3 Questions to Help You Become a Better Leader (part 1)

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Well, here we go. If you haven’t read the intro to the 3 Questions, click here to do that before reading on. Once you’ve done that, read on.

The 3 Questions are all based around a single starting point: When you walk into a room, ask yourself these 3 questions.

As I mentioned last week, the first two questions really have very little to do with actual hands on, forward moving leadership and immensely more to do with service. Every leader, though, has to start somewhere, so we first lay the foundation for strong servant leadership.

1. What Needs to be Done? (Awareness)

The first question I want to ask when I walk into a room is “what needs to be done.” Before I move or even attempt to serve, I want to look for simple and complex tasks that need to be done. I want to sharpen my awareness before I do anything else.

For the sake of clarity, some exploration of the grander idea needs to take place. Walking into a room is not the steadfast starting point. Sometimes, the first question is asked when coaching a sports team, while sitting in a meeting, at a computer, or even at home. The first question does not have to happen upon an entrance, but it is a mindset.

I am not trying to establish a critical spirit or mindset, but instead trying to look for ways to help. The goal of the first question simply becomes creating an awareness of how things work and what needs to be done.

We cannot, however, move forward until we are able to determine what needs to happen.

2. What Can i do? (Willingness)

The second question moves from a simple assessment into the realm of personal evaluation. After walking into a room and asking what needs to be done, the next question to ask is “What can I do to help?”

The journey to leadership involves self-awareness and a willingness to meet a need. We all know people who excel at pointing out faults or weaknesses in our personal lives or in the organizations we serve and lead. How many times would a conversation move away from criticism if it included the statement: “what can I do to help?”

The second question may be the most important in terms of establishing a relationship. If we are unwilling to put forth effort, how can we expect to see results?

Think about it like this: we cannot accomplish anything without a willingness to do something.

If we want to see results from our leadership, we need to understand the importance of being willing to step in and meet the need. We may not always be an expert in the area, but sticking our head in the sand will not help us make a difference in the lives of those around us.

Sound simple enough?  As I have explored the second question, and even taught it to others, I have realized some people do these things naturally, while others do not. Some people intrinsically look for ways to help.

So, once again, before moving forward, ask yourself honestly if you’re wired to answer the first two questions, or if it is an area in which you need to grow.

Please don’t think I have all of this figured out, because I don’t. But, we have to start somewhere. So why not start by asking what needs to be done and what can I do to help?

Check back on Wednesday where I will post about the third question and a few things I’ve been wrestling with over the past few months specifically.

 

Click here to read Part 2.

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