As I read Chet’s blog this morning, so many thoughts came pouring into my mind about this subject and where to go with it, and then I got locked on to what really jumped off the page for me, “Your job is to make them so strong they no longer call on you for chronic pain relief.” I found clarity in this one sentence, in Chet’s call to stop being a Firefighter, the Guy that fills the Gap, the Hero with all the answers, the guy who runs from crisis to crisis and just can’t get enough of that adrenaline rush.
I can remember many times my old boss saying to me, “when someone comes to you with a problem this is a chance for us to exercise servant leadership, to show them we care and to solve problems.” What that meant to him was being in the middle of the problems and basically what he loved doing, grab his Fire Chief Hat, grab his big fire hose and put out the fire.” Don’t get me wrong, I loved this guy and so did the associates in our plant, but it was unsustainable, we were growing at a fast pace, and this was not servant leadership, it was just a leader filling the Gap, running from crisis to crisis!
What I love so much about our BTL Process is seeing clients build greater clarity and be reminded of who they really are as they work through Discovery. And that is the singular focus I want to offer here. Every client starts with Discovery, 79 questions that dig into, who we are, how we think, what we believe and why it all matters. And this is the first step in finding strength as a leader, CORE strength.
I just recently engaged with two new clients, they’re high performers and they clearly have impact in the business. I gave them the Discovery Questions and one of them said to me, “I can probably give you answers right now to most of these.” I explained that I wanted him to take his time, I want thoughtful clear answers, not one-line answers, rather complete answers that get to the why of how you answered.
What I got back was exactly what I could see in his body language, his facial expressions, just the way he looked at the document in that first meeting, he did not hear the message! What he heard was his message, what was in his head, “Not sure what this is all about, but I will blow through this one.” And what I got back was predictable, anything but a thoughtful, complete answer, we started over and this time he heard the message.
In our next practice we only got through maybe 4 of his answers and I know one thing for certain, he is ready to do the hard work, I could see it all over his face and in his words, he was reminded of the strong family ties, values and stories he shared. It was a rewarding practice and we both were ready for more!
When our clients get this first taste of Discovery (powerful questions), they begin to understand the power of a curious, questions, what this CORE work is about, finding greater clarity, confidence, what their AIMING for and their Opus!
Strong CORE Centered leaders understand the power of curious questions, it’s their trademark skill, their comfortable with a challenging question that allows another leader to think deeper, broader and solve their own problems.