Questions New CEOs Should Ask

  1. What are the greatest opportunities we haven’t yet capitalized on? 
  2. What are the greatest threats that could end this storied franchise if not addressed? 
  3. What is the one thing I could do to screw it up?
  4. What do you hope will change? 
  5. What should not change? 
  6. What aren’t people telling me that I need to know? 
  7. What am I not hearing that I should be hearing?

5 Questions Leaders Should Be Asking All the Time

I believe there are some essential questions that are useful across a variety of contexts, including, and perhaps especially, the workplace. In fact, I gave a commencement speech last year on this topic, suggesting to students from the Harvard Graduate School of Education that there are really only five essential questions in life. Although the audience was future educators, I believe these questions are equally … [ Read more ]

Strengths-Based Questions

If you’re involved in activities that you’re already naturally inclined to do well, your attitude toward work is different and you contribute more to your workplace compared with someone who may have similar skills but less natural ability. Doing what you do best is essential to being a star performer at work. As an employee, you should ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I know what I

[ Read more ]

Collaboration Assessment Questions

As organizations consider candidates for collaborative leadership roles, they should ask the following six questions:

  1. Can this leader achieve results by influencing rather than directing?
  2. Can this leader share ownership, even if it means sharing credit and rewards?
  3. Can this leader delegate and let others deliver results?
  4. Has this leader demonstrated the ability to motivate groups of diverse individuals who may not share her viewpoints or perspectives?
  5. Has this leader

[ Read more ]

15 Great Leadership Questions

  1. What can I do to make you more effective?
  2. What’s keeping you from falling asleep at night?
  3. What one thing should I do more? (or one thing I should do less?)
  4. What roadblocks are holding you back? (or preventing your projects from moving ahead?)
  5. What’s the most important issue

[ Read more ]

The Leadership Report Card

Here are some needs and expectations one might have of a supervisor. Use the two columns below to say (a) how important each particular need is to you, and (b) how well the supervisor named below meets that particular need or expectation.

Score on a 0-5 scale, where a 0 means that the need is not important to you at all, and a … [ Read more ]

Spotting Speed Leaders

So, do you have what it takes to be a speed leader? Does the candidate whose resume you’re holding have what it takes? Unfortunately, identifying such leaders is not an exact science, but here are a few things to look for:

Do you Thrive in Messiness?

  • Do you have an insatiable curiosity?
  • Do you love to experiment (in food, reading material, entertainment, travel)?
  • Do you

[ Read more ]

Coaching Questions

  • What does great performance look like to your customers?
  • What do you want to achieve in the next two or three years?
  • How will you measure your performance?
  • What must you learn in order to reach your goals?
  • What work experience do you need to help you learn what you need to achieve your goals?

Coaching Self Directed Action for Great[ Read more ]

Service Leadership Questions

  • What are the few keys to success in your unit or business?
  • What is your advantage in the marketplace?
  • What would great performance for your unit, your business, and yourself in the coming year look like?
  • What current or future developments will change the way you do business?
  • What developments are impacting your unit’s activities and the company’s?
  • What do you see coming in

[ Read more ]

FACET Leadership Questions

  • How Focused am I? How much of my time do I spend communicating and inspiring people about our mission, vision and strategic goals? How much focus do I create in my organization? How married am I/my organization to methods that have outlived their usefulness?
  • Am I viewed as Authentic? Do people see and hear the real me? Do I wear a mask at work,

[ Read more ]

Evaluating a Candidate’s Leadership Abilities

In advice to boards about hiring CEOs, Warren Bennis and James O’Toole recommend that a board should interview a candidate’s superiors, peers and direct reports with questions that will drive to the heart of the candidate. Here is a list of questions they recommend. How would your colleagues answer these questions about YOU?

  • Does the candidate lead consistently in a way that inspires

[ Read more ]

Authentic Leadership Questions

  1. Which people and experiences in your early life had the greatest impact on you?
  2. What tools do you use to become self-aware? What is your authentic self? What are the moments when you say to yourself, this is the real me?
  3. What are your most deeply held values? Where did they come from? Have your values changed significantly since your childhood? How do your values inform your

[ Read more ]

7 Leadership Demands

Gallup has been researching top-performing leaders for more than 40 years. One crucial discovery has been that top performance is strongly correlated to seven main leadership activities or “demands.”

  1. Visioning
    The best leaders talk often about the future and how it will be better than the present. Their forward-looking approach engages and excites their audience and elicits commitment.
    • Can you articulate the long-term direction

[ Read more ]

Discovering How Your Future Leaders Think

Gallup has been researching top-performing leaders for more than 40 years. One crucial discovery has been that top performance is strongly correlated to seven main leadership activities or “demands.” Those demands are: visioning, maximizing values, challenging experience, mentoring, building a constituency, making sense of experience, and knowing self.

Focusing each leader’s growth on the seven demands can accelerate leadership development. This artcle outlines the seven … [ Read more ]