“I think that’s the single best piece
of advice; constantly think about
how you could be doing things better
and questioning yourself” – E. Musk

Last week I had the opportunity to get away and spend time with my family.  The days were spent at the beach, shopping, or playing inside with the grandchildren (the “pups”).  During the early evening we found “children-friendly” restaurants in which to have dinner and then settled into the “bedtime routines”. Most evenings my son and I would go to the beach after everyone had gone to bed.  We would enjoy a beer and talk about anything and everything.  Those were memory-making nights! Tuesday evening however he was tired, so I ventured to the beach alone.  Ironically I had just read Chris Parker’s powerful Blog, “The 13 Most Impactful Questions to Ask”.  It set the stage for a powerful, thought-provoking night.   

The picture above was my venue; a full moon lighting a still Nantucket Sound.  For the next two hours I considered just three of the questions he poses.  They cause you to search deep inside yourself for the answers.  Parker writes, The greatest leadership challenge is leading oneself……those who are the best leaders are best at asking themselves the toughest questions. I challenge you to read on and take the time to ask yourself the questions he poses.  You will find it a valuable and worthwhile experience.  

As I shared earlier, I spent a week with “the pups”.  Scarlett is still non-verbal at 10 months, but you can watch her eyes take in everything.  Luke will be three in October and Grace just turned five.  Any conversation with them, like with any child, is filled with questions.  Parker’s blog reinforces this fact, but also makes an interesting observation, “To a child, life is a daily adventure, they are thirsty to learn and ready to explore.  As time passes by that thirst is quenched in most adults.  The more they build expertise, the more they know, the less curious they become.  He then adds,  “For a rare few a new thirst appears….they start to wonder again, about themselves….they become curious about how they are thinking, who they are becoming and what they can do to see their dreams a reality.  Parker proposes that our greatest challenge as a leader, is to lead ourselves.  This can be facilitated through self-reflection guided by the following thirteen “impactful” questions:

  1. If I keep doing what I am doing today, who will I become tomorrow?
  2. Why am I resisting this?
  3. Why am I internalizing this?
  4. What will I think about this five years from now?
  5. Whose voice did I give power to today/
  6. What did I learn today worthy of sharing with someone  else?
  7. What thoughts did I leave with people today?
  8. What difference did I make today for those I love the most?
  9. If today was my last day, what would be my legacy?
  10. What do I need to believe about myself to have the life I envision?
  11. How am I withholding myself from living my best life?
  12. If I were at my best, what would I be doing right now?
  13. I wonder why I think the way I think?

So here is your challenge, take one question, find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed, and consider it. Become curious about yourself, what you are thinking, what you are doing, but most important, what do you need to do to become the best version of you?  

Parker concludes with a powerful statement that each of us need to embrace,  “There is greatness in you shouting to be released. You were born to create, to make a difference.  Lead yourself to be your GREATEST YOU.  The world needs you to show up NOW settling for nothing short of your best. 

 Embrace the Challenge