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4.0 out of 5 stars Ask When in Doubt, Ask When Not in Doubt: Question Your Certainty, April 6, 2012
This review is from: Just Ask Leadership: Why Great Managers Always Ask the Right Questions (Hardcover)
"Just Ask Leadership' by author, executive coach, and former executive, Gary Cohen, focuses on the Socratic method of asking and answering questions as a key behavior contributing to leadership success. Questions empower, inspire, and challenge - others are coaxed to solutions of their own making which can provide new insights, broaden options, and open possibilities for increased productivity and creativity.

While 95% of leaders prefer to be asked questions, only 42% walk the talk, with 58% routinely giving instructions (the answers). The `telling" of what to do limits available options and stifles creativity. And all of us - leaders or not - do not know everything. To know and to lead, WE NEED TO ASK QUESTIONS!

"Just Ask" is organized around five objectives: Improve Vision; Ensure Accountability; Build Unity and Cooperation; Create Better Decisions; and Motivate to Action. Questions and illustrative stories useful for reaching each objective are provided. The stories come from some of the country's most effective leaders, over 100 in all - religious leaders, Fortune 500 CEOs, small business owners, military commanders, heads of non-profits, and more.

Some of the questions featured as aids to reaching the stated objective include:

Improve Vision - gaining insight from all levels of the Organization
* What are my values?
* How can wer outrun our competition?
* Are my coworkers aware of the value of their work?
Ensure Accountability - increasing Team and Organization-Wide Performance
* Who is to blame -the employee or the job description?
* What am I afraid of losing?
Build Unity and Cooperation - Creating a Culture of Trust
* How can I be more present?
* Can I trust?
* Why are leaders leaving the organization?
Create Better Decisions - Getting the Right Answers by Asking the Right Questions
* Context, Clarity, Objectivity
o Whose decision is it?
o How can I avoid wishy-washy answers?
o We've always done it that way, but why?
Motivate to Action - Asking for Success
* How do I generate a sense of urgency?
* What leverage haven't I used?

Life is full of uncertainty. We all know that when we are in doubt, we need to ask. Cohen urges also that when we are not in doubt, we need to also ask - "learn to doubt your certainty." This book was written not just for those in business, it will help in all facets of life - as a husband, a father, a parent, and a steward in your community or church.
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4.6 out of 5 stars (29 customer reviews)
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Thomas M. Loarie
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Location: Danville, CA USA

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