New Questions for Leadership Tipping Points
The opportunity and ability to step into a tipping point makes us feel responsible, powerful, and apprehensive.
Every decision both responds to and creates a tipping point.
New questions for leadership tipping points:
The pursuit of ease makes you matter less.
Ease in small doses expands capacity, but in large doses destroys us.
- How might this decision challenge you in new ways?
- How might new challenges become personal growth points?
Please know that I’m not encouraging workaholism. However, making a difference requires getting your hands dirty.
Every decision contributes to trajectory.
The consequence of decisions is real direction, not intended direction. You’re always heading somewhere.
- How does this decision reflect a “running toward” attitude, rather than running away?
- What are you running toward?
Long-term or short-term:
The appeal of short-term perspectives is immediate gratification, sometimes at the expense of long-term value.
Crisis requires short-term perspective. Put the fire out! But constant “crisis mode” sacrifices the future on the altar of urgency.
- How does making this decision reflect a long-term perspective?
- How does making this decision reflect a short-term perspective?
Life is relationships, nothing more, nothing less.
- What new relationships might result from making this decision?
- How does this decision impact current relationships?
- How might new relationships expand capacity and/or capability?
Tipping points include opportunities to both receive and give value.
- What new opportunities for service are available?
- How might your strengths find new expressions?
5 general questions:
- How does making this decision reflect a commitment to something greater?
- How are you expressing your best self?
- How are you expressing the self you hope to become?
- How much of this decision is motivated by fear?
- How much of this decision is motivated by dissatisfaction?
What questions might leaders ask when facing tipping points?
I see issues, as we are either the problem or the solution? Facing the reality that are we as an individual the best fit? Each of us has a place in society, workplace, home etc. which goes with General ?# 2.How are you expressing your best self? You find your way through life’s journey and experiences, what we are exposed to and what we are protected from along the way can make us or break us, fear holding us back and success allowing us to open up down to ? #4.
Life’s highway is tough to gauge are we “The peddle to the metal” full bore and reckless, or are we the Tortoise & the Hare, steady pace knowing we will get their. Not one shoe fits all, good like in finding your shoe!
Hey Tim, I really enjoy your focus on the individual. Pressuring people to adopt our decision-making style frustrates them. It may also cause them to resent you.
I love your insight and ability to look deeper at something as simple as decision making and those ripples it creates. I’m in a grad level leadership class this semester and text talks a great length about traits of leadership. Reflecting on your five questions do you feel a leader needs to possess certain traits or qualities such as insight and intuition or interpersonal and socioemotional competence to make effective decisions and further examine as you have and step into that tipping point to allow for greater analysis?
Great question Bobby. To some degree it depends on the context. Perhaps a highly scientific, data driven context means that emotional intelligence isn’t at the top of the list.
However, generally speaking, emotional intelligence accounts for much of the success leaders enjoy. That includes reading people and self-management through the decision-making process.
For what it’s worth!
Dan, great insight thank you. This sentence says it all. “The consequence of decisions is real direction, not intended direction” A question I always ask is “What is the impact on you and others around you if you don’t….?” or “What is the impact on you and others if you do….?” When you answer those two questions it gives real direction.
Thanks Carolyn. That’s brilliant. Your helping people see the impact of their actions on others. Successful leaders are able to connect the dots. Perhaps, just as important, they help others connect the dots.
Dan, I’m not sure I agree that the “consequence of decisions is real direction”. I’ve (sadly) seen many people who have consciously decided to react by addressing disparate selections of unrelated problems. The real direction here is round and round in circles!
Sometimes they are forced to act that way – they’re the “troubleshooter” who deals with whatever comes up, others are finding their way and get lost, some are dilletantes, but their “direction” tends lead them back to their starting point.
Thanks Mitch. I wonder if “actual direction” is clearer? The consequences of decisions is actual direction. … sometimes that direction is in circles.
Tipping points… I love it. Thankyou! Lord help me “run toward” the bigger prize today. It made me think up this, FEAR.. Fear Everything and Run or Face Everything And Redefine.
Love everything but the title. “Tipping Point” implies a non-linearity–how we make this One Decision is going to determine everything that follows.I believe that those exist, but they are rarer than we think. It’s the sum total of little decisions, and learning from the bad ones. I also liked your exchange with Mitch…actual direction is the sum (integral) of all of the decisions, not intentions. I have a hard-to-make set of decisions I’m going to run through this framework. Thanks!