Three Big Questions Leaders Need to Ask Themselves

It has taken me years (and in some cases, decades) to know what I need to ask myself. I’ve come to realize my weekly “thinking time” allows me to ask myself tough questions. These questions allow me to:
  • Maintain my integrity
  • Keep my motivation intact
  • Keep clear on what is important
  • Increase my energy
  • Improve my leadership and influence capacity
For the purpose of clarity, I’d like to offer three questions that have acted as a guide for me personally:

1. Am I enriching myself?
My spiritual core and purpose is my foundation. Every time I neglect or allow other urgent tasks to “squeeze out” my time of solitude, I lose my way. It may not be too obvious to others but I lose my edge, perspective, empathy, and greater purpose of “others first.”

I’ve found the greatest investment I make is my daily, 20-minutes of spiritual solitude. I read a small devotional, pray for members of my family (my wife, my three children, my children’s wonderful spouses, and then a BIG SWING at our six grandchildren.) We live in a complex and confusing world. My 20-minutes of solitude and prayer puts my world together, at least for that day.

2. How do I view myself? 
As a young boy, I went to a small private school and one of my teachers told me I’d probably “never really excel in school.” As a result, I allowed those words to shape the way I viewed myself. I settled for average grades (B’s and C’s) and I never felt very smart. I always thought, “better stick to sports,” until my junior year in college when I took an IQ test that I learned something about myself: I ranked third highest in IQ. I have no idea how accurate that test was but that test alone changed how I viewed myself.

Many people find themselves thinking like Snoopy, Charlie Brown‘s pet beagle in the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz who thinks, “Yesterday I was a dog. Today I’m a dog. Tomorrow I’ll be a dog. Sigh! There’s so little hope for advancement.

How you view yourself and how you feel about yourself determines your self image. Your self image matters! We can never outperform our identity. We have the ability to make tremendous advancements but first, we must believe in ourselves.

3. What does my future look like? 
As an Executive Leadership and Performance Coach, I’m privileged to remind leaders (and myself) on a daily basis that the size of your dream determines the size of your investment. If your dream is large, you will need to invest in yourself… coaching, mentoring, and great team support.

As I pen these words, I’m investing in myself and my company, Leadership Quest. Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth leading.” I add the unexamined leader is not worth following. Take some “thinking time” to ask yourself some key questions to be worth following.

Here’s to your questions!

As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.

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“The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. ”

About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.