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I recently stumbled upon Michael Hyatt’s podcast from May 28 where he says, “If you are going to be a successful leader, you have to get better at asking good questions.” It’s “even more important than having the right answers.”
Exercising healthy skepticism, I did an internet search on “questions more important than answers” and received dozens of supporting articles, blogs, and quotes. I did another search on “answers more important than questions” and got plenty of results but nothing – that is zero – to support this notion.
Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, avidly supports asking questions as well. He said, “We run this company on questions, not answers.”
Schmidt, like Hyatt and others, realize that if you keep asking better questions you keep finding better answers.
And that’s the key – asking better questions. Tim Brown, CEO of Ideo, says, “The big trick to being successful is always making sure you’re asking the right questions and focusing on the right problems. If you’re focusing on the wrong questions, you’re not really providing the leadership you should.”
Next time you find yourself gathering to brainstorm solutions to a problem, begin by taking time to first brainstorm questions. Often how you frame the question makes all the difference. As Tim Brown says,
“If you don’t ask the right questions, then you’re never going to get the right solution.”