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Great Leaders Ask The Right Questions


Great leaders ask questionsThe image of the great leader is quite different from the reality. Great leaders do not necessarily have superior talents, skills, insight and charisma. Rather, they, like we, are subject to self-doubt and confusion. What makes them great is the ability to deal with self-doubt by asking the right questions.

This is the thrust of "Great Leaders Don't Have to Know All the Answers" by Robert S. Kaplan via

The Art of Asking The Right Questions

According to Kaplan, "There is nothing magical or overly sophisticated about asking these questions." He asks 9 questions that can be the basis of self-questioning beginning with "What is my vision for the organization?"

Kaplan's concluding paragraph is an excellent starting point for reorienting to the challenges of a new year:

"As a leader, you don’t need to have all the answers or have  superhuman traits. Instead you need to focus on asking the right questions, engaging your team and focusing on what you’re actually doing.   All great leaders  have moments of doubt and go through periods of struggle.  Focus on having the wisdom to  ask the right questions of yourself  and others, and have the courage to act on what you  learn."

What questions do you ask of marketing and social media? Let me know on Twitter @donmetznik

Photo Credit: from Flickr Creative Commons

Tribal Leadership #1 on Amazon and NY Times.


For The CEOs's Business Strategy-Leadership Tribal LeadershipDevelopment Library

Any time a business book rises to the top of Amazon and The NY Times, it's worth noting. This is a short comment on such a  book, Tribal Leadership, by Dave Logan, John King and Halee Fischer-Wright.

I recently received a message from Mark Taylor, a CEO Coach with Vistage and a workshop trainer on Tribal Leadership: Tribal Leadership is the #1 paperback on The NY Times Best Sellers list and is a #1 seller on Amazon.

For business owners this is a noteworthy accomplishment and speaks to the relevance of and the need for a new corporate leadership model.

Executive Summary
From an executive summary: "What the book Tribal Leadership does is map, for the first time, five stages of corporate culture and the unique leverage points to nudge a group forward. The authors grouped the stages based on the language used and the structure of the relationships."

The five culture stages are characterized as:
1. "Life stinks" (despair, alienation and hostility)
2. "My life stinks" (apathy and accepting the role of victim)
3. "I'm great" (lone warriors who think that you're not great)
4. "We're great" (tribal pride where people feel more alive and have more fun)
5. "Life is great" (innocence and wonderment that produce history-making innovations)

The point is to move your corporate tribal teams to Stage 5. (The one exception is to ditch your Stage 1 team.) The book, workshops, and keynote presentations show you how and document the results that can be achieved.

Mark Taylor writes, "I have witnessed transformational results. They (business owners and executives) are successfully changing  the culture of their organizations—and, as a result, they are making them run faster, better and more effectively. Culture eats strategy for breakfast."

I was fortunate to learn about Tribal Leadership in a keynote presentation by Dave Logan to over 200 CEOs. It's a concept that deserves the attention of any business leader who wants to improve performance by improving the corporate culture.

WHAT LEADERSHIP METHODS WORK FOR YOUR COMPANY? Please share your experience in the comment box, below.

For more on management: Please consider...
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The MBA Oath and Business Strategy


MBA OathCan business leaders do good and generate profits for their company at the same time?

The MBA Oath: Setting A Higher Standard for Business Leaders challenges business leaders to make higher ethical standards part of their business strategy. Although highlighting business schools and MBAs, it is applicable to all business leaders.

Will those who take the oath be at the mercy of those who do not? Authors Max Anderson and Peter Escher believe that good, ethical behavior is rewarding in the long term. It will be good for multiple stakeholders: certainly shareholders, but customers, employees, and the community as well.

Harvard Business Review writes:
“This gauntlet thrown by two newly minted Harvard MBAs should be taken seriously by organizations and individuals who want to remain competitive in the future. It’s easy to dismiss the idea of an oath of conduct for managers, but the authors make a pragmatic and convincing argument for establishing one, marshaling evidence from behavioral economics, psychology, and the history of business.”

Using case studies of real world business dilemmas, Anderson and Escher explain why a Hippocratic Oath for business is not only a good idea…it is good business.

The MBA Oath has been embraced by students and graduates representing over 300 institutions around the world and has 4,682 signers as of this date.


As a business leader I recognize my role in society.

•  My purpose is to lead people and manage resources to create value that no single individual can create alone.

•  My decisions affect the well-being of individuals inside and outside my enterprise, today and tomorrow.

Therefore, I promise that:

•  I will manage my enterprise with loyalty and care, and will not advance my personal interests at the expense of my enterprise or society.

•  I will understand and uphold, in letter and spirit, the laws and contracts governing my conduct and that of my enterprise.

•  I will refrain from corruption, unfair competition, or business practices harmful to society.

•  I will protect the human rights and dignity of all people affected by my enterprise, and I will oppose discrimination and exploitation.

•  I will protect the right of future generations to advance their standard of living and enjoy a healthy planet.

•  I will report the performance and risks of my enterprise accurately and honestly.

•  I will invest in developing myself and others, helping the management profession continue to advance and create sustainable and inclusive prosperity.

In exercising my professional duties according to these principles, I recognize that my behavior must set an example of integrity, eliciting trust and esteem from those I serve. I will remain accountable to my peers and to society for my actions and for upholding these standards.

This oath I make freely, and upon my honor.

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