This list of “Executive Prioritizers” is provided at the end of the first chapter of Bobb Biehls book, Leading With Confidence. The chapter is called “Asking Questions”. It’s given me a better understanding on how I question myself and the things or people around me.
In the opening paragraph of the chapter, the author tells us that questions are essential to gaining knowledge, and I agree. The thing that it didn’t address, was how sometimes people are afraid to ask questions. The fear of looking stupid, or getting condescending remarks are serious learning barriers for people. Whenever someones asks a question and we don’t successfully answer it, we limit their ability to learn in that moment’s notice. If they ask the question and they were scolded, chances are that they won’t ask it again, to anyone.
In that same sense, you should never limit your own ability to learn by never asking questions. Overcoming that fear alone, will allow you to seek freely and expand on your understanding of different topics and fields. Whenever you’re in a classroom setting you’re, almost always told to raise your hand when you have a question. This should be your ticket to soaking up as much knowledge from that person as possible.
Here are some questions that you can start asking yourself and the people around you to gain a better understanding of life in general.
When things start seeming foggy and overwhelming:
- If I could do only three things this year, what would they be?
- Of those three things, which should be done first? next?
- Fifty years from now, when looking back in time, what will I see as this year’s most significant accomplishment?
- (For each concern on your mind:) Is finding a solution to this problem a level-one, level-two, or level-three priority?
When you’re prioritizing spending decisions:
- If we had to reduce our budget by 50 percent, what would we cut?
When you’re deciding what data to seek or keep:
- To do what we have to do, what do we have to know?
When you’re targeting problems:
- What are the two or three “land mines” in this situation that could explode and “kill” this project or program?
- What are the three most frequent miscommunications about our work?
- What problems are you struggling with for which you would happily pay 10 percent of your income to find a guaranteed solution?
When meeting someone who may be a key to your future success:
- Where do you see yourself five years from now?
- What are the biggest obstacles you face in reaching your goals?
When you meet a friend you haven’t seen in a while (to get past the mall talk):
- What’s the most meaningful thing that has happened to you since we last met?
If you have any questions or are seeking any kind of advice, feel free to ask me below: it’s completely anonymous. I’ll do my very best to answer to the best of my abilities.