5 Questions Every Leader Should Ask Themselves

In his book Leadershift, leadership expert Dr. John Maxwell wrote, “You cannot be the same, think the same, and act the same if you hope to be successful in a world that does not remain the same.”

Leadershift was released on February 5, 2019, and offered to outline “the 11 essential changes every leader must embrace.”

 Few could have known just how appropriate this book was for our day and age until one year later. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic – and drastic change began coming at us faster than it had in many of our lifetimes.

 Over the following months we had to adjust almost everything about our lives. Many of us held onto the idea that this was temporary, that things would go back to normal. Many of us are still holding onto that idea.

 But then came the war, and the recession. These global events have had irreversible consequences. At what point do we stop asking, “When will things go back to normal?” and start asking, “What can I do to succeed and help others succeed in the world as I find it today?” Or better yet, “What can I do to succeed in the world as it will be tomorrow?”

 The most efficient, best producing process in the world will only ever perform that well under a certain set of circumstances. If those circumstances change, the process breaks down.

And if there’s one thing we can count on… it’s change!

In a world where change is the only guarantee, adaptability is the leader’s best friend. The adaptable may not have all the answers, but they are determined to find them, or make the best decision in the meantime. They are not paralyzed by change, but instead, determined to rise to its challenge.

So, how is your EQ (“elastic quotient”)? How is your relationship to the inevitable adjustments of work and life? As you go about your week, consider these questions…

How open am I to change?

Change doesn’t just come in world-altering ways. It might show up as a new company policy or project. Millions of minor changes happen every day. Pay attention to what happens to your mind when you are forced to adapt. Ask yourself, “Do I react, respond, or resist when presented with change?”

Am I becoming a better listener?

Listening is often underappreciated because it is often misunderstood. Listening is an active process masquerading as a passive process. The insights we gain when we learn to listen and retain will help us develop a healthy relationship with change. What are you doing to develop your ability to anticipate others’ needs?

When will I ask more questions?

John Maxwell has written many, many books, in addition to Leadershift. One of them is called Good Leaders Ask Great Questions. Leaders use well-thought-out questions to initiate beneficial change so it doesn’t have to become forced change. Are you becoming more probative? Are you pursuing the right kind of insights?

Can I become comfortable with ambiguity?

Historically, people have resisted change because it forces us to confront the only universal fear: the unknown. Change makes what is certain, uncertain. Many live their lives stagnant and frustrated because they would rather live with an unpleasant familiarity than any unfamiliarity. How can you develop your relationship with “not knowing?”

Do I rely on my intuition enough? 

Wherever you are, you are there for a reason. You have garnered enough influence to lead at that level, and you have adapted enough to find yourself there. When change arrives at your doorstep, what have you learned so far that can help you navigate it to success?

That’s all for now,


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