The One Question Leaders Need To Ask

This week I’ve been catching up on some episodes from Andy Stanley’s Leadership Podcast.  If you’re a leader and you don’t subscribe to and listen to this, I HIGHLY recommend it.  It’s a monthly podcast that’s usually 20 minutes or less, perfect for commuting or other drive time, and I’ve found it to be incredibly useful and helpful over the years.

In last month’s podcast, Andy talked about his new book, Ask It: The Question That Will Revolutionize How You Make Decisions.  The title intrigued me, and I dug in.

You ready for it?  Here it is: “what is the wise thing to do?”

Incredibly simple.  And you might be thinking, I ask that as a matter of course – I always want to do the wise thing!

But here’s the kicker – ask the question in the context of your past experience, your present circumstances, and the future you envision and dream of.

For instance, say you’re faced with a possible new job.  It’s a lot more money – but it comes with a lot of travel and a move to a part of the country you’ve never been to.  It’ll take you away from your family for a significant part of each month, and you have young kids at home.

What’s the wise thing to do, in light of your present circumstances, and in light of the preferred future you envision and dream of?

The question is based on what Paul writes in Ephesians 5:15-17, and Stanley does a great job communicating how this is a question we can apply no matter our life situation or our job or our position.

I’m teaching a series right now at Southview on questions from the Christmas story. Zechariah, Mary, Elizabeth, and the wise men all had questions that resonate with me; I find in their questions echoes of my own.  Questions can be powerful tools in a leader’s toolbag, but only if they’re the right questions.  Asking the wrong question will give you the wrong answer.

I can’t recommend this podcast episode and book highly enough. This is a keeper, and I want all of our leaders at SCC to read this, as well as my daughters!

What’s the best book you’ve read or podcast you’ve listened to lately?