The Questions Great Leaders Ask Themselves… And Anyone Else For That Matter

 

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams

Am I investing in myself?

This is a personal growth question. Lifelong learners have a common set of characteristics:

(1) They develop a personal growth plan. (2) They possess a teachable attitude. (3) They invest in growth-oriented resources and relationships. (4) They continually leave their comfort zone. (5) They capture what they learn by applying their knowledge. (6) They reflect on what they learn and turn experience into insight. (7) They pass on what they learn to others.

  1. Am I Genuinely Interested In Others? This is a motive question. Leaders see before others see, and they see more than others see….. Self-centered leaders manipulate when they move people for personal benefit. Mature leaders motivate by moving people for mutual benefit.
  2. Am I Doing What I Love and Loving What I Do? This is a passion question. You will never fulfill your destiny doing work you despise. You are nothing unless it comes from your heart…… To be a difference-maker, you have to bring passion, commitment, and caring to your career. Passion gives you the energy advantage over others.
  3. Am I Investing My Time with the Right People? This is a relationship question. Most people can trace their successes and failures to the relationships in their lives. Be selective about who you join with on the leadership journey. Choose companions with a commitment to personal growth, a healthy attitude, and high potential.
  4. Am I Staying in My Strength Zone? This is an effectiveness question. Effective leaders stop working on their weaknesses and diligently develop their strengths. You don’t have to be a jack of all trades. Delegation frees you to focus on what only you can offer to your organization.
  5. Am I Taking Others to a Higher Level? This is a mission question. My success is determined by the seeds I sow, not the harvest I reap…. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best: “Life’s most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?
  6. Am I Taking Care of Today? This is a success question. The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda. Are the habits in your life steering you toward success or simply frittering away your time? Be serious about making each day count.
  7. Am I Taking Time To Think? This is a leadership question. A minute of thought is greater than an hour of talk. Taking time to think allows you to live life purposefully. Don’t let life’s circumstances dictate your path or allow the expectations of others to determine your course. Author your own life by clearing your schedule for thinking.
  8. Am I Developing Leaders? This is a legacy question. “The ultimate test for a leader is not whether he or she makes smart decisions and takes decisive action, but whether he or she teaches others to be leaders and builds an organization that can sustain its success even when he or she is not around. True leaders put ego aside and strive to create successors who go beyond them.” ~ Lorin Woolfe
  9. Am I Pleasing God? This is an eternity question. In the light of history, our years are short and our days are few. Yet, our lives have greater significance than we can imagine. As the Roman general, Maximus, exhorts to his men in Gladiator, “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” Live your life honorably and with a clean conscience before God and your fellow man. Focus your effort on worthwhile causes that will outlast your time on this planet.

By Dr John Maxwell

“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.” Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

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139 Comments

  1. Hon. Thero,As a son, I have a question about trteaing/taking care of the parents. I am trying to go in the path of the relinquishing the mental bonds formed with parents (of course it is only one bond we encounter in the course of life). In order to try this I was bit away from the family and focus on analyzing myself what Buddha taught. Because of that communication with the family was stopped. However, I heard from the other people around my family, friends, relations, that my way is not good. what they say to me is that you should not do that. you should be with your parents, talk to them, look at them etc. I have a serious concern about this. Do we need to stay and make parents happy, make them comfortable all the time? if we look at the other beings in the animal kingdom, there is no such a thing of taking care of parents except humans. Can’t humans go away after they are grown, is it a sin that leaving the parents and start an independent life?I would like to get some opinion from you. I won’t be able to attend Sunday programs as I am working in far distance from Colombo, if possible could you please email me. -Another thought came in to my mind while I was listening to your sermons, if you can have somebody to translate your sermons to English langue not the books, but the audios/videos the message can be sent to the western region.Thanks in advance.

    • Great questions and not an “easy way out” with the conflict you are having within yourself and how others have responded to your beliefs and actions. How old are you and how old are your parents? I recognize in certain cultures and traditions the offspring are expected to take care of their parents when they reach a certain age. This varies from culture to culture and sometimes family to family within the same culture as to what level of “care”, when it starts and for how long it may last. Often times it is until the parent(s) passes. In the typical American culture, we tend to send our elderly “out to pasture” or in a nursing home facility away from their family. Of course this is not everyone, but generally this is the case. We often see 18 y/o as the rite of passage here, but that is shifting due to many factors with simple economics being one of the primary factors. “Kids” are living with mom and dad well into their 30’s, and I’ve had clients into their 50’s still living at home. Heck, my uncle lived with my grandmother until she passed away– she was 94 and he was in his 70’s. Now, whether these sons or daughter “take care of” their parents while still living until their 50’s and beyond would be difficult to determine. The bottom line to one of your statements is you can certainly please your parents by staying for the sake of tradition, culture, respect or other wise if that’s the case, but there isn’t a person on this planet who can MAKE another person happy. Happiness can only come from within, not without. Would your parents be disappointed? Without knowing them and the situation fully–probably based on how you’ve framed things here. But if you need to do what you need to do to make you happy at a loss to others–you will never be in control of your life and your life will always be dependent on others along with your internal resentment will rise–so in the end–no one will truly be happy. If you are a teenager or younger and you have no “major” problems at home and you just want to be on your own that becomes a bit more tricky and we would need to discuss your situation fully and in more detail.

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