15 Questions that Invent the Future
Progress is the answer to a question.
If you feel stuck, you have aspiration without progress. But the right question re-ignites forward movement.
If you want to invent the future, you must first ask about it.
15 questions that invent the future:
- What strengths do you have that seem most useful right now? How might you leverage one of those strengths today?
- Imagine you’re making progress. What are YOU doing? Go do that.
- What conversation might help you discover new opportunities? Who could have that conversation with you this week?
- Imagine you make little progress this year. What didn’t you do that caused lack of progress?
- What personal challenges might emerge as you move forward? How will you respond to those challenges?
- How might you nudge the agenda forward today?
- What would it take to instigate change on just one front?
- What could happen that would enable you to feel fully engaged and energized about (your specific situation)?
- What’s possible now and what’s important to you about that? (Move away from, “What’s wrong and who did it?”)
- What small action might you take today to step toward your goal?
- What’s important right now?
- If you couldn’t fail, what bold step might you take next?
- How will it feel if you make good progress this week? What’s next?
- Who might support you as you move forward? How?
- What could you do today that might have the biggest impact on reaching your goal?
Leaders lift people out of the weeds and help them see the future.
Just show up and ask one of the above future-building questions. Call it a future-building walk-about.
The most disappointing leaders are know-it-alls who don’t ask questions.
Which of the above questions might best instigate forward movement?
What questions help leaders create the future?
Dan–love your statement:
“Leaders lift people out of the weeds and help them see the future.”
Ask a question related to that.
What role do you see yourself performing in the department next year?
Thanks Paul. I think I’d need some time to think over the question you suggest. That means its a great question. Cheers
Great post Dan! These questions are useful on both professional and personal levels. Have a great weekend!
Thanks David. Yes, enjoy the weekend!
#10 — What small action might you take today to step toward your goal? — is a nice reminder we all should continually ask ourselves.
Thanks Mike. Beware the seduction of the big and dramatic action. In addition, when something get’s too big it paralyzes us. Have a wonderful weekend.
2 and 10. I know you said one but I like both of these. I suffer from paralysis by analysis. I analyze, analyze, and analyze – trying to reach the perfect plan. Unfortunately, I’ve found seeking perfection is like chasing the wind. Better to take a step forward today with the best information we have, then wait for perfection tomorrow.
Brilliant and helpful. Thanks Josh. Better to learn as you go, unless it’s brain surgery. The you learn on dead people.
Wow, all the 15 questions are really what I go thru each day (some intermingle). The real challenge is to school, help, mentor others to think similarly and as I’ve stated before (an old continuous strain) my real challenges are with the M’s I deal with in the office and across the country in my different roles. The vast majority just do not have the passion or drive to even grasp the 15 questions. I’ve begun to wonder whether it is even possible to kick start such drive in these M’s. The more I look at it the more I see the impact of involved fathers (and mothers) in instilling forward thinking, in instilling out side the box thinking and in the value of hard work and passion in what one does.
I so needed this. A great book that I read about this topic: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith really transformed the way I view set back and growth areas. This book was instrumental in getting me through a few professional rough patches.
Life is shaped by what we don’t ask.
So both ‘Why’ we don’t ask and ‘How’ we ask are very important questions to start with… because what we don’t answer shapes our future.
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