By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to increase your creativity and imagination. Reading time: 2:54
Leaders answer questions. Better leaders question answers. And the best leaders I have found question questions. In fact, the best leaders are always striving to raise their YQ –their Yield Questions.
Like the farmer who seeks a greater crop yield per acre, so too the leader leverages his or her YQ to yield more meaningful ideas per thought: creative ideas that spark discovery, insightful ideas that spur innovation and productive ideas that spearhead achievement.
Questions probe new paths of self-discovery. When you question yourself, you think. When you question input, you judge. When you question output, you evaluate. When you question systemically and systematically, you improve.
Yield questions enhance leadership. In his book, Leadership Jazz, Max De Pree writes: “The quality of our work as leaders and the quality of our lives depends significantly on the questions we ask and the people about whom we ask the questions.” Warren Bennis, in his book Why Leaders Can’t Lead , writes that truth begins with questions.
Yield questions enhance teamwork. W. Edwards Deming in his book Out of the Crisis writes that teamwork requires everyone to “sharpen each other’s wits with questions.”
Ignite the Artist in Your; Flame the Poet in You
Yield questions enhance creativity. “Asking the right question is crucial for creative insight,” writes Dan Goleman in his book The Creative Spirit. Questions can either cap or tap enormous potential, depending on the flexibility of the questioner to make a connection to something new rather than pay attention to something he or she already knew.
“Asking the right questions has led scientist to cure terrible diseases; architects to design amazing buildings and social activists to achieve peace in trouble parts of the world,” writes Alan Webber in his book Rules of Thumb.
Leaders seek to unlock the unknown with Yield Questions in much the same way that Yield Questions help to reveal Mother Nature’s awe and wonder. As Dr. Werner Heisenberg, the father of quantum physics, says: “Nature does not reveal its secrets. It only responds to a method of questioning.”
So does leadership.
With your Yield Question —your YQ — you will be able to mobilize ideas, issues and concerns with impact, insight and intensity so that they are heard, understood and acted upon with courage, conviction and confidence.
With your Yield Question— your YQ—you will light a flame of creativity, a flame that ignites the artist in you; a flame that sparks the poet in you and a flame that flares the philosopher in you.
With your Yield Question— your YQ—you will embrace a can-do, will-do spirit, energy and drive to capitalize on change.
With your Yield Question –your YQ you will lead. Without question.
Increase your YQ –your Yield Questions –to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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