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  • Writer's pictureLars Christensen

Good leaders ask Great questions by John Maxwell - 6 minute read

Finished the book December 2020. How much I would recommend this book 10/10.

I had this book lying around for almost a year. Sometimes you just don't know when something great is right in front of your nose.

In this book, John Maxwell has invited his audience to submit questions that he then answers. I compare this book to Jocko Willink's Leadership, strategy, and tactics.

What I love the most about this book is that you get to start at the beginning of your leadership journey. It will show where you need to work on yourself, like integrity and character, and give you advice on how to deal with a lousy boss or manage a below-average team. Get your copy on Amazon here.

My notes and thoughts:

  • The questions to ask when doing skip-level or mentor sessions:

  • What is the greatest lesson you have learned?

  • What are you learning now?

  • How has failure shaped your life?

  • Who do you know whom I should know?

  • What have you read that I should read?

  • What have you done that I should do?

  • How can I add value to you?

  • Any leader who asks the right questions of the right people has the potential to discover and develop great ideas.

  • The question to ask every boss and VP, " Who do you know that I should know?"

  • The question to everyone, "How can I add value to you?"

  • When leaders learn and live good values, they make themselves more valuable and lift the value of other people.

  • "Every day, I ask myself, how can I make my team better?"

  • "Never miss a chance to keep your mouth shut"~Robert Peck.

  • Interrupting translates to "What I want to say is more important than what you are saying."

  • Be better at asking, "What do you think?" and also ask, "What is the next action?" instead of your opinion on it.

  • "What could I do for you that would make your job easier, make you more successful, and make the team better?"

  • "What am I missing?" It is the question I ask most frequently, after "What do you think?"

  • Every day, leaders must wake up and lead themselves before they lead anyone else. Because other people are depending on them, they must keep the fire burning within themselves.

  • No one succeeds in life on his own; everyone has been helped along the way by other people. When we give to others, we acknowledge that by paying it forward.

  • Let loneliness drive you to aloneness when you are feeling the weight of leadership. Find ways to get by yourself and think things through.

  • "I desire to conduct the affairs of this administration in such a way that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power. I have lost every other friend on earth. I shall have at least one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me." ~Abraham Lincoln

  • To be successful is to be helpful, caring, and constructive, to make everything and everyone you touch a little bit better. The best thing you have to give is yourself.

  • Help them until the vision is accomplished. It's one thing to say you want to help people on your team; It's another to actually follow through and assist them all along the way.

  • If you want to be the best leader you can possibly be, no matter how much or how little natural leadership talent you possess, you need to become a serving leader. And here's the good news: it's a choice. What it takes to serve others is within your control.

  • Your ultimate goal as a leader should be to work hard enough and strategically enough that you have more than enough to give and share with others.

  • How to get tracking in leadership:

  • Work hard

  • Think ahead

  • Demonstrate excellence

  • Follow-through

  • "The beauty of trust is that it erases worry and frees you to get on with other matters; Trust means confidence."~ Stephen Covey

  • "It takes humility to seek feedback; It takes wisdom to understand it, analyze it, and appropriately act on it." ~Stephen Covey

  • Effective leaders ensure that people feel strong and capable. In every major survey on the practice of effective leaders, trust in the leader is essential if other people are going to follow that person over time; people must experience the leader as believable, credible, and trustworthy.

  • Questions before delegating:

  • Exactly what needs to be done?

  • Why does it need to be done?

  • When does it need to be done?

  • Who is the best person to do it? How well must it be done?

  • How do you gain confidence as a leader?

  • Spend time with people who give you confidence

  • Find a way to get a few wins under your belt.

  • Quit comparing yourself to others

  • Specialize until you're special

  • Leadership is never a right. It's a privilege and a responsibility. But it's one that is open to anyone who's willing to work hard enough to get it.

  • Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.

  • Give each person on your team a reputation to uphold, and reward what you want done.

  • Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.

  • A person with a clear purpose will make progress on even the roughest road. A person with no purpose will make no progress on even the smoothest road.

  • Leadership decisions should always be made at the lowest possible level. The people on the front lines usually know the problems and the solutions best. They are also closest to the problems and can usually act quickly.

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