Answer these 4 questions to become a better leader
The fourth question will tell you the difference between a good and great leader.
For two decades, Dr. Peter Fuda has been a Sherpa to leaders, teams and organizations across the globe as a consultant, coach, author, researcher, speaker and professor of management. He has coached more than 200 CEOs to measurably higher levels of performance and his consulting firm has enabled some 50 cases of business transformation at a success rate above 90%. Find out more about Peter's ground-breaking digital platform at www.enixa.co.
PETER FUDA: As a leader of any team or organization there are four questions that you really need to be able to answer in order to help your people achieve what's possible. The mediocre leaders will be able to answer two questions: where are we headed and what are we going to do to get there? Essentially they are able to articulate the vision question where are we headed and the strategy question what are our priorities, what are we going to do, what are we not going to do.
The good leaders will answer a third question. They will answer the how question. How are we going to be on this journey? Is it okay to achieve our objectives by any means necessary, Enron-style, or are we going to have some values and standards of behavior? Are we going to try and represent a particular kind of culture as we pursue these aspirations.
But the really great leaders answer a fourth question. They answer the question why. Why do we exist above and beyond making money? What is the unique contribution that we are here to make? Who would miss us if we were gone? So they answer the question of purpose for themselves, for their team and for their organization. And after 25 years of this work and five years of doctoral research one thing I can tell you with absolute certainty the why is the most important part of how we achieve anything. If we don't have a big why we won't get it done. In a world where we are competing for time, attention, resources, where you have a thousand inputs on any give day, busy people in our own world – if we don't have a big why we won't get it done and I'll give you a really simple analogy for it.
Let's imagine we have two 25-year-old women. Let's call them Mary and Joanna. Let's say they've both been smoking for five years and they decide their New Year's resolution is they're going to give up smoking once and for all. And our job is to figure out which one of them is more likely to achieve her goal. So the first thing we do typically is we go to Mary and we ask the really dumb question we ask in business which is Mary, what's your strategy. And Mary says I'm going to get a nicotine patch, chew nicotine gum, tear up my cigarettes and get a buddy. That's a pretty good strategy. And so then we go over to Joanna and we say Joanna, what's your strategy. And she says exactly the same thing – nicotine patch, nicotine gum, tear up my cigarettes and get a buddy. We're none the wiser and that's because we haven't asked the important question yet.
The important question is why and why now. It's not like you didn't know it wasn't healthy. And so we ask Mary why? Why now? And she says well, those ads on TV with the nicotine coming out of the artery, the tar coming out of the artery, it's disgusting. It's time to get fit and healthy. This is the year I'm going to do it. And we think I'm not sure that she's got the right, enough of a motive to get it done. Then we go over to Joanna and we ask Joanna do you want to give up smoking and why now. And she says I'll let you in on a little secret. I just found out I'm six weeks pregnant. Instantly we know that Joanna will give up smoking. Statistically that's true. The only difference – they have exactly the same what, they have a very different why. And that why is what carries us through particularly when we are being pulled in multiple directions.
- The difference between mediocre, good, and great leaders lies in how they answer a few key questions regarding vision, intent, plans of action.
- According to executive coach Peter Fuda, great leaders are not only able to answer the where, what, and how of a business plan, but they can also articulate why the business should exist beyond capitalistic goals.
- All other things being equal, it's the motive that ultimately determines success or failure.
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New study of gamma rays and gravitational lensing points to the possible presence of dark matter.
- Analyzing data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, researchers find hints of dark matter.
- The scientists looked to spot a correlation between gravitational lensing and gamma rays.
- Future release of data can pinpoint whether the dark matter is really responsible for observed effects.
An inside look at common relationship problems that link to how we were raised.
- Fear of abandonment or other attachment issues can stem from childhood loss (the death of a parent) but can also stem from mistreatment or emotional neglect as a child.
- Longitudinal studies have proven that a child's inability to maintain healthy relationships may be significantly impaired by having an insecure attachment to a primary caregiver during their early development.
- While these are common relationship problems that may be rooted in childhood experiences, as adults, we can break the cycle.
Tech is rising and America's middle class is vanishing. Here's what to do.
- The rise of new technologies is making the United States more economically unequal, says Professor Ramesh Srinivasan. Americans should be pushing the current presidential candidates hard for answers on how they will bring economic security and how they will ensure that technological transitions benefit all of us.
- "We are at an inflection point when it comes to top-down control over very many different aspects of our lives through privatized corporate power over technology," says Srinivasan. Now is the time to debate solutions like basic income and worker-owned cooperatives.
- Concurrently, individuals should develop digital literacy and get educated on the potential solutions. Srinivasan recommends taking free online and open courses from universities like Stanford and MIT, and reading books and quality journalism on these issues.