there can be a tendency for the “institution” to dampen the “inspiration.” How do you keep this from happening?

4.How do you encourage creative thinking within your organisation?

5.Where do the great ideas come from in your organisation?

6.Which is most important to your organisation—mission, core values or vision?

7.How do you or other leaders in your organisation communicate the “core values”?

8.How do you encourage others in your organisation to communicate the “core values”?

9.Do you set aside specific times to cast vision to your employees and other leaders?

10.How do you ensure the your organisation and its activities are aligned with your “core values”?

11.How do you help a new employee understand the culture of your organisation?

12.When faced with two equally-qualified candidates, how do you determine whom to hire?

13.What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

14.What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?

15.What is one mistake you witness leaders making more frequently than others?

16.What is the one behaviour or trait that you have seen derail more leaders’ careers?

17.Can you explain the impact, if any, that social networking and Web 2.0 has made on your organisation or you personally?

18.What are a few resources you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a better leader?

19.What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

20.What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?

What Wayne Gretzky Can Teach Us About Leadership

One of the challenges of leading in a tough economy is staying focused on the things that matter. And what matters right now is how you chart the course ahead. Leadership, by definition, is about choosing the right goals and motivating others to pursue them as effectively as possible.

Canadian ice hockey great Wayne Gretzky defined a great hockey player as a person who knows to skate where the puck is going to be. That can define great leadership as well. That ability to "see" where things are going is important. And in business, unlike in sports, you have the additional advantage of being able to DECIDE where things are going.

The power of goals to influence behaviour has been proven so many times in so many ways. The key take-away is that as you look ahead at the final quarter of 2009, it is more important to create challenging and exciting goals that your staff can rally around than it is to lament what has already happened. Move from the past into the future. Go to where the puck is going to be. It's about you being opportunistic about the future.  Leadership has many burdens. It has many joys as well.