12 Leadership Development Questions Any Leader Can Use Today

Every teacher learns before they teach.

Every teacher learns while they teach.

The learner in the coffee shop:

I stood and embraced Jack when he walked into the coffee shop where I was meeting with a young leader. Jack’s in his 80’s and an elder statesman in the community where I live.

He looked at the young man, then back at me, and asked, “Is he a good student?”

Jack’s question made me a little uncomfortable. I said, “Yes, he’s a great student.”

On the way home it hit me. I was the real student.

People then skills:

Leaders are giddy to learn new strategies and skills. Teach me how to motivate people, resolve conflict, or cast compelling vision.

Leadership development requires more than strategies and skills.

“Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself.” Warren Bennis (3/8/1925 – 7/31/2014)

Everyone who develops leaders learns about people AND helps people learn about themselves.


One secret of leadership development is providing time for others to engage in self-reflection.

  1. What do you already know? How might that apply to current challenges?
  2. What are you doing that makes you feel energized? What does that say about you?
  3. What makes you feel connected with people? What blocks connection?
  4. When do you feel most powerful? Anxious? Successful?
  5. What is your role – not title – on the team? In your organization?
  6. What’s confusing? Where do you need greater clarity, simplicity, or focus?
  7. What do your hobbies say about you? How does that inform your leadership journey?
  8. What frustrates you?
  9. What are you reluctant to try?
  10. How might you maximize your strengths?
  11. Who on your team should you be developing? How?
  12. Who has helped you on your leadership journey? How are you different because of them?

It isn’t what you teach. It’s what others learn about themselves that changes people.

What blocks self-reflection?

How might leaders help OTHERS learn about themselves?