I have been great in leadership positions. And I have been, well, not so great. I have worked with team members who did well in their positions. I have worked with some that, well, were not so great. All of these significantly impacted the team and organization. You know what I mean.
Most of the time when team members and I were not winning together, it involved putting self first, fighting for credit, having a team member in the wrong role (or should not be on the team at all), communicating poorly, lacking self-awareness and self-management, and feeling the unspoken pressure to have it all together.
I think we grow the most when we are asking questions. I have the great opportunity to work alongside Andy Stanley, who is one of those leaders that expects us to answer the same question he asks himself, “What would a great leader do?” In fact, I find myself hearing him ask more questions than offering up solutions. That is something I admire. He is a lifelong learner, which makes what he says that much wiser.
If you are interested in being a great leader with a great team, try asking questions. You might discover it leads to more relational and organizational wins.
Leaders need to answer:
1. Do I have the right people on the team?
2. Do I evaluate everything?
3. Do I listen well to others?
4. Do I celebrate each person?
Team members need to answer:
1. Am I receptive to feedback?
2. Am I bringing all my skills to the team?
3. Am I trusting my team members?
4. Am I constantly learning?
Leaders and teams need to answer together:
1. What does being great look like?
2. Where are we getting helpful feedback?
3. When do we say yes to an idea?
4. Why does being great matter?
What happens after asking these questions? Action. If you don’t put action behind the answers, then you will not get an ideal result. In fact, you might find yourself even more frustrated.
Look at Clemson University’s football team. The head coach, Dabo Swinney, has an “All In” slogan that players must embrace. When a player is “All In,” no motivation is needed because they will put in the necessary work and be self-motivated to win.
Comedian Steve Martin said, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” Your team needs to be so good that, when playing well together, nobody can ignore any of you.
Don’t think of this arrogantly but in a way that people take notice of who you are and what you do. This gives you momentum and that is something hard to describe but known when felt. Imagine discovering new ways to win coming from asking helpful questions.