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Questions That Leaders Ask

Imagine spilling your milk (or any other unplanned event). Unpleasant, right?

Questions That Leaders Ask

To move on, Crisis Leaders seek answers to two separate but complementary questions: 

WHY (insight)


WHAT (action)

WHY did it happen? Seeks insight into the disruption but does little to actually clean up the milk.

  • Why is backward facing - looks at cause, effect and origin. Why is historic and factual and may be buried deeply under a layer of denial (deep below the river of denial)

WHAT are your going to do? Identifies action items to clean up spilled milk but does little to identify the cause of the spill.

  • What is forward facing - looks at actions steps, creative solutions and collaborative opportunities

Crisis Leaders needing to recover from a disruption benefit from a balance of both insight and action.

Questions also provide great prompts for leaders to stimulate feedback from the rest of the group.  Of course the questions must be asked authentically (you gotta want the answer) and - this is important - you must actually listen to the answer.

As a leader wanting to improve the questions that they ask,  also check out these articles:

Mike McKenna

About the author

Mike McKenna is the founder and president of TEAM Solutions. He helps public and private sector leaders improve their outcomes before, during and after a planned event or unplanned crisis.

Please contact Mike via the Contact page.

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