Questioning your answers

Ask yourself the right strategic questions for your business.

As a CEO, sometimes I think I need to have all of the answers. But I’ve also learned (partly through the advice of my fellow Vistage members) that sometimes having the right questions can be even more impactful. Within my Vistage peer group, we often ask questions that fuel discussion and debate, and ultimately lead us to the real challenge, and thus, a meaningful course of action. Our Chairs facilitators even say that they are here to “question the answers.”

I recently had the opportunity to present for the Executive Next Practices Forum. I asked them to take a few moments to discuss these questions:

  1. What was a recent challenge you have faced?
  2. How did you get through it?
  3. What is the one lesson you would pass on from that experience?

These three simple questions then lead to a healthy discussion, enabling the C-levels and key executives to open up and really listen – without judgment. It was peer advantage in action, on a smaller scale.

These are the kind of interactions I look forward to seeing as I start to talk about my new book with Leo Bottary, “The Power of Peers.

By the way—what if you just took these questions and brought them to a group of your peers? What if you shared in this experience?

Category : Leadership

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About the Author: Leon Shapiro

Leon was named CEO of Vistage effective March 31, 2013. He is also a Director at The Advisory Board Company (NASDAQ: ABCO) and eTouches Inc. Between 2007 and 2011, Leon served as Senior Vice President, Strategy and Operations, at Warner Musi…

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