- Paperback: 156 pages
- Publisher: Advantage Media Group (September 11, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1599324601
- ISBN-13: 978-1599324609
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #745,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Out of the Question: How Curious Leaders Win Paperback – September 11, 2014
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About the Author
Guy Parsons and Allan Milham have created a fusion of two powerful thought processes found in altogether-too-few C-suite leaders: Executive Coaching and Lean Thinking. As two experienced practitioners of both of these fine arts, the authors do more than just insist on a management methodology that hinges on asking questions – they demand that we ask the right kinds of questions. Their prescriptions and suggestions come from successful and long careers. Allan’s expertise relates to a dynamic executive coaching practice elevating leadership of top performers. Guy draws on his expertise as a pioneer in Lean Consulting impacting teams and the bottom line with organizations globally. Together they bring a fresh perspective on how leaders can transform their teams and culture.
Allan Milham and Guy Parsons have created a fusion of two powerful thought processes found in altogether-too-few C-suite leaders: Executive Coaching and Lean Thinking. As two experienced practitioners of both of these fine arts, the authors do more than just insist on a management methodology that hinges on asking questions – they demand that we ask the right kinds of questions. Their prescriptions and suggestions come from successful and long careers. Allan’s expertise relates to a dynamic executive coaching practice elevating leadership of top performers. Guy draws on his expertise as a pioneer in Lean Consulting impacting teams and the bottom line with organizations globally. Together they bring a fresh perspective on how leaders can transform their teams and culture.
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Top Customer Reviews
Below is a visual of the Knower leader and the Learner leader. Which one are you and who do you want to work for?
Knower: Directs and micromanages, Tells and justifies position,Closed to input and is rigid,Tells and relies on history/facts, Your grandpa’s leadership style, Title and education focused,Title and education focused, Covers up errors.
Learner: Open and creative, Discovers and guides,Dwells on possibilities and finds solutions, Inquiry based leader and values input, Healthy ego and outlook, Orchestrates and connects, Leaders we admire not your Grandpa.
It’s pretty obvious that Knowers are the leaders of yesterday. Our leaders need to be Learners as do you. Out of the Question offers guidance, tools, and stories about Learner leadership. These will inspire and urge you to learn in order to be a Learner leader. A key leadership skill shared is learning to think before you speak and pause. Reflect and learn before you move forward to engage others. Along with pausing, sound leaders ask questions and are open to ideas. Moreover, effective leaders recalibrate and establish habits of mindfulness and adapt an “observer’s view” of people and situations.
One of my favorite chapters addressed activating the Learner mindset. Before you can lead others to become Learner leaders you must first activate yourself. This chapter exemplifies what leadership means to me and what I strive to bring to the table. Here’s how you can activate your learner mindset:
1. Challenge your assumptions on a regular basis
2. Bring in fresh eyes. Welcome outside people and new ideas.
3. Involve groups. Your ideas are not the best. Harvest ideas from others.
4. Be open to answers. Don’t assume you know it all. You aren’t a Knower leader!
Parsons and Milham offer pivotal ideas on how to lead Knowers and Learners. There are facets to both. Bringing Knowers around means learning what drives them and how to lead them to learning. Leading Learners is easier however; they may need guidance bringing their enthusiasm and ideas to fruition. Parsons and Milham offer advice on how to have productive meaningful discussions with our Knowers and Learners and what pitfalls can happen. It’s one feat to bring people around to a new way of leading however, it may be an uphill battle to keep them engaged and on the lifelong Learner leadership path.
Out of the Question – How Curious Leaders Win is a gem that you have to pick up. You will be inspired to work at transforming your own leadership skills and those around you. It’s a story about changing mindsets and empowering others. Start your learning today to grow into being a Learner leader. Knower leaders just don’t cut it anymore!
In their outstanding book, Out of the Question, authors Guy Parsons and Allan Milham make the distinction between KNOWER leaders and LEARNER leaders. I love those terms because they accurately describe two very different styles of leadership. Leaders who come from a Knower position feel the need to have all the answers and be perceived as the expert. Their egos are front and center because they’re concerned about being right. As a result, they’re often closed to new ideas and feel threatened by alternative explanations or solutions.
In contrast, Learner leaders don’t pretend to have all the answers. They recognize that others have important insights and experiences to contribute, so these leaders ask questions from a place of humility that encourage openness and sharing. They have genuine curiosity and are eager to solicit input that builds a solution much greater than just one person’s thinking.
The authors emphasize that QUESTIONS are key. Questions can encourage others to participate or shut them down. Questions can build engagement, commitment and momentum or deflate the most enthusiastic employee. And it’s not just the words you say, it’s how you say them that elicits a positive or negative reaction from those you’re interacting with. The questions you ask as a LEARNER communicate to others that you really want to hear what they have to say. The positive result is that they feel valued and appreciated. They’re more likely to feel safe in being honest, especially when they disagree with you or want to express concerns.
PAUSING is the second key. After someone approaches you…or after they’ve responded to a question…don’t be in a hurry to jump in. Be comfortable with giving them time and space to THINK. They may need to process information they’ve just heard. And not everyone is quick to articulate their ideas. Their brains may be busy evaluating alternatives and pondering consequences.
Also, the authors explain how to apply the PAUSE to your own response to a situation. Reacting instantly does not always lead to a positive result. Thinking about how you can create instead of react leads to a better, more thoughtful response. If you’re interested in taking your leadership skills to a higher level, I highly recommend this thought-provoking book.
To be an effective leader, the Learner mindset is an absolute critical skill.