"Long time no see. I can only pray that the caliber of your questions has improved."

Kevin Patrick Smith (August 2, 1970 - ) American Movie Director

Posted on
August 25, 2023
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Have some senior leaders lost the art of asking questions rather than continually attempting to appear that they have all the answers? Somehow, many executives may well have come to the misguided conclusion that not having all the answers is a sign of weakness.  After all, competence and being all-knowing  must be joined at the “hip,” In fact, discovering the right question is just as important, if not more so, as finding the right answer.  And it is a skill that other up-and-coming team members would best learn as well.


All the research shows that building trust in your organization comes, in large part, by demonstrating vulnerability.  And an important way to build that trust is through asking thought provoking and inspiring questions.  I am not speaking about those queries that put folks on edge. Rather, the kinds of questions we are talking about are those that pull people together in order to explore big opportunities yet to be identified.  Examples include: What are the emerging unmet needs of our customers?  How do we need to adapt in order to thrive in the future?


Asking the whole organization to participate signals a healthy sense of ambition that can benefit everyone.  Also, asking constructive questions about the future helps sidestep the anxiety of not knowing all the answers – after all, who would expect anyone to have a completely clear crystal ball?  And, of course, asking critical questions leads to learning – a critical component of success.

Born exactly 53 years ago this month, Smith does ask himself some unique questions like “Why do I need religion if my dog doesn’t?” Smith also wonders if God does exist given the fact that he, to his own amazement, actually has a career!  

Perform Better!

Posted on
August 25, 2023
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