Good Leaders Ask Great Questions

Questions. They are the most valuable tool a leader has. This was  John C. Maxwell’s  key idea  in Thursday morning’s VIP session. 


A great orator, Maxwell elaborated the idea through Pat Summit, the legendary basketball coach who wondered why she was not successful. Then she developed a system – a system of asking questions. In every game, after the first half, her team is asked questions on what they did right, what they did wrong and what needs to change for the second half. What happened: her team’s success sky-rocketed.

There was probably no one better for the opening spot of a business forum dedicated to “Impact”.  Maxwell has sold more than 24 million books in fifty languages. The central idea in his books and lectures is how leadership is influence: making an impact on decisions and on the higher level of leadership, having impact on people’s lives.

In order to be able to lead people, you need to be on the same page with them. And to get on the same page with her players, Pat Summit asked questions.

“Before we can lead people we need to understand their perspective. You can lead by assumption but it is not good leadership”, Maxwell said .

The other set of questions Maxwell stressed were the questions a leader should ask herself. Am I investing in myself? Do I like people? Am I investing in the right people? Am I trustworthy?

In addition to Maxwell’s words, his session was an inspirational illustration on how to speak and engage with your audience. He made 1000+ audience chuckle with jokes about his age, his great storytelling skills, amusing flattering of Finns and his metaphors on life (Life is like a roll of toilet paper – the closer to the end you get, the faster it goes).  This kept everybody alert and motivated throughout the 90 minute keynote.

Author: Heli Suominen (Heli on @HeliSuominen)


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