I spend a lot of time doing accidental qualitative research with leaders. In other words, I listen while a lot of leaders talk. Over a good cup of coffee or during a coaching session, issues leak out. Every leader has them. Leadership is hard and continues to throw us challenges we feel we aren’t ready for. Leaders are forced to practice in front of others.
These ten questions have emerged from conversations with a myriad of leaders. I use them as I coach leaders and listen to friends. I utilize them to navigate my own life and leadership.
How do I wisely distribute my energy? Life is far more about energy management than time management. We are all wondering how we can invest the limited energy we have on the right things.
How do I determine priorities? Our world is too fast, too busy, too stressed. It’s easy to get overwhelmed as a leader with piles on our plates. Instead of doing more stuff, we need to evaluate what the right stuff is.
How do I create margin? In our frenetic world we don’t pause enough, rest enough, retreat enough. I’m not talking about long vacations here, I’m talking about moments with our kids, intentional times away from our phone and space for leisure.
How do I make healthy decisions? Healthy leadership is a series of healthy decisions stacked on top of each other. Every leader must think about the decisions they are making habitually and examine how to continue making healthier decisions.
How do I find my leadership voice? Every leader at every level needs to be growing. We are all looking to find and deepen our unique leadership flavor.
What outside perspective do I need? We are emotional about our own lives but not about others’ lives. This outside perspective is one of the keys to coaching. We must seek a perspective outside of our story, a neutral voice, that isn’t directly affected by the results of the situation.
Who is helping me hone my leadership? Leaders should look for guides along the way. Comments and critique will guide us, but we need to find others around us who can help us live out our God-given calling.
What are my next right steps? A long list of decisions will paralyze us. We are taught to think ahead as leaders, but often we are fourteen steps ahead when we just need to be thinking about the next right step.
What questions must I be asking right now? Questions shape us. They also guide us through seasons of our lives. When we enter new complexities of new seasons we must seek out and answer new questions.
What tools can help me lead myself and others? Tools help us to do good work repeatedly. We need tools, or aids, to help us in the repetition of becoming the healthiest, most impactful leaders we can be. A few tools can get a lot of mileage transforming ourselves and our teams.