Ask Questions


Leadership involves asking questions. Developing your leadership character is helped by asking good questions.

I think the first question I asked was this, ‘what am I doing?’ I still ask that question from time to time.

Here is one thing I have learned on my leadership journey: Asking the right people the right questions at the right time has the ability to help me become the right kind of leader.

Questions can help you learn.
Questions can scratch beneath the surface.
Questions are moments of genuine enquiry not just nosiness.
Questions can bring clarity.
Questions can grow you
Questions have answers that we may not always want to hear but should listen and learn from anyway.

You should always have a question. If you are listening to someone teach, get a question. You may not always get the chance to ask it but get one regardless.

Here are 5 general questions for a leader to start you off….
What are the characteristics you look for in a leader?
What’s the biggest thing you have learned about leadership?
Why do some leaders fail?
What do you do to keep growing as a leader?
What do you consider are the most important decisions you make as a leader?

If you could sit for a while with a leader who you want to learn from, what question would you ask?

10 Questions to Ask Yourself…

The Apostle Paul was never afraid to tell it like it is. I like that. It demanded a response from those who were reading it then and from us today too.

2 Corinthians 13:5 says…
‘Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it’.

There is a danger that when we look at ourselves we do so through a filtered lense. Our own opinion of how we are doing is often based on our intentions, not our actions. This can create an unwillingness to be brutally honest, which is often what God is really looking for.

Our own questions are more likely to be simplistic in nature. Not provoking enough. We don’t want to unsettle ourselves too much. Easier questions like…

1. Am I doing okay?
2. Is my walk with God going alright?
3. Have I been to church lately?
4. How’s my giving?
5. Does everything feel okay?

Can I suggest some slightly more thought-provoking questions, ones that demand a more thought out and honest answer, ones we might not enjoy as much. So TEST YOURSELF…

1. When was the last time I heard from God?

2. When was the last time I stood in faith for something?

3. When was the last time I put my reputation on the line for my faith?

4. When was the last time I sacrificed my agenda for Gods?

5. How is my serving quotient? Is it based on what I consider convenient or based on a willingness to be inconvenienced by others?

6. Am I tithing?

7. Where am I struggling at the moment with sin?

8. If married, is my relationship with my spouse healthy? Have we prayed together? Have we spent time together? Are we talking?

9. Am I willing to deal with any unresolved issues that I am aware of?

10. Are my words encouraging, full of life and blessing or are they opinionated, negative and unnecessary?

I realise there are probably lots more questions that could be asked but I think that these are good place to start. I know for me that ‘regular check ups’ keep me from drifting. What about you? I guess for all of us – the really tough question is how honest are willing to be?

The Vision Challenge

Was out yesterday doing some filming. Its the first time I’ve ever done stuff like that for use within a service at Xcel Church Darlington in a few weeks. Goodness knows what it will look like. Despite thinking very carefully about what I wanted to say I felt like I completely rambled and made no sense at all.

When I talk about vision – I don’t lack passion. Those listening will definitely know that I mean what I say.

When I talk about vision – I believe in it. Vision is powerful and in my opinion essential. More important though is what you do with that vision – that is the difference. Anyone can dream but not everyone fulfils it.

That’s the challenge. That’s a challenge for me right now. I have new ventures I am excited about, I have big dreams for them but words are nothing if I don’t act on them. I am as determined as ever to give it my best shot.

A friend asked me if I could have made any money from the coaching & mentoring I am looking to offer in schools during the past month. That’s one of those great questions you don’t want to be asked. If I’m honest, yes I could have but I didn’t. I had excuses, legitimate ones in my view but on reflection a little weak.

I am in the midst of the challenge that vision brings. I will make it to the other side.