What Would a Great Leader Do?

Great leaders ask questions. They are always seeking to learn and grow from others.

In his recent leadership podcast, Andy Stanley looks at the power and influence questions can accomplish. This short talk has stayed with me for days. It is extremely profound, yet refreshingly simple.

Asking questions of ourselves and others do three things for us:

  1. They reveal values.
  2. They reinforce values.
  3. They reinforce behaviors.

But perhaps the greatest questions great leaders ask is the ones they ask of themselves.

Andy shares the story of something Bill Hybels shared with him about decision-making. Hybels when faced with a decision, will ask himself a profound thing.

“What would a Great Leader Do?”

Roads Academy Masterclass, Warwick University, November 2010.

This question accomplishes four things:

  1. This raises the standard of our leadership above the circumstances and emotion of the issue we face. We can make sound decisions rather than those which cater towards the loudest and most immediate need.

  2. This question reveals motive. This helps us consider the good of the whole rather than our own good.

  3. Weakness is revealed in this. If you are a conflict-avoider, you will see what is lacking in your leadership when asking this question. Seeing weakness is the first step to growth.

  4. Will inspire us to reach beyond our personality and style. This helps us step out of what is comfortable or our default response.

Andy says, “None of us consider ourselves great leaders. None of us are confident that we would always do what great leaders do. But we owe it to ourselves to pause and ask this question, causing us to consider if we are willing to do what needs to be done.”

If we start doing what we think great leaders would, we put ourselves on the path to growing into a great leader ourselves.

This is not seeking perfection, but challenging us to consider what action would be exceptional. If we improve and change, just 10% of the time, we are on the path to growing in our leadership.

This concept portrays gracious leadership in several ways.

  • It keeps us teachable and hungry.
  • Allows us to admit weakness and seek God for the strength to change.
  • This gives us the freedom to be a leader who is growing, not feeling the need to have it all together.

Andy concludes by sharing examples of application which hit every area of our lives.

Ask yourself:

What would a great spouse do?

What would a great parent do?

How could I be an exceptional team member today?

How would a great Christian respond to this situation in the local church?

This question has powerful implications in all areas of life.

To listen to this podcast, CLICK HERE. Think on this simple, yet profound truth.

What would a Great Leader Do?


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