S3E33. 4 Questions Every Effective Leader Needs to Answer

I’m beginning the process of writing my next book. Instead of locking myself in a room to write in private, I’ve decided to write it out loud, here on this podcast.

I want you to be an active participant in the process. By getting a sneak peek into the content of the book, you can send in comments, suggestions, and ideas to incorporate into it. (The two working titles so far are: “Improv for the C-Suite” and “Leadership in Hyperdrive: Powered by Improv.” Let me know which you like best.)

As part of preparing to write the book, I’ve been researching the topic of improvisational leadership over the past two years. In the book “Getting to Yes And” by Bob Kulhan, he discusses that effective leaders can answer four questions about themselves:

  1. Why this?
  2. Why now?
  3. What do I have to do?
  4. What’s in it for me?

Bob discusses these questions as if he was to bring the tenets of improvisation into his firm. So why should you consider bringing improv into your organization? Improv is where strategy and planning meet implementation, and it allows leaders to be present and in the moment.

Leaders need to be adaptable, collaborative, innovative, creative, and embrace risk. Embracing risk means not being punitive to those coming up with ideas, even if they fail. Failure can be thought of as an acronym: First Attempt In Learning. If leaders don’t make room for their team to fail, and learn from that failure, it will take them much longer to solve the problems you have.

Today’s leadership demands a more collaborative, less authoritative approach. You may have the authority and power, but that’s not true leadership. Simon Sinek says “Leadership is the positive effect you have on another person.” When you adopt that mindset, your influence will become contagious to all.