Catalyst 2017 LIVE Notes // Andy Stanley on Secrets of Asking Powerful Questions

Great leaders always ask great questions. Great leaders aren’t afraid of surrounding yourself with people who can ask hard questions.

As a leader, if you bristle every single time they question, the chances are you’re not going to surround yourself with people like that.

You can lead people who don’t report to you. But if you do not surround yourself with people who have permission to ask you tough and hard questions, then you don’t have the right people around you. The truth is you’re not the smartest person around you.

Leaders who won’t listen will eventually find themselves surrounded by people who have nothing to say.

Questions reveal values.

The questions you ask over, over, and over reveal your values.

If your questions, that you’re not even aware of, you can send the people who report to you and send them in a completely different direction.

What’s the first question you ask on Monday morning. That first question tells something about your heart. Because questions reveal something about your value.

Questions reinforce values.

One of the best exercises you can do is to ask yourself this question: What question if asked repeatedly will direct people in the direction you want them to go? 

I begin every single weekend with this question: What happened this weekend?

Tell me the stories of life change. Tell me the stories that happened in your life.

Questions reinforce behaviors.

E.g.) What am I doing personally to help us improve organizationally?

Andy asking Bill Hybels: Bill, tell me about how you make decisions? What is your decision making grid? Hybels said immediately,

What would a great leader do?

Why this question is such an important question:

  • It provides instant clarity. Every decision you make there is an emotion involved. When there’s emotion, there’s a fog. This question will lift you above the fog.

How would you feel on the other side of doing what a great leader would do?

Entitlement always begins and escalates

For senior pastors, where does entitlement begin?

  • Reveals weakness. It creates tension that deserves our attention. You got to stop avoiding conflict. Face your insecurities. Once you know what a great leader would know, you ask yourself, “What do I need to do to grow?”
  • It will inspire you to reach beyond the limits of personality and style. Sometimes in leadership you have to be someone you’re not.

The best way to be a great leader is to do what great leaders do. 1 Samuel 24.

God anointed me, but I appointed me…is that the story you want to tell?

You can start at home. What would a great father, a great mother, a great husband do?