I am sharing an excerpt from Michael Hyatt’s blog this week (michaelhyatt.com). The author of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Thomas Nelson), he is also the former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. I strongly suggest you check him out. I have read his book and followed his blog for some time now, and I think you will enjoy his work.
“I heard a colleague remark the other day that too many people still operate under an old leadership model. The leadership model of the 70s was command-and-control. That made sense for industrial type work or in the military. It doesn’t work well when it comes to knowledge work.
The people in the trenches are the closest to the problems and they are also closest to the solutions. In today’s world, the key to effective leaders is asking the right questions. Inquiry is your friend.”
I agree. Inquiry is at the heart of collaborative leadership. Whereas the old leadership model expected the leader to retreat from everyone to figure-out things like vision, mission and goals, today’s leaders are discovering the power of developing most of the details with their co-workers. By asking questions we can hear the passions, dreams and ideas of the people who are often closest to the problems we are all tasked to solve.
Make it a practice to include your key people in the “thinking process” that precedes every major decision (and some minor ones to get them in the habit of thinking with you). Let them be part of the process, and then use the ideas and experiences they bring with their suggestions to help form your conclusions.
All this begins with creating a culture of inquiry, which will lead your organization to operating more collaboratively and achieving more together.
Tim Wenzig M.A